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SABRES AND BUFFALO BEAT THE FREEZE: GROUNDBREAKING GO-AHEAD
Published October 18, 1994
"In practical terms," the Sabres' $122.5M, 20,000 seat Crossroads Arena will begin construction before the ground freezes this year. Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader James Pitts said that $2.7M in early entry money sought by the Sabres has the votes needed for approval at today's Council session. The Sabres were concerned that private financing for the arena would be "doomed" if construction was delayed until spring. The "breakthrough" from city officials was prompted by three "key" agreements reached last week, including: the Sabres' guarantee that the $2.7M will be repaid "if the project fails"; an affirmative action plan for minorities and women in construction as well as arena operations; and, the Sabres' agreement, with the NHL's endorsement, not to relocate the team "for at least" 30 years. The affirmative action plan will contract $24.5M of the work to minority businesses and $6.1M to women-owned businesses. One-quarter of Crossroads jobs will be filled by women and minorities. Also, the Sabres have agreed to cover $1.5M of $22M in infrastructure costs which were not included in the $10M bond that Buffalo sold for the project. The Sabres want the city to explore other sources, such as county and state, to help with infrastructure costs (Kevin Collison, BUFFALO NEWS, 10/17).