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HarborCenter dec2014.JPG
HarborCenter December 2014
General information
Status Complete
Type Stadium, Commercial, Hotel
Architectural style Postmodern architecture
Location Webster Block, Buffalo, NY, USA
Coordinates 42°52′36″N 78°52′36″W / 42.87664°N 78.876686°W / 42.87664; -78.876686Coordinates: 42°52′36″N 78°52′36″W / 42.87664°N 78.876686°W / 42.87664; -78.876686
Construction started March 1, 2013
Completed October/November 2014 (Restaurants/Rinks/Training Facility)
August 2015 (hotel)
Opening October 31, 2014 / November 6, 2014
Cost US$ 172.2 million (est)
Owner Buffalo Sabres, Terrence Pegula
Management John Koelmel (president)[1]
Technical details
Floor count 20[2]
Floor area 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architecture firm Populous
Developer HarborCenter Development, LLC
Main contractor Mortenson Construction
Other information
Number of rooms Hotel: 205 rooms
Parking 750 spaces
Official website
HarborCenter "The Rinks"
First Niagara Rink at HARBORCENTER
(Rink 1)
Location 7th Floor
Owner Terrence Pegula
Operator Buffalo Sabres
Capacity 1,800 (Rink 1)
150 (Rink 2)
Surface 200' x 85' (Rinks 1 and 2)
Broke ground March 1, 2013
Opened October 31, 2014
Canisius Golden Griffins Hockey Team (NCAA)
Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL)
Erie Community College Kats Hockey Team (NJCAA)
Buffalo Beauts (NWHL)
Academy of Hockey
Buffalo Sabres (NHL) practice facility

HarborCenter is a hockey-themed mixed-use development in Buffalo, New York. The building occupies a full 1.7 acre city block formerly known as the Webster Block, directly across from and connected to the First Niagara Center and the Erie Canal Harbor or "Canal Side".[3] The building is also located near the southern terminus of the Erie Canal Harbor (Metro Rail) station. The building is part of an overall effort to improve the Buffalo Waterfront.


The beginning concept for the building, specifically the dual ice rinks and parking garage combo came after Buffalo Sabres chief development officer Cliff Benson led a group of team officials to Washington, DC to view the Washington Capitals practice facility, the Kettler Capitals Iceplex.[4] The complex, which is built on top of a parking garage, has seating for 1,200, a training center, proshop, and is home to many area teams. This trip helped the group form their ideas. Originally just planned to be two hockey rinks on top of a parking garage, The hotel and restaurant concepts were later added to the plan by Terry Pegula's wife, Kim Pegula.[5]

Construction of the 20-story HarborCenter began in March 2013,[6] the same month the Webster Block was purchased from the City of Buffalo for $2.2 million.[7] The building is being built by Mortenson Construction with ICON Venue Group serving as the project manager.[8] The building's hockey rink portion topped out on June 25, 2014, as the last structural beam for the hotel was put into place. Building construction was completed on the whole building in August of 2015.[9] The rinks and restaurants opened on October 31 and November 6, 2014. The hotel opened on August 27, 2015.[10][11]


HarborCenter was financed by Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula.[12] The building contains indoor parking for 750 vehicles, and features two NHL regulation indoor ice rinks on the building's seventh floor, one with an 1,800-seat capacity and the other with a 150-seat capacity. IMPACT Sports Performance owned by the Pegulas operates HARBORCENTER’s 5,000 square foot, high performance off-ice training facility located on the buildings 6th floor. The building also contains a classroom and RapidShot Hockey Training System.

The development is one of the most expensive for any privately funded single building in the city of Buffalo history. The project is designed to achieve LEED certification, with a goal of LEED Silver. The building was pledged by Pegula and others involved upon obtaining the property to open at the time by September 2014 making it one of the faster projects in the area.

Commercial Tenants[edit]

The building contains a 205-room full service Marriott International hotel operated by Shaner Hotels, plus retail and restaurant space.[13] A two floor 716 Food and Sport restaurant, built in design much like Real Sports Bar and Grill in Maple Leaf Square in Toronto opened on October 31, 2014. Also, HarborCenter features a flagship Tim Hortons that pays tribute to Tim Horton, the Buffalo Sabres, and the former Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. [14] The restaurant opened on October 30, 2014. A Statue of Tim Horton was dedicated across the street the same day. The building also contains a pro shop.

