Griffs Moving Hockey Games to HARBORcenter

HARBORcenter will be the new home of Canisius College’s Division I men’s ice hockey program when the $172 million hockey and entertainment complex is completed in September 2014.

“We knew that HARBORcenter would quickly become a magnet for major hockey programs in this area,” HARBORcenter President John Koelmel said. “It is our intention to make HARBORcenter a hockey destination and an anchor of hockey development in this region. We are excited to partner with Canisius College and, with the resources HARBORcenter will make available, to further enable the development of their hockey program and to strengthen collegiate hockey in this region.”

As part of the multi-year agreement, Canisius will be the primary tenant of HARBORcenter and will play all of its home games on the complex’s feature rink that will hold a capacity crowd of 1,800 spectators.  Additionally, the Golden Griffins will use HARBORcenter as their practice facility with a permanent locker room and they will also have access to the high-performance training area.

Canisius, which plays in the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA), will be moving from its current home of 14 years, the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

“This is an exciting day for Canisius College,” said Canisius College President John J. Hurley.  “We make yet another big investment in the city we have called home since 1870 as we join with Terry and Kim Pegula and the Buffalo Sabres and take our championship-hockey program to a whole new level of excellence.  It’s a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes, alumni and fans to be part of this world-class facility.”

HARBORcenter will feature two new, NHL-size ice rinks that will be open for community use in addition to a hockey-themed, upscale restaurant and bar, a full-service 205-room Marriott hotel, additional retail space and an 800-space parking structure.

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IMG_41420 Photos by Nate Mroz

About the author  ⁄ WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

21 comments
NYC5475
NYC5475

Can't wait to see it finished, Canisius and the Junior Sabres will keep it busy and bring people downtown who still want to watch hockey but have been priced out of the NHL.

OldFirstWard
OldFirstWard

How much is Canisius paying or "investing" to make this their home arena?  

foreverbflo
foreverbflo

This is good news. Thanks WCP for the post


jazzfan
jazzfan

Super move for Canisius.  I'm hoping their program gets big enough to hos a game or two a year in the FNC - lower bowl seating.

While I would not forsake the basketball program, I agree that hockey is more fertile ground for future success

TominBuff
TominBuff

This hotel is going to kill the Hyatt (keeping fingers crossed)! A lot of people are counting the day the Hyatt gives up their atrium and Genesse Street is re-opened.

ok...as far as the aud is concerned...everyone should be greatful Canisius didn't want to move their program into the Aud. If that happened the Aud would still be there and all this great Canalside development would not be happening.

Canisius missed a once in a lifetime opportunity with the Central Park Plaza...no not for Cansisus. Medaille would have fit perfectly into the Central Park Plaza allowing Canisius to absorb the Medaille Campus.

As far as Buffalo State is concened...when are they going to get off their rear end and build their football stadium where the current auto impound is...that would make a huge benefit to the Grant Amherst neighborhood. Plus they only built a fraction of the Dorm space they needed. More dorms on Reese and Grant would help the Grant Amherst neighborhood a lot.

Sounds good for the Harbor Center...I think they found their anchor...and sidestepped the retail trap of BassPro successfully.

I have only 2 criticism I have is ... Id like to see more history incorporated into Canalside...more historic ships rebuilt, more historic buildings rebuilt (like the Spaulding Mercantile which would make a great flex space should retail or office or museum or other joined)....and I would take that canal crossing Main and I would extend it all the way to the Clark and Skinner Canal at the current Buffalo Creek Casino.

The other leverages on the first...and its integration. There is no thought to an integrated waterfront theme stretching from the Erie Barge Canal, Civil War Naval Yards, Squaw Island, Niagara River, Front Park, LaSalle Park, Waterfront Community, Canalside, First Ward (Buffalo River), Kelly Island, City Ship Canal and Outer Harbor, possibly Tifft Preserve, South Park. One should be able to travel through all these waterfront features and have an interesting experience.

elmdog
elmdog

great....now lets get the Aud joke back on track....

townline
townline

This is really exciting for Canisius.  There is no reason that Canisius should not be able to take advantage of this facility as a great downtown rink and first class training center, and their proximity to Canada to have a nationally competitive NCAA hockey program.  This is where the school needs to invest its sports money, rather than spinning its wheels on basketball, a program they will never be able to compete with the big boys on.

whateverr
whateverr

tomsobo>"Canisius missed a once in a lifetime opportunity with the Central Park Plaza...no not for Cansisus. Medaille would have fit perfectly into the Central Park Plaza allowing Canisius to absorb the Medaille Campus."

