The Buffalo Sabres officially own a key piece of downtown Buffalo property after signing the paperwork Friday to buy the land from the city.
The Sabres paid the city $2.2 million to buy the two-acre parcel known as the Webster Block, a one-block plot across the street from the First Niagara Center. The land had housed a parking lot.
Ground is already broken on the property, which will house two ice rinks, a 200-room hotel, 845-space parking ramp, restaurant, bar and retail space. The HARBORcenter complex will be connected to the First Niagara Center via a sky bridge.
Sabres officials say the facility should draw more than a half-million visitors per year to Buffalo.
The center will cost an estimated $172.2 million. It will serve as the new home of the top tier of the Buffalo Regals, a minor hockey association the Sabres bought this week. The Sabres also hope to draw events such as the U.S. Hockey Showcase the team hosted this past September for U.S.-born NHL Draft prospects, as well as major tourneys like the IIHF World Championships and the NCAA Frozen Four.
Mayor Byron Brown called HARBORcenter the first facility of its kind in the nation.
"I want to thank the Sabres organization for their great faith and confidence in the city of Buffalo," he said.
Construction of everything but the hotel should be done by September 2014. The hotel should be open by spring 2015.
Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL
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