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Star lineup to memorialize the Aud Tickets to tribute go on sale today

If it were possible to replicate the legendary voice of Memorial Auditorium public address announcer Milt Ellis in print, it would go something like this: "Ladies and gentlemen, please consult your programs for the starting lineups of next month's tribute weekend to our old Aud."

From the Buffalo Braves: Randy Smith, Ernie DiGregorio and Coach Dolph Schayes.

From the Buffalo Sabres: Rick Martin, Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert, Rob Ray, Mike Robitaille, Grant Ledyard, Darryl Shannon, Larry Playfair, Fred Stanfield, Derek Smith, Craig Muni, Matthew Barnaby, Richie Dunn, Bill Hajt, Ric Seiling and Coach Floyd Smith.

From the Buffalo Bisons hockey team: Gilles Villemure and Guy Trottier.

From the four-time champion Buffalo Bandits: John Tavares and Darris Kilgour.

And, from the Buffalo Stallions and Blizzard soccer teams: goalkeeper Jim May and Rudy Pikuzinski.

Tickets for "Farewell, Old Friend," the final tribute to the Aud, go on sale this morning, organizers announced Friday. The event commemorating the history of the 68-year-old building will be held in the Buffalo Convention Center on Nov. 15 and 16 and include an auction of artifacts.

" 'Farewell, Old Friend' will be a two-day community celebration for sports lovers and the whole family," said Mayor Byron W. Brown.

"We will pay tribute to the history of the Aud and the impact that this remarkable sports venue had on generations of Buffalonians and out-of-towners."

During the auction, fans will be able to bid on the wooden "blues" seats and the rink boards from the Aud, and also will have access to autograph sessions featuring many of the great sports figures who wore Buffalo uniforms.

In all, about 1,800 of the "blues" seats will be available, to be auctioned off in sets of two, three, four and five. During the two-day event, 700 sets of blues will be put on the auction block. About 100 more will be auctioned off online the following week.

" 'Farewell, Old Friend' will give fans of all ages a chance to meet many of the athletes that performed at the Aud, and also to take a piece of the Aud home with them," said Kerry Atkinson, of Showcase Sports Marketing, which will also distribute a commemorative program at the event.

Demolition crews begin tearing down the old showplace in November.

Tickets to the tribute event -- $5 for adults and $3 for students 5 and older -- will be on sale at all Tops Markets locations affiliated with tickets.com and at the Web site: www.audfarewell.com.

Tickets will be available for three different sessions over the two days -- noon to 4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 15, as well as noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 16.

All proceeds from the auction sale will be directed toward creating a public memorial to the Aud near its current site, officials said.

e-mail: tpignataro@buffnews.com

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