For the third time in less than 15 years, the  18,690-seat home of the Buffalo Sabres has been re-named. The major announcement came Thursday afternoon. The former Crossroads Arena, Marine Midland Arena, and HSBC Arena will now be known as the First Niagara Center.

“We are excited to partner with the Pegula family and a team that not only shares our love for the Buffalo
Niagara region, but our commitment to creating a winning franchise that attracts top talent and serves as a
source of pride for Western New York,” First Niagara President and Chief Executive Officer John R.
Koelmel said. “First Niagara’s investment ensures this downtown landmark and home of Buffalo’s
beloved Sabres remains named for a company with deep roots in Western New York.”

Calling the deal “the most significant sports sponsorship agreement in Western New York history,” Ted
Black, President -- Buffalo Sabres, added that this sponsorship agreement is “a marriage of the two hottest
brands in the entire Western New York region.”

Many WNY observers welcome the news of having a local brand identified with the hometown team.