SABRES' NEW CROSSROADS ARENA GETS GO-AHEAD VOTE
The Buffalo City Common Council voted unanimously yesterday
to release $2.7M to begin immediate construction of the Sabres'
new arena. A "key element" to gain support from black Council
members is an affirmative action agreement allocating 25% of
contracts and jobs to minority and female-owned businesses.
Formal NHL approval is still required for the clause in the
contract that the Sabres remain in Buffalo for 30 years, but
Sabres point man Larry Quinn said the NHL has "basically signed
off on the transaction" (Kevin Collison, BUFFALO NEWS, 10/19).
Council member Gene Fahey: "We have put ourselves in the
position so we won't be Al Davis-ed" (AP/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/19).
TO BE DETERMINED: Lease discussions remain between the city
and Sabres-controlled Crossroads Arena Corp., but city attorney
Arnold Gardner said talks are progressing. The city will receive
$500,000 in annual ground rent and a "share in potential
profits." The city and the team must also negotiate payment of
$11M in infrastructure associated with the arena. Buffalo has
already pledged $10M for the arena and Public Works Commissioner
Joseph Giambra says the infrastructure costs will have to compete
with other city needs. The city has invested $6.5M so far to
purchase land and raze existing buildings. $45M in county and
state funds for the arena are awaiting $67.5M in private
financing (Kevin Collison, BUFFALO NEWS, 10/19).