SCHUMER TEAMS UP WITH BUFFALO SABRES TO LAUNCH PUSH TO BRING 2018 INTERNATIONAL YOUTH HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP COMPETITION TO BUFFALO – MOVE WOULD ENERGIZE WESTERN NY ECONOMY BY BRINGING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VISITORS & TOURISM REVENUE TO THE REGION FOR THE WORLD-CLASS ICE HOCKEY EVENT
Schumer Urges USA Hockey Executive Director to Choose Buffalo – Event Would Attract Top National Ice Hockey Teams From Around the World And Infuse An Estimated $6 Million Into WNY Economy
Buffalo Is On USA Hockey’s Shortlist Of Cities To Host 2018 Competition – Schumer Cited Buffalo’s Previous Success In Hosting The Event In 2011, Which Brought 300,000 Visitors To The Area & Millions To Buffalo In Tourism Revenue; Touts Amenities Like The New HARBORCENTER, First Niagara Arena, Which Has State-Of-The-Art Facilities, Including Two Additional NHL-Sized Rinks And Locker Room Space
Schumer: Make Buffalo The Destination City For The World Junior Hockey Championship Games
Following recent news that Buffalo is on USA Hockey’s shortlist of cities to host the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the organization to once again choose Buffalo to host the competition. In 2011, Buffalo hosted more than 300,000 fans, making it the most successful World Junior Hockey event ever hosted in the United States. In a personal letter to USA Hockey, Inc. Executive Director Dave Ogrean, Schumer said the federation should choose Buffalo based on the city’s previous success and because of the enormous economic potential it could bring Western New York. Schumer said this event brought in an estimated $6 million in revenue for the area in 2011. Schumer also explained that the new HARBORCENTER, which connects to First Niagara Arena, boasts state-of-the-art facilities for the top-notch youth athletes, including two additional NHL-sized rinks and locker room space. Schumer also highlighted the recent development of Canalside and other tourist attractions, as well as the addition of new hotels that are more than capable of handling the surplus of tourists.
“Buffalo has already proven it can successfully handle an event of this magnitude, and with development on the rise, Buffalo has truly become a destination city. The new facilities at HARBORCENTER only make Buffalo a more attractive candidate for the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2018. It only makes sense for the federation to choose New York again,” said Senator Schumer.“Buffalo loves hockey, and especially youth hockey, and would welcome teams from every corner of the globe with open arms. This event would inject much-needed tourism dollars into Western New York's economy, making this a win for USA hockey, the talented young players, and the City of Buffalo alike.”
“Buffalo was host to the most successful World Junior Hockey Championship in 2011. The development of the HARBORCENTER and Canalside, as well as Western New York’s ongoing commitment to youth hockey, all make Buffalo a prime candidate for the 2018 games,” said Mike Gilbert, Vice President of Public and Community Relations for the Buffalo Sabres. “Senator Schumer has played a major role in Western New York’s redevelopment, and he has always been a supporter and fan of the Buffalo Sabres. We appreciate the Senator’s advocacy to bring the World Junior Hockey Championship to Buffalo.”
The city of Buffalo is currently competing against bids from Chicago, St. Louis, Tampa, and Pittsburgh. The First Niagara Center – where the event would be hosted – is an NHL facility and home to the Buffalo Sabres, which seats more than 19,000 people and would make a prime host location. The new HARBORCENTER would provide supplemental support and space for the week’s events with two additional NHL-size rinks, 6,100 square feet of locker room space, and seating for 2,000. Schumer also highlighted the variety of new first-class hotels and restaurants, as well as the Ice at Canalside, just steps from the HARBORCENTER, which hosts free ice skating throughout the winter atop a re-creation of the Erie Canal. Visitors would also have the opportunity to experience and enjoy the city’s architectural masterpieces, theatres and art museums, and the opportunity to attend a Buffalo Sabres or Buffalo Bills football game. For these reasons, Schumer said Buffalo is well-poised to host this event and it should be selected for 2018.
A copy of the Senator’s letter to Executive Director Dave Ogrean can be found below:
Dear Executive Director Dave Ogrean,
I write today to urge you to consider Buffalo, NY as the destination for the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship. The City of Buffalo hosted the event in 2011, and more than 300,000 fans attended those games, making it the most successful World Junior Hockey event ever hosted in the United States. The World Junior Hockey Championship attracts the top youth hockey teams from around the world, and would infuse nearly $6 million into the Western New York economy. I believe Buffalo is an ideal location, not only because of the close proximity to Canada and top of the line ice hockey facilities, but also because of the city’s passion, pride, and support for the game of hockey
The First Niagara Center, an NHL facility and home to the Buffalo Sabres, seats more than 19,000 people and would make a prime host location. Additionally, the new HARBORCENTER, attached to the Arena, would provide supplemental space and support for the week’s events. This facility boasts two additional NHL-size rinks, 6,100 square feet of locker room space, and seating for 2,000. The newly opened 716 restaurant, as well as retail shops and a hotel opening in 2017, would make HARBORCENTER a “one stop shop” for participants’ practice, game time, and entertainment needs throughout the tournament.
With development on the rise, Buffalo has truly become a destination city. In addition to a variety of new first-class hotels and restaurants, the Ice at Canalside, just steps from the HARBORCENTER, hosts free ice skating throughout the winter atop a re-creation of the Erie Canal. Fans can even skate in the spot that was center ice in the former Memorial Auditorium Arena, where the Buffalo Sabres played until 1996. Visitors will also enjoy opportunities to experience the city’s architectural masterpieces, theatres and art museums, the Buffalo Zoo, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Participants may also have the opportunity to attend a Buffalo Sabres or Buffalo Bills football game, or visit the iconic Niagara Falls.
In addition to an active base of Buffalo Sabres fans, youth hockey has continued to grow in Buffalo. The HARBORCENTER hosted games and tournaments for 20 straight weekends this past winter from October through early March, bringing approximately 700 players, parents, supporters, and coaches to the City of Buffalo each weekend. Buffalo has truly become a magnet for youth hockey activity, and there is no better way to showcase the city, the top-notch facilities, and the talent of young players from across the globe than to bring the World Junior Hockey Championship to Buffalo in 2018.
If you should have additional questions, please contact my office.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator