SBJ/March 26 - April 1, 2001/Other News

Buffalo arena gets prep infusion

The Sports Arena at NCAA Division III Buffalo State College has found a secondary niche as a home to high schools.

"For the first time since we opened the facility [in 1991], it has been properly used," said Buffalo State athletic director Jerry Boyes.

In the past few weeks, thousands of people from across the region have streamed to the arena, which holds 3,500 for basketball, to root for public school teams from the state athletic association's Section VI and schools from the Msgr. Martin Athletic Association Catholic school league. Couple that with media coverage and the entire campus receives welcome exposure.

On March 4, an estimated 8,000-plus spectators filed through the Buffalo State Sports Arena for high school hoops and hockey.

It's estimated that at least 3,500 fans turned out March 6 for three Section VI championship games, and another large crowd was in attendance March 9 for the Msgr. Martin's Manhattan Cup title game.

Buffalo State facilities coordinator Terry Beattie said the high schools pay a $120-an-hour fee to cover rent, staffing and security. The high schools retain gate receipts.

Section VI paid almost $12,000 to play its championship games there this year and generated about 21¼2 times the fee in ticket sales.

Ticket costs for Section VI started at $3 and went up to $5 for the finals, while Msgr. Martin charged $5 for its playoff games.

Rick Maloney writes for Business First in Buffalo.

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