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Location DB > United States > New York > Buffalo > Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
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 Database Info
created by nightbird on 4/29/2007 2:44 PM
last modified by Shawn W. on 9/4/2009 1:29 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
404,000 sq ft multi-use arena
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: It's gone, so it can't be accessed, except in memories.
Recommendation: There's nothing left to see, but it was sure worth it while it was around.
 Physical Information

Buffalo, New York
United States
Owner: City of Buffalo
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • rust
  • unsafe flooring
  • flooding
  • water
  •  Interesting Features
    The arena, the locker rooms, ticket booths, firetrucks, aud club, offices. Pretty much everything.
     Security Measures
  • locked gates
  • welded doors
  • wooden boarding
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1939
    Closed: 1996
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • breathing mask
  •  Recommended Equipment
    camera, gloves
    During the mid-1930's, the federal government pumped public works dollars into the national economy in an effort to put a halt to the Great Depression. Employment and construction programs spurred municipal projects across the country. In Buffalo, one such project was the replacement of the aging Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo's only convention hall. The cornerstone was laid on November 30, 1939. Located between Lower Terrace and Lake Streets, the $2,700,000 Arena stands at one end of what was once the Erie Canal in the oldest section of Buffalo. Opening ceremonies for the 422' by 262' auditorium with its 12,280-tiered red, blue and gray-colored seats and 2,000-3,000 floor-level moveable seats was held on October 14, 1940. A parade and 3,000-person luncheon was held at the Auditorium. The affair was described as one of the largest civic celebrations ever held in Buffalo. The Aud was formally dedicated in memory of those who had died in World War combat.

    Memorial Auditorium became the center of entertainment for Buffalo. In the first seven months, events drew over one million spectators. Locals flocked to the Aud to see concerts, political rallies, dog shows, circuses, ice shows and sporting events.

    It hosted the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL from 1970-1996, the Buffalo Braves of the NBA from 1970-1978, the Buffalo Stallions of the MISL, the Buffalo Stampede and the Buffalo Wings of RHI, the Buffalo Bandits of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League, the Buffalo Blizzard of NPSL and the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League from 1940 to 1970.

    An $8.7 million renovation took place for the 1970 inauguration of the Sabres and Braves franchises. The roof of the old arena was removed, an upper "orange level" was added, and a new roof was built above it. This raised the total capacity of the arena to about 18,000 for basketball and 16,433 for hockey.

    The renovations preserved the arena for another two and a half decades, but the Sabres moved out after the 1995-96 season, moving across the street to the Marine Midland Arena (now HSBC Arena). It was the last arena in which the ice sheet fell short of the league-mandated 200 ft. by 85 ft. size (though Maple Leaf Gardens still had irregularly shaped corners).

    In the years since its closing, the building has remained closed to the public although Buffalo's Studio Arena Theatre was at times allowed to use the large floor surface to paint backgrounds for its productions. During the 2001-02 season, Sabres officials and the city of Buffalo entered the building to relocate some items from the main concourse of the Aud to HSBC Arena, including a sign for the "Old Aud's Pub" which was re-incarnated by popular demand. During a Versus television broadcast from HSBC Arena during the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the inside of the Aud was shown and the video showed that the seating bowl and arena floor have remained virtually untouched. Most notably, the advertisements that were on the boards during the final Sabres game in 1996 were still present and the scoreboard hanging above center ice remained in the rafters.
     Media Coverage
    Buffalo Auditorium memory montage:
     Future Plans
    For the last few years plans were in the works to renovate the Aud and re-purpose it as a Bass Pro Shops store, however on March 29, 2007 these plans were officially abandoned. Instead it was announced that Bass Pro will build a new building on the Buffalo waterfront near the old Aud. The Aud is now planned for demolition. Although there is no scheduled date for the demolition it is expected to cost 10 million dollars

    After touring the location, I can't see how Bass Pro ever seriously considered taking over the building. To be demolished.

    Edit 2/27/08: Bass Pro plans are on again, except instead of re-use, they're demolishing it. The fire trucks have been removed, along with some other equipment, and contracts have been signed for the removal of the asbestos and other materials, slated to begin in Spring/Summer 2008. The project is supposedly on a fast track, but we'll have to wait and see. Undetermined work had already begun around Fall 2007. It is unknown whether said work has been completed.

    Edit 9/27/08: The outer walls of the building are being stripped away bit by bit, and the Aud Club windows have been totally sealed. The entire Aud is fenced off, and construction equipment is all around the building. The dasher boards and some of the seats have been removed, and will be up for auction in November 2008. The end of The Aud is nigh.

    Edit 11/14/08: Aud Club windows were unsealed sometime in October for unknown reasons. According to Channel 4 (WIVB) News, demo is apparently scheduled for early December, but may not go off as planned due to the demo contractor wanting to renegotiate its' deal with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, likely due in part to the plummeting value of steel, of which it was supposed to salvage plenty during/after the demo, and the ECHDC balking at the renegotiation request.

    A "Farewell to the Aud" event and an auction of Aud items, mostly blue level seats, is happening November 15 and 16, 2008, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, and an online seat and dasherboard auction will begin Monday, November 17th at 8pm and conclude on Monday, November 24th at 8pm.

    Edit 9/3/09: As of probably a month ago, the last remaining section was taken down, so aside from possibly part of the foundation, it's completely gone. Now, we're left with a nice, big patch of dirt, until developers build something on it as part of the redevelopment of Buffalo's Inner Harbor area.

    Add your own story
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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 9/4/2009 1:55 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Sep 4 09 at 1:55, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Sep 4 09 at 1:29, Shawn W. changed the following: Status, Accessibility, Recommendation, Future Plans
  • on Nov 14 08 at 22:57, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Nov 14 08 at 17:12, Shawn W. changed the following: Future Plans
  • on Sep 27 08 at 18:56, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Sep 27 08 at 6:40, Shawn W. changed the following: Accessibility, Future Plans
  • on Jul 31 08 at 5:04, SaraBellum validated this location
  • on Jul 31 08 at 2:41, Roadwolf updated gallery Roadwolf's Gallery
  • on Jul 31 08 at 2:40, Roadwolf created a new gallery
  • on Feb 29 08 at 2:30, Emperor Wang validated this location
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