No, I don't think that opportunity was missed because there still aren't yet any plans for Central Park Plaza beyond soil cleanup.  Yeah, Ciminelli bought it, but if Medaille, Canisius, or anyone wants it I don't see why it wouldn't be available to them.  Doesn't it seem the only plan so far for CPP is to be a big shovel ready site?


And regardless of that, I wonder what would it take for the new Tom to realize Canisius currently doesn't have any intention to expand - so they don't have any evident need for taking over Medaille's current campus?  

micahh64
micahh64

@TominBuff 

 "A lot of people are counting the day the Hyatt gives up their atrium and Genesse Street is re-opened."

"A lot of people"?  Like who?  You and the voices in your head?

"... Id like to see more history incorporated into Canalside...more historic ships rebuilt, more historic buildings rebuilt (like the Spaulding Mercantile which would make a great flex space should retail or office or museum or other joined)...."

You forgot to mention how the ECSB and Larkin Administration building should be rebuilt . . .

.

 

micahh64
micahh64

@townline 

"This is where the school needs to invest its sports money, rather than spinning its wheels on basketball, a program they will never be able to compete with the big boys on."

Why not?

Basketball doesn't require as big a budget as hockey (fewer players on the team, equipment costs less, and no sheet of ice needed.)

As far as "not being able to compete with the big boys" -- yeah, I'm sure that's what people at Butler University thought . . .

.

flexme
flexme

they already have a nationally competitive NCAA hockey program.

paulbuffalo
paulbuffalo

'... I wonder what would it take....'

Really?  Well, I'm sure a mental health professional could supply the correct term about his condition.

townline
townline

@flexme They're not a significant player.  Canisius has never been a contender for an NCAA title.  Last year was the first time they have ever even made the tournament and that was with a .500 record.  The program has had 2 winning records in the past decade.


The school has never made the hockey program the priority it should be.  Hopefully this changes that.

TominBuff
TominBuff

@paulbuffalo 

Ahh La Vie en Rose

Makes me want to eat a croissant and put on Edith Piaf

I haven't found any coffee houses that play edith piaf or classical music...they all seem to busy with graffiti for art and making their interiors look rustic and ghetto rather than emulating an Austrian, Italian or French Coffee House.

Make fun if you want but I will always cheer for Buffalo to up its game and be more than ghetto. Id like to see Buffalo's inner Mayberry come out and Id like to see Buffalo's culture unashamedly polished too.

Not all hopes have to be realized. Buffalo has its own momentum and direction but sometimes as with finding the Canal stones buried...sometimes we can change the direction a few degrees by planting the seeds of what Buffalo could be...so sad you cannot stretch your mind beyond what Buffalo is...wait...no Im greatful...PaulBuffalo would hope for a liberal socialist communist politically correct Haight Ashburry hippie town like San Francisco. A city once Christian named after St Francis the patron saint of animals, a name taken by our Pope...and its decended into a city of atheists, agnostics, socialists, communists, politically correct, sanctuary city...insame leftists...its a city of demons...for all Buffalo's defecits...Im glad its not  todays San Francisco.

paulbuffalo
paulbuffalo

Where can I buy a pair of your rose-colored glasses?

whateverr
whateverr

@paulbuffalo

Maybe so - although as mica noted, it seems he might have caught on that the Larkin Admin HQ won't be rebuilt... so some things sink in eventually, somehow.

costrander08
costrander08

@townline @flexme This should definitely do just that for the program. The recruiting this should promote will be phenomenal as will the ability for students to jump on the train to catch a game. 


They're also going to benefit from AHA expanding their scholarship base to compete with the larger conferences nationally. That combined with a shiny new facility like this one should do wonders for their imagine.

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