On Terry Pegula’s first day with the Sabres, he and then-President Ted Black insisted Pegula was just a hockey owner. Pegula wasn’t coming to Buffalo to be a city planner or developer.
It’s a good thing that wasn’t true.
Pegula has been the catalyst for a $635 million investment in Canalside. That includes Wednesday’s announcement of a Labatt restaurant and brewery in a Pegula-owned building across from KeyBank Center.
Think about it. Fans can have dinner at the John Labatt House, watch Pegula’s hockey team and follow up the game with drinks at the Pegula-owned 716 Food & Sport. If they have too many beers, the fans can head upstairs to the hotel in the Pegula-built HarborCenter or use Pegula Sports and Entertainment’s One Buffalo app to summon Uber, the ride-sharing company that is a partner with the Pegula-owned Bills and Sabres.
That’s a whole lot of tie-ins for someone who was just going to own a hockey team. That is also a lot of activity in Buffalo. Just imagine what it will be like if – more like when – Pegula builds a football stadium downtown.