Pegula Sports and Entertainment owns the arena’s main sports tenant, the Rochester Americans (AHL), as well as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Pegula Sports and Entertainment also manages several of the venues associated with these teams, including Buffalo’s KeyBank Center, HarborCenter and New Era Field. So a move to manage Blue Cross Arena is not outside of the firm’s area of expertise. Right now the deal is an interim one running through Dec. 31, and Warren wants to see talks about a permanent extension. From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE) will take over all aspects of Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial operations, including concessions, ticketing, booking, and negotiating tenant agreements. PSE will pay the city $5,000 monthly rent. The agreement has yet to be finalized and was not released, but officials said it mirrors past terms with SMG, before the city assumed the financial risk with the present agreement and paid SMG a management fee.
What the new management means for existing SMG employees, for vendors and for tenants like the Rochester Knighthawks and RazorSharks was not immediately clear….
The city estimated the new deal would represent a taxpayer savings of $200,000 or more over the five-month period, according to legislation sent to City Council. As part of the agreement, the city will relinquish any revenue from suite sales and scoreboard sponsorship but continue to collect ticket surcharges.
The move comes after Rochester severed ties with SMG as arena manager, citing underperformance despite a city subsidy.