While virtually all 17 NHL venues built during the league's building boom in the mid-1990s have undergone or are in the process of undergoing major renovation, Buffalo's KeyBank Center remains largely as it was when it was built.
Buffalo News columnist Mike Harrington outlined the situation at the arena in today's cover story.
So we asked our audience: What renovations do you think need to be done?
Can't help but think that $50m figure is low in terms of what needs to be done and what they could do to bring the arena up to par with buildings around the league
— Chris Ostrander (@2ITB_Buffalo) April 4, 2018
Some just want the arena to be cleaner:
They definitely don’t look at the arena themselves and turn the other way. Crumbling concrete, busted seats, worn paint, graffiti and just plain dirt is in all corners of the arena. Get that right first then renovate. #sabres
— Lenny Stubbe (@lastubbe) April 4, 2018
Brandon Anderson: Biggest issue is the cleanliness. When you walk up to your seat in pregame and there's a 4-day old puddle of Pepsi and nachos grinded into the floor... you don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Tony Todaro: Are people crazy???? Other than minor cosmetic details, this place is still in great shape and has many years of use left. Repairing seats, scrubbing the floors, adding brighter lighting in areas, paint work here and there... anything that needs attention is basically wear and tear from use. It’s not like it’s falling apart. On a serious note, The Buffalo News, maybe Pegula Sports Entertainment should reconsider DNC’s contract and go with a company like the one at the new Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta that actually sells concessions at a reasonable price instead of highway robbery!
Patrick Sweeney: It just needs to be cleaner. It's really not that complicated. Hire hard working, competent people and pay them livable wages, and the fan experience will improve.
Others want better concessions:
Thomas L. Ploetz: I agree a good cleaning and some painting would go along way. The restrooms stink. Get some concessions that are reasonable.
It’s time to over haul the concessions. Bring in local restaurants to run a few of them and offer their specialities....
You would think they could sell wings?
— Kenith 🏒🏈⚾️⚽️🍺 (@KCzech17) April 4, 2018
Others want better music:
I know everyone wanted more organ music BUT PLEASE don’t have the organ play right before they come out. That doesn’t pump up ANYBODY. The music, lasers and video montage should shake the arena right before they hit the ice....
— Henry J Szymula III (@SzymulaIii) April 4, 2018
Some want better lighting:
Although they have improved the lighting its still needs more illumination particularly since the arena does not look bright enough when shown on NHL highlight channels. They need to copy Montreal or Toronto lighting technology
— Bill N (@williamkevin24) April 4, 2018
But most we heard from want the Sabres to win:
Alexis Banks: They could start by selling a winning product.
Don Erb: Let’s put a winning team on the ice. I think the building is fantastic. It could be kept cleaner during games.
Joel Craig: Recently attended a Panther game in Florida. The concourses were very much brighter and things were updated. You had the idea that there was life there! A winning team changes everything. Bring back the Aud days where people were entertained by the game, not by everything else.
Nick Duquette: A good team would make everyone forget about the old building.
Or for the Sabres to bring back the Aud:
Joseph Carey: No issues with Key Bank Arena here, other than the name.
22 years later and I still miss the AUD. If they ever tore down this building I would care less.
— Kevin 🏈🏒🍺 (@kdogg7775) April 4, 2018
For those nostalgic about Memorial Auditorium, stroll down memory lane with photos of The Aud from our archives:
What other upgrades do you want to the KeyBank Center? Add your thoughts in the comment section.