By Staff –
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced Thursday that the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial is slated to receive more than $18 million in major renovations with funds from the City, State Governments and Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the new managers of the esteemed venue.
“The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial is a major engine of job creation, tourism and Downtown vibrancy for our city – so any investments we make here are going to really help our economy,” said Mayor Warren. “It is very, very gratifying that our partners in State Government and the new management under the Pegulas understand the value that this facility brings to our city and region. Maintaining a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue in our center city is a critical component in the fight for more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all of Rochester’s citizens.”
Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE) has pledged to invest up to $1.5 million to install a new scoreboard at the Blue Cross Arena (BCA). State Senators Joseph Robach and Richard Funke have also secured $3.5 million in State funding for BCA upgrades.
The Senate funds bring the amount of State funds committed to the BCA to $13 million. Governor Andrew Cuomo has pledged to spend up to $6 million for BCA upgrades under the ROC the Riverway Program, and Rochester Assemblymembers Joseph Morelle, David Gantt and Harry Bronson have already secured $3.5 million for the BCA.
The City of Rochester has committed $3.3 million to the BCA for a number of capital projects, including the new marquee and a roof replacement. And the New York Power Authority has pledged $275,000 for lighting upgrades.
The ROC the Riverway funds will be used to enhance the facility’s position on the Genesee River by re-defining the River Terrace to give visitors a riverfront experience. The improvements will complement other ROC the Riverway projects, including the Broad Street Aqueduct, the Rundel Library North Terrace and the Riverside Convention Center renovations. It will also raise the visibility of the War Memorial Eternal Flame.
The Senate and Assembly funds will be used to create an addition along the Exchange Boulevard side of the building, which will include a new side entrance, a reconfigured office suite, an additional locker room and a larger concession area to optimize the fan experience. Also included within these funds are much-needed restroom upgrades and improvements to bring the audio-visual infrastructure into the modern age.
Mayor Warren says these investments will set the stage for future upgrades totaling $22 million, which will make the BCA more competitive on a national level to bring in bigger events and acts.