Despite Detroit’s claim to the title, Buffalo can make a pretty good case for being designated “Hockeytown, U.S.A.” ESPN The Magazine ranked the Buffalo Sabres No. 1 in their Big 4 professional sports franchises “Ultimate Standings” poll for “giving fans the most back for the emotion, money and time they invest in their teams.”
At the 18,500 seat First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo, the highflying National Hockey League action is matched by one of the best fan experiences in sports. You’ve come to watch hockey? Buffalo is the place!
Situated in downtown Buffalo between high-rise office buildings and the Erie Canal Harbor, First Niagara Center is easily accessible from the New York State Thruway and by the Metro Rail line.
Out-of-town hockey fans will find that downtown Buffalo’s hotels make attending a Buffalo Sabres game a hassle-free affair. For an upscale and stylish stay, make reservations at The Mansion on Delaware Avenue, Buffalo Niagara’s only AAA rated Four Diamond hotel. Both the Hyatt Regency Buffalo and the Comfort Suites have Metro Rail stops adjacent to their hotels – all you have to do is jump onboard the train and you are dropped off at the front door of the FNC...for FREE! The Adam’s Mark is a full-service hotel, located a short walk or shuttle ride to the Center. Other nearby accommodations include the Hampton Inn & Suites, the Holiday Inn Downtown, the Embassy Suites Buffalo, the Hotel @ The Lafayette and the Best Western Inn on the Avenue.
The blocks surrounding the First Niagara Center contain an abundance of outstanding eating and drinking establishments. Set in a 19th century three-story brick building, the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery is a favorite gathering spot before and after games. The establishment brews its own ales and serves up large dishes of scrumptious pub food. Pettibone’s, located inside Coca-Cola Field, home of the AAA baseball Buffalo Bisons, is a nice addition to a sporting evening. The Irish Times is also a great option for pre-event dining. A block away from the Center is the Cobblestone District, a mix of late 19th and early 20th century brick buildings and cobblestone streets. The Cobblestone Bar and Lagerhaus 95 are the closest nearby watering holes. Operating as a corner tavern since 1882, the Swannie House is located two blocks from the Center and once served as a boarding house for Great Lakes ship captains and crews
If you have time before a game, stop and visit the First Niagara Center’s neighbors, Canalside, the recently restored western terminus of the Erie Canal, and the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, the largest inland floating history museum in the United States. A shoreline walking path will take you from the naval grounds to the Erie Basin Marina Gardens and an 80-foot observation tower. From the top of the tower are panoramic views of downtown Buffalo, Lake Erie, the Niagara River and the Canadian shore.
Welcome to Buffalo, the new Hockeytown, U.S.A. It’s FAN-tastic!