BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black met with the press, Tuesday afternoon to announce new arena naming rights.
The naming rights for the arena will change immediately from HSBC Arena to First Niagara Center.
First Niagara has cut a deal with the Buffalo Sabres for an undisclosed amount of money. The HSBC Arena building is owned by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, however when Terry Pegula bought the Sabres he was granted the exclusive rights to manage and control the building.
The new logo and lettering for the building still has to be created, but the naming rights will change Thursday, according to News 4 sources.
First Niagara will also become the official bank of the Buffalo Sabres, First Niagara's 15-year agreement with the Sabres also includes category exclusivity in the facility's bowl, other interior and exterior signage and branding, exclusive on-site ATM presence, television and other value-added promotional benefits.
>> watch the full press conference announcement at the end of this story
"We are excited to partner with the Pegula family and a team that not only shares our love for the Buffalo Niagara region, but our commitment to creating a winning franchise that attracts top talent and serves as a source of pride for Western New York," First Niagara President and Chief Executive Officer John R. Koelmel said.
"First Niagara's investment ensures this downtown landmark and home of Buffalo's beloved Sabres remains named for a company with deep roots in Western New York. HSBC's cooperation in transitioning the naming rights was instrumental to our reaching this agreement, and we're honored that they are entrusting First Niagara with a legacy that stretches back to the team's founding more than four decades ago," Koelmel continued.
The arena is currently undergoing millions of dollars in renovation and remodeling costs , and the new naming rights deal may help to defray those costs.
The arena was named Marine Midland Arena, and in 1999 took the name HSBC Arena.
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