It was 20 years ago today that development in the Cobblestone District began with the groundbreaking for the building originally known as Crossroads Arena.
The building's name changed as the face of area banking changed: It went from Crossroads Arena to Marine Midland Arena to HSBC Arena, before settling on First Niagara Center.
Sabres owner Seymour Knox III, team captain Pat LaFontaine and several city and state officials gathered to push gold shovels into dirt near the corner of Washington and South Park.
"It's sort of a climax in a way for a lot of us who have been working on this," said Seymour H. Knox III, chairman and president of the hockey club. "It took us five years to get to this point and it's a very exciting opportunity."