In just over three months, Terry Pegula has tossed the Sabres hat in the ring on the Webster Block, donated money to finish landscaping work at Canalside and will now contribute to an alumni plaza outside of First Niagara Center.
This tweet from WGRZ kicked things off prior to the official announcement that a press conference will be held tomorrow to unveil the plans for a full alumni plaza.
This is something I had given thought to back in the winter after the second blog summit. In addition to paying tribute to the team’s most famous trio, I would suspect there will be a statue for each of the franchise’s retired numbers. There will certainly be space to honor the Knox family and those who helped bring the Sabres to buffalo.
The Sabres are in a unique position because of the design of the arena. The inclusion of the massive public plaza has not only provided space to throw big gameday parties, it will also provide more than enough space for a number of different statues.
Off the top of my head I can count the French Connection, Knox brother, Pat LaFontaine, Danny Gare, Tim Horton and Dominik Hasek as those who will have statues within the next few years. I would venture a guess that RJ and Ted Darling will each get their own down the line as well.
UPDATE: The Sabres press conference detailed a number of intricate details for the project. This includes the picture the statue will be based upon and the inclusion of every player ever to don a Sabres sweater. The additional players will be included on plagues on the brick pillars already in place.
It would seem to me that the plan only includes space for the French Connection statue at this point. Assuming the statue will be the focal point in front of the raised walkway, there will be plenty of room in the rest of the plaza for additional statutes, should the organization choose to build them.
The potential of this idea goes so far beyond anything else done by any other team simply because of the space afforded to the franchise in the plaza. Certainly tomorrow’s announcement will provide the rest of the details and perhaps some super cool, Tielman-proof renderings.
Terry Pegula is certainly proving that he could become a driving force in developing the area around FNC in the coming years. It is something the city of Buffalo has been without for a long time.