Effin’ A Cotton, effin’ a

In a summer of major changes for the Sabres organization one more cosmetic one will occur today. First Niagara will acquire the naming rights to HSBC Arena.

This is a move I suspected would occur in the near future, I just didn’t think it would happen this soon. As First Niagara has continued to grow in recent years I began to wonder if they would look into some sort of branding with the Sabres, Bisons or the Bills. When HSBC sold their retail branches to First Niagara I assumed a name change for the Arena was inevitable. However, all news from the three parties involved appeared to be in the contrary.

Now there is the opportunity for the Arena to be called the First Niagara Arena – or FNA (effin’ a). UPDATE: It appears the name will be the First Niagara Center.

With the additional renovations being made to the interior of the Arena and the locker room, a name change will add that much more of a new look for the new regime. Based on the look of the First Niagara logo, it will look much better on the exterior (and interior signage) of the building. I do wonder if they will utilize the neon waves that were once prevalent on the main exterior sign back in the 90s.

Aside from a trade, it seems as if the next biggest change will come with a new sign on the front of the Arena.

Ryan Miller wants more from the fans. I agree

In his comments to reporters today Ryan Miller came out and said he wants HSBC Arena to be louder for the playoffs. I think he is spot on in asking for more from the Sabres fans.

During far too many Sabres games this season, before and after Pegula Day, the Arena has been far too quiet. A great deal of blame can be saddled on the team for lackluster play (see, 3-0 vs. St. Louis) but the fans certainly don’t help the cause. Continue reading

A potential Sabres Hall of Fame

There is about to be 10,000 square feet of space open on the Buffalo waterfront. The problem is that most of Buffalo probably doesn’t know the space exists.

Because that is a GREAT location

For the past three years the Ira G. Ross Aerospace Museum has occupied the space in HSBC Arena behind the Sabres Store. They just learned that their lease will not be renewed.

This is both good and bad news. First of all, raise your hand if you knew the aerospace museum was located in the arena. Keep your hands up if you know where the entrance to the museum is…Bueller…Bueller….anybody? That is because the door is tucked around the corner of Main and Perry across from the “subway” tracks and the fenced in area that stores floating docks in the winter. Not exactly a prime location for foot traffic. Continue reading

Preservation vs. Obstruction

Sam Savarino and Roger Trettel are very smart men. They have created very successful real estate companies and have taken the reigns in helping to develop what is left of the Cobblestone District.


This needs to happen

One if their neighbors, Daryl Carr (owner of Cobblestone) has been trying to demolish a set of buildings on the corner of Illinois and South Park for some time. What will replace them is up for debate, but it seems like parking lot is where the spinning wheel of ‘progress’ may land. Continue reading

My idea for the HSBC 100 level

The Terry Pegula era has been greeted with unbridled enthusiasm. I don’t blame anyone for it either. He, and Ted Black, have said all the right things and have made all the right moves thus far. They have added numerous facets to the in-arena and home viewing experience.

Part of my plan to redecorate the 100 level (click for full size)

Many of the improvements have come from the Sabres Suggestion Box. One suggestion that has been addressed by one (or more) fans is to do something with the red wall that lines the 100 level at HSBC Arena. This is something that has crossed my mind before and cropped back up when the suggestion box debuted.

My idea is to add some art to the wall. I first thought of this when I caught a game at Air Canada Centre. The ACC has put a mural of old pictures around their wall. The pictures are made up of old pictures of fans from Maple Leaf Gardens. This adds a very cool aspect to the in-arena experience there. That is where the genesis of my idea was born. Continue reading

Lighter, quicker, cheaper. Code for smaller, dumber, ineffective

I know dumber shows my prowess of the English language, but bear with me on this one. I had a long rambling post half written before I left work but all of my writing disappeared. So I get to start from scratch.

A while back I had a very productive conversation with a writer whose opinion I value greatly. Especially in the matter of development. We discussed a whole matter of topics ranging from the Outer Harbor to the Larkin District. However, the meat and potatoes of that conversation dealt with Canalside. The person’s name is Andrew Kulyk and he recently wrote a fantastic column regarding this topic for WNYMedia.net. Some of what is to follow will be quite similar to what Andrew wrote, mainly because we share a very similar opinion.

First I should thank Andrew for writing the column to give my brain a kick in the ass to write this post. I have been mulling over it for some time and I am now finally putting pen to paper….or fingers to keyboard in this case. Continue reading