ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Mayor Lovely Warren spoke for many people on Friday.
“This right here is a game changer for us.”
Pegula Sports and Entertainment announced a temporary deal with the city of Rochester at City Hall Friday, taking over operations at the Blue Cross Arena from previous management, SMG.
The sports management company owns the Buffalo Bills and Sabres and the Rochester Americans.
“We want to do everything we can to make it a first class, a positive experience, and a quality experience, every time you come through the doors,” said Rob Minter of the Rochester Americans and PSE.
PSE will be in charge of operating all aspects of the arena, including concessions, security and booking. In exchange for managing the Blue Cross Arena, they will have to pay the city of Rochester $5,000 a month in rent.
According to Mayor Warren, that is a $200-300,000 benefit annually for taxpayers.
“We have great plans in the works and we are excited of about what’s yet to come,” she said.
The interim agreement between the city and PSE will start in August and end in December, until both sides can come up with a longer term deal.
The arena needs work — evidenced by a March 2017 report that the Pegulas were considering moving the Rochester Amerks hockey franchise due to the state of the BCA.
The New York State Legislature approved $10 million in funding for arena upgrades in 2016, but lawmakers were hoping to get additional state money to upgrade the aging concert and sports venue.