Buffalo based New Era Cap Company offers cap customization within The Rinks.[15]

The building also has storefronts along Main Street for smaller street front tenants which are expected to be leased out. The first store that will open is Red Siren, which is a women's specialty store. It will feature gifts, jewelry, leather and clothing not currently found in the Buffalo area. Red Siren is expected to open in the Summer of 2015, around the time when the Mariott HarborCenter Hotel opens. [16]

In May 2015, it was announced that Advanced Care Physical Therapy will lease space inside Impact Sports Performance, located inside the HarborCenter. This will provide a complete range of sports medicine services to athletes and employees who use the facility. [17] In addition, local businesses Fowler's Chocolates, Clayton's Toys & Gifts, and Modern Nostalgia have filled the remaining retail space. [18]

Hockey Tenants[edit]

The HarborCenter's two ice rinks, known collectively as The Rinks, is the home of the Canisius Golden Griffins, an NCAA Division I college hockey program in Buffalo, and the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.,[19] also make this building their home with both the Griffins and Junior Sabres playing in the larger rink 1 known as First Niagara Rink at HarborCenter with separate dedicated dressing rooms, as will Erie Community College Kats's NJCAA program. The Rinks are also the home to the Academy of Hockey and the HarborCenter Cup as well as serving as the Buffalo Sabres practice facility. The rinks were opened on October 31st, 2014 with the first of back to back games between Canisius and Ohio State which resulted in a 3–3 tie, and games involving the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 16U and 18U teams. The National Women's Hockey League will include a team at HarborCenter, known as the Buffalo Beauts.[20]

On August, 18th 2014, it was announced that the National Hockey League would hold their annual Scouting Combine at HarborCenter in 2015 and 2016 moving the event from Toronto.[21] The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will also be held in Buffalo, with the HarborCenter expected to play a role. According to the league, it is a major reason why Buffalo was chosen for the draft.

The 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships were held at HarborCenter in April and May 2015.

Construction Images[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Epstein, Jonathan (2013-06-06). "Koelmel named president of Sabres HARBORCENTER". Buffalo News. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  2. ^ "MARRIOTT, SHANER HOTELS EXCITED TO PARTNER WITH HARBORCENTER". nhl.com. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Terreri, Jill (February 19, 2013). "HARBORCENTER gets city, state approvals". The Buffalo News. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.wgrz.com/news/article/179714/1/Webster-Block-City-Picks-Sabres-for-Development-in-Downtown-Buffalo
  5. ^ http://www.harborcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/HARBORCENTER-GroundUp.pdf
  6. ^ Terreri, Jill (March 11, 2013). "Streets to close around First Niagara Center". Buffalo News. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ Fink, James (March 8, 2013). "Sabres deeded site of $170M HarborCenter". Buffalo Business First. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Hockey-Themed Mixed-Use Development". ICON Venue Group. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.mortenson.com/company/news-and-insights/2015/harborcenter-completion
  10. ^ http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/local/buffalo/2014/10/13/buffalo-downtown-harborcenter-grand-opening/17230795/
  11. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2015/08/21/harborcenter-marriott-ready-to-open-by-early.html
  12. ^ Fink, James (February 12, 2013). "Sabres say HarborCenter cost rises to $170M". Buffalo Business First. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Hotel Flag Chosen: Marriott Buffalo Harbor Center". Buffalo Rising. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  14. ^ http://buffalorising.com/2014/10/tim-hortons-the-flagship-store-opens/
  15. ^ http://www.harborcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/FINAL-CORPORATE-PARTNERS-110414.pdf
  16. ^ http://www.wgrz.com/story/money/business/2015/03/18/womens-clothing-store-red-siren-to-open-in-harborcenter/24953879/
  17. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2015/05/02/advanced-care-pt-expands-with-new-site-at.html
  18. ^ http://sabres.buffalonews.com/2015/05/19/sabres-identify-last-3-retailers-for-harborcenter-mini-mall/
  19. ^ "Sabres Set To Acquire Land And Minor Hockey Program". Junior Hockey News. Junior Hockey News. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  20. ^ Big plans, big questions for new women's pro hockey league. ESPN. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  21. ^ http://sabres.buffalonews.com/2014/08/18/combine-hit-harborcenter-2015-16/