Pegula Sports and Entertainment
|Industry||Professional sports, property management, entertainment|
199 Scott St #200,
Buffalo, New York
|Western New York|
|Kim Pegula, President & CEO|
|Products||Professional sports teams, sports venues, sports channels, music, restaurants|
|Subsidiaries||Hockey Western New York LLC|
Rochester Knighthawks (purchase pending)
Black River Entertainment
MSG Western New York
New Era Field
Blue Cross Arena
Pegula Sports & Entertainment (PSE) is an American sports and entertainment holding company based in Buffalo, New York. The company was established after Terrence Pegula and his family combined their sports, property and entertainment assets into one parent company. The company's assets most notably include the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League, the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women's Hockey League, the Buffalo Bandits and the Rochester Knighthawks in 2020 of the National Lacrosse League, and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.
The company is largely operated by Kim Pegula as president and CEO.
In 2011, following the liquidation of assets from his East Resources natural gas company, Pegula purchased the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bandits from former owners Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn taking control of their holding company Hockey Western New York, LLC for $189 million. On May 17, 2011, Pegula purchased the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League from the Rochester Sports Group that had previously owned the team and reaffiliated the Americans with the Sabres on June 24 of that year. Pegula purchased the Americans for US$5 million.
In 2014, Terry and Kim Pegula placed the winning bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills, beating out a stalking-horse bid from Donald Trump and a bid led by Jon Bon Jovi backed by owners of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. The $1.4 billion, all-cash purchase was the highest price in NFL history to that point. The Bills had come up for sale earlier in the year after the team's founding owner, Ralph Wilson, died.
Pegula Sports & Entertainment acquired the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women's Hockey League in December 2017. While not the first or only NHL owner to partner with an NWHL team (the New Jersey Devils and later the Minnesota Wild also had affiliation agreements), the Pegulas' purchase of the Beauts was the first time any outside investor had purchased a team in what is otherwise a single-entity league; all the other teams are centrally owned and operated.
In 2018, Pegula Sports & Entertainment reached an agreement to purchase the intellectual property of the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League in autumn 2019. Rochester Sports Group owner Curt Styres orchestrated the sale as he planned on moving his staff and roster to a new Halifax NLL team set to debut in the winter of 2020; the NLL does not have restrictions on ownership groups owning multiple teams (as it is, the Bandits are owned primarily by Terry, while Kim, a Rochester native, will have a larger role in operations over the Knighthawks).
Pegula Sports and Entertainment operates Black River Entertainment, an independent country music label. The label features such acts as Kelsea Ballerini and Craig Morgan as well as the related Black River Publishing and Sound Stage Studio all under the Black River label based in Nashville, Tennessee.
The company has control over the Western New York subchannel of the regional sports network MSG known as MSG Western New York which is on occasion also credited as Pegula Sports Network. The channel broadcasts all regional Buffalo Sabres games and Sabres content as well as Buffalo Bills content, local Buffalo radio sports show simulcasts, select Rochester Americans games, and high school football along with special programming. The channel replaced the main MSG channel in 2016 on all cable systems across Western New York.
PSE also owns PicSix Creative which serves as the company's in-house marketing, design, production and communications services firm. PicSix also accepts work from outside clients.
The company is the owner and operator of Harborcenter, a $250 million hockey-themed building, which is anchored by the two rinks, a large parking garage, retail, restaurants including a Sabres themed Tim Hortons and a Marriott hotel. The building mostly opened in November 2014 with the rinks, restaurants and parking garage was fully completed and fully opened in August 2015 with the completion and opening of the hotel and retail.
The company is also the arena manager of KeyBank Center which is connected to Harborcenter. Since taking over management PSE has made many arena upgrades. After the 2011–12 Buffalo Sabres season, 380 seats were added to the arena, mainly as an additional row in the 200 level, to raise the arena's capacity to 19,070. This number is symbolic of the founding of the Sabres in 1970. In 2013, it was announced that all 80 luxury suites would be renovated over a three-year period. All suites now feature the Sabres blue and gold color scheme, 50" televisions, new carpeting, new furniture and gathering islands. Construction began on this project in July 2013. In 2016, a new LED lighting system was installed and allowed the arena to provide better lighting while significantly reducing the number of light fixtures needed and reducing energy consumption.
As part of the company's purchase of the Buffalo Bills, the team took over as a manager of the team's Orchard Park stadium. Pegula overturned a longstanding policy of predecessor Ralph Wilson's and sold the naming rights to the stadium to New Era Cap Company, naming the stadium New Era Field. Pegula also brought stadium rock concerts back to the stadium after over a decade of absence.
On April 25, 2017, it was announced that Labatt USA and PSE had partnered on a project to develop the Pegula owned 79 Perry Street in the Cobblestone district in Buffalo into a mixed use facility to include a small test brewery called the "Labatt House", a restaurant called "The Draft Room" as well as retail, commercial and residential space. Labatt relocated its U.S. headquarters from Fountain Plaza to the building's second floor and PSE will move its headquarters to the building's third and fourth floor. The restaurant, brew house and Labatt USA headquarters opened in November 2018, with the rest of the building to be completed in 2019. Bakery 55, a Pegula-owned baked goods provider, opened in the Labatt building in December 2018.
Also under the Pegula umbrella is IMPACT Performance Cycle & Yoga, two high performance athletic training facilities which are based in Boca Raton, Florida and Harborcenter in Buffalo. The Pegulas own retail merchandiser ADPRO Sports which was acquired from former majority owner Ron Raccuia on August 21, 2017. In addition PSE operates 716 Food and Sport, a two floor sports themed restaurant which serves as the main business tenant of Harborcenter; another Pegula-operated restaurant is Healthy Scratch, a brand owned and operated by the Pegulas' daughters, Kelly and Jessica Pegula.
The company also controls and manages the brand One Buffalo, a brand created by Kim Pegula after the 2014 purchase of the Buffalo Bills by the Pegulas. Through a partnership with Southern Tier Brewing Company, PSE launched a "One Buffalo" branded craft beer that sells at all Pegula-owned properties and elsewhere in the region. The One Buffalo brand has also been extended to a flavor of Perry's Ice Cream and premium cupcakes, both formulated by Kim Pegula, a pronounced fan of desserts.
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