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How would the Sabres benefit from a new arena?

They could offer many money-making amenities, including luxury suites, premium seating, scoreboard and concourse advertising and convenient concession stands.

What benefits would fans enjoy?

More comfortable seats. Instant replay scoreboards. Easier access to seats. More restrooms. More concession areas offering a greater variety of food, drink and novelties.

What other advantages would a new arena offer over the Aud?

It would be air-conditioned. Its design would make it easier to stage concerts. It would have bigger locker rooms and better training facilities for athletes. It would have better broadcast and press facilities. It might include restaurants, athletic clubs and other entertainment spots.

How many seats would it have?

The Sabres want 18,000 to 20,000, up from 16,433 in Memorial Auditorium.

How much would an arena cost?

The going rate is $3,500 to $4,000 per seat, which means $63 million to $80 million at current prices, depending on the seating size. The price would be higher if parking ramps or other infrastructure improvements are required.

How are new arenas being financed?

A handful are being built entirely with tax money, but the trend is for teams to foot some or all of the bill.

What other National Hockey League teams want new arenas?

Most of the new arenas built are home to basketball teams, although they can also accommodate hockey. Only the Chicago Black Hawks are committed to building a new auditorium. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Quebec Nordiques are all studying the feasibility of new rinks.

How long would it take to plan and build an arena here?

About three years, once a decision is made to build it.

When will a decision be made and who will make it?

The onus is on the Sabres, Mayor Griffin and the Common Council, but the county and state are expected to play a role, and a commission might be created to deal with sports facilities throughout the region. It could take a year or longer to reach a decision.

Where would a new arena be located?

A downtown location near Memorial Auditorium is prefered by team and many government officials.

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