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Party and Parking Info for Sabres Home Opener

(WBEN) The Buffalo Sabres "Party in The Plaza" returns to kick off the first home game of the 2013-14 season, with food, drink, and live music in front of First Niagara Center tonight- and a few road closures that may be unfamiliar to fans.

The Sabres will celebrate  the team’s home opener against Ottawa with pre-game festivities outside from 4:30-6:30 p.m.  Local bands  will include  "the Informers," and there will be a range of fan activities on Seymour Knox Plaza.

The game  tonight against the Ottawa Senator could bring people down to downtown for the first time since construction began on the HarborCenter project across the street from First Niagara Center.   SEE MORE ON TRAFFIC CONCERNS BELOW

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On The WBEN Liveline

Sabres VP Mike Gilbert

Harbor Center Pres. John Koelmel

In the season opener at Detroit Wednesday, Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson scored 36 seconds apart midway through the first period and Detroit beat the  Sabres 2-1.

Inside the arena, fans will be given  light up bracelets that will flash for the duration of the game and be part of special pre-game activities.

"It's a motion activated wristband and there's a little bit of a light on the wristband, so when you clap your hands this light will illuminate. Before the game the lights will come down and people will be asked to put these wristbands on, it will be part of our pre-game show," says Sabres VP Mike Gilbert.

Some giant transparent screens will also be used in the First Niagara Center as part of the special lights display.

"We think the action inside the bowl will be pretty new and exciting  and we are asking fans to come down a little early and get in their seats before the game," Gilbert says.

SEE: Pictures of HARBORcenter construction
and new First Niagara Center signage:

Click on each picture above to go through
the album page by page, or CLICK HERE
to see it in a larger format.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early to ensure easy entrance into the arena.

A pregame handout will also be distributed to fans as they are admitted into the game.

Traffic will be restricted to one lane northbound (away from arena) on Washington Street and one lane southbound (toward arena) on Main Street. 

The massive rink, hotel and sports bar project is nearly 25 percent finished, and currently stands over 32 feet tall in front of the arena.  Harbor Center President John Koelmel says that the project will be the centerpiece of Buffalo's Waterfront transformation.

"We want people to appreciate it as much more than a sexy, sizzly construction project" Koelmel said. "This is the beginning and the foundation for what will be an incredible outcome."

Koelmel says that the project is on schedule to open the ice rinks, restaurant, and parking next fall. A 205-room Marriott hotel will open in the spring of 2015.

Here's the announcement and some travel advice the team put out earlier
before the first home pre-season game. The same traffic conditions apply Friday night.

In  anticipation of the first home preseason games of the 2013-14 season, the Buffalo Sabres are reminding fans about the limited traffic patterns surrounding First Niagara Center due to the construction of HARBORcenter.

As a result of the construction, vehicular traffic is limited to one lane northbound (away from arena) on Washington Street and one lane southbound (toward arena) on Main Street. While there have been and will continue to be temporary road closures, no closures are currently planned during arena events.

All normal event parking – in both the arena ramp and the surrounding surface lots – will remain open.

Fans that plan on visiting First Niagara Center while the limited traffic routes are in effect should plan on using Michigan Avenue instead of Washington Street. It is strongly suggested that fans plan ahead and leave extra time for traveling to and from the arena.

During First Niagara Center events, the Buffalo Police Department Traffic Division will control all affected intersections and will direct traffic accordingly.


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Locations : BuffaloDetroitOttawa
People : John KoelmelMikael SamuelssonMike GilbertPavel Datsyuk
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