Amerks playing in front of a sold out crowd in Buffalo
The Buffalo Sabres and the city of Rochester have been negotiating a new lease for the Amerks and Blue Cross Arena. The two sides have been operating on year by year leases, and the Sabres have said they want a long term one. Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the Sabres said during winter lease talks that they considered moving half of the teams games to Buffalo.
Rochester's mayor Lovely Warren stated publicly that they were not going to allow that to happen. The team and the city have been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and the Sabres seem to be expressing concern. Ted Black and the Sabres met with Warren and the city to discuss upgrades to Blue Cross Arena. The Sabres said they want to keep all games in Rochester, but that moving half of games to Buffalo is an option.
If the Sabres feel at some point that it is beneficial to move half of games to Buffalo, and they do it, and it works out, might they believe internally that it makes sense to move all games to Buffalo? Half relocating a team is weird and researching, I could not find another case of it. Being in Buffalo gives the team a bigger market, but also makes them share the spot light with the Sabres, rather than get all the attention in Rochester. Toronto has had the Marlies in the same city as the Maple Leafs, and it has worked out. So, it could work.
From a fans perspective in Buffalo, it would be cool to have the Sabres farm team playing right here in the same city. While Rochester is not very far, it is hard to drive an hour and a half often to watch the Amerks. However, I know what the Amerks mean to the city of Rochester. They have been there for about 60 years and are the 4th oldest team in the AHL. They have history and that history has taken place in Rochester. I would never wish upon a fan base to lose its team, especially a city we feel for here in Buffalo. I would not vote for the Sabres moving the Amerks games out of Rochester. I think the system they have now of playing 1 or 2 games a year in Buffalo is all we need.