If the Buffalo Sabres were smart, they would purchase from the city of Buffalo the plot of land that the Memorial Auditorium use to sit on.
What could the Sabres do with that plot of land? I wasn’t sure of what I was thinking when the thought popped into my head, until I read this awesome poll/article from our very own Ben Sumner over at Capitals Outsider, where he asked Caps fans the best place to head before or after a Washington Capitals game.
I think we can all agree that the pipe dream of Larry Quinn bringing Bass Pro to Buffalo should be laid to rest and never be brought up again. Now the fact that they decided to pull out of a Buffalo store in July of last year was all over the news, you can still head over to their [Bass Pro's] website and see a diagram of what a waterfront store in Buffalo could look like. Me personally, I think there are enough stores in the Buffalo area for the outdoorsmen to go and pick up their supplies and shop from. What the downtown area needs is a destination for sports fans to go and party before and after sporting events.
Consider the Party in the Plaza series the Sabres pull off every year when they were making the deep runs into the playoffs. The New York Islanders and Florida Panthers would drool over the attendance numbers if they could get as many people inside their buildings as we had watching the games outdoors. For the Sabres fans that attend the games, there are not too many options in the immediate area around the arena to head to in order to continue partying and celebrating. Yeah, there are a few corner bars, there’s Pearl Street Grill – but no major sports bars in the downtown area that come to mind.
I wouldn’t mind if the Buffalo Sabres reached back into history, and combined one of Buffalo’s past times (drinking and partying) with a relic from Sabres past. Remember back in the day when the Sabres had their own practice facility in Wheatfield? Sabreland was a destination for many Sabres fans who wanted a more intimate look at the team on a personal level. I can remember going up to SabreLand with the family and looking for autographs, or just to watch the team practice up close and personal.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a sports complex downtown with a party center and bar? I think that would be a better use of the downtown area than letting the lot sit vacant while we try to court a business that is no doubt going to build a industry specific structure only to pick up and label the experiment a failed project so we have yet another vacant building on the downtown scene. While the Sabres have a nice practice arena set up with the Northtowne Center – it would be nice to see them have their own practice facility once again.