Another Gateway For The USHL Heading East

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Another Gateway For the USHL Heading East? June 26, 2012 11:03 AM

With the success of the USHL at last weekends draft, rumors are again picking up steam that the USHL will be heading east for expansion within the next 18 to 24 months.

The Buffalo Sabres have proposed building two indoor ice rinks, a hotel and other amenities as part of a plan to develop a prime piece of real estate within walking distance of First Niagara Center. The bid, submitted by Sabres owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, is one of three the city received for redevelopment of a 1.7-acre city-owned parking lot.

Two other proposals were also submitted. Sources within Buffalo have informed TJHN that both of the other proposals also were "hockey related". One proposal was submitted without appropriate funding sources attached, while the other was attached to appropriate funding as well as experience in large project development.

Pegula is without question committed to hockey and the development of players as well as students. His endowment to Penn State University of 88 Million dollars was historic beyond any measure of generosity. The new arena for Penn State will open during the 2012-2013 NCAA season, and the endowment provides funding for the teams student athlete scholarships.

The key provision for the Pegula proposal that lends more fire to the USHL rumor was noted in the Bubbalo News when Michaeal Gilbert, the team’s vice president of public and community relations stated that the arenas would not be a practice facility for the Sabres .

The development would include retail space and a sports bar on the ground level, a 900-space parking garage, two rinks above the garage and a full-service hotel with approximately 200 rooms.

The development proposal projected bringing 500,000 people to the area annually. Let the speculation continue.

Joseph Kolodziej

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