Share this article

print logo

Amid financial struggle, ball-drop for New Year’s buoyed by businesses

Fourteen businesses have teamed up with the Buffalo Police Athletic League to sponsor this year’s annual New Year’s Eve ball-drop from downtown’s Electric Tower, after the much-ballyhooed event nearly had to be scrapped because of a lack of funding.

The PAL normally raises $60,000 to pay for the event, but had little success garnering funds this year, prompting concern that the ball-drop might not happen. The PAL has lost money on the event for the last few years.

After learning of the potential problem, Buffalo Place, which manages the downtown core surrounding Main Street, stepped in and teamed up with the city and the PAL to jointly produce the event, said Keith M. Belanger, Buffalo Place chairman. Over two days, the nonprofit business-improvement district’s leaders brought in $65,000, which will be used to cover the costs. Any surplus will go into a reserve fund for future ball-drops, except for the $5,000 that will go to the PAL to support its own events.

“It was amazing,” Belanger said during Buffalo Place’s monthly meeting Wednesday. “There was a lot of peer pressure, but we raised the funds to do it. It’s a cool thing and it’s another example of downtown rallying around an important event and making sure it comes off right.”

Sponsors include the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, Big Ditch Brewing Co., M&T Bank Corp., Western New York Chevy Dealers, Carmina Wood Morris PC, Ciminelli Real Estate Corp., KeyCorp, Ellicott Development, Signature Development Buffalo LLC, WKBW, Uniland Development Co., Frey Electric Co., Avalon Development Co. and Iskalo Development Co., which owns the Electric Tower.