Buffalo, NY (WBEN) HARBORCenter's ice rinks have a new home. Canisius College's hockey team will play its home games at the facility starting next year.
“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, 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.”
The deal could have an impact on the HARBORcenter's other tenant, a 205-room Marriott hotel.
Canisius will host teams from out of state including Connecticut and Robert Morris. Koelmel says that he hopes visiting teams will choose to stay at the HARBORcenter. "We certainly would expect that the facilities we have to offer would be of interest" Koelmel said. "Whether it's (cost) relevant for a hockey budget and for hocket teams is to be determined, but we want them to benefit from the full experience of the facility."