When it opened in 1996, the KeyBank Center (Formerly First Niagara Center) replaced the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium as the home of the National Hockey League Buffalo Sabres. Previously known as the Marine Midland Arena and then the HSBC Arena, the First Niagara Center is situated overlooking Lake Erie and cost over $127 million to construct. Located in downtown Buffalo, the First Niagara Center is the largest of Western New Yorkâs indoor arenas.
Today, the First Niagara Center is a great way to enjoy live NHL action with Buffalo Sabres tickets and to catch the games of the National Lacrosse League Buffalo Bandits. The First Niagara Center can seat more than 19,000 fans. The exact seating capacity is 19,070, a number to honor the founding of the Buffalo Sabres team in 1970.
The First Niagara Center hosts NHL Buffalo Sabres hockey games and NLL Buffalo Bandits games as well as other sporting events, concerts, ice shows, and family shows. The arena has hosted several National Collegiate Athletic Association Menâs Basketball Championships and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournaments. The arena also hosted the 2003 Final Four NCAA Ice Hockey tournament. A number of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) events have been held at the First Niagara Center, including both live shows and recordings.
The First Niagara Center features state-of-the-art upgrades to its display and sound systems. The arena is fitted with LED ribbon boards, a high definition scoreboard, updated speakers, and two lit Buffalo Sabres logos on the upper level. All televisions in the arena were replaced with high definition televisions, including those in the restrooms. Additional arena upgrades include a new Buffalo Sabres locker room that is twice the size of the previous one, expanded away team locker room space, new couching offices, and a fitness center.?
Getting There and Getting In
Parking & Directions The First Niagara is located just off of I-190 at One Seymour H. Knox III Plaza. Simply take I-190 to Exit 5/Hamburg Street to Perry Street or Exit 6/Elm Street to Seneca Street and turn onto Michigan Street to reach the arena.? Parking is available in four surface lots between Perry Street and South Park Avenue. Suite holders and Level 200 Club Seat season ticket holders have access to reserved parking in the First Niagara Center Parking Ramp. Season ticket holders have the option of purchasing full-season reserved parking. Accessible parking is available near all entrances with elevator access to all Levels. Additional parking is available in private and public lots near the arena.
Guests can also take public transit to the arena. The Special Events station of the Buffalo Metro Rail serves the First Niagara Center before and after events. The Special Events station is located on Main Street and Perry Street. The Buffalo Metro Rail, run by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), makes several stops along Main Street between the University at Buffalo and the First Niagara Center.