Sabres arena to be renamed First Niagara Center

The home of the Buffalo Sabres will have a new 12 season starts.

The 18,690-seat home of the hockey club will be renamed First Niagara Center.

First Niagara Bank, the Buffalo-headquartered regional bank, agreed to purchase the naming rights to HSBC Arena.

First Niagara's 15-year agreement with the Sabres includes exclusive exterior facility naming rights, category exclusivity in the facility's bowl, other interior and exterior signage and branding, exclusive on-site ATM presence, television and other value-added promotional benefits.

"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. HSBC's cooperation in transitioning the naming rights was instrumental to our reaching this agreement, and we're honored that they are entrusting First Niagara with a legacy that stretches back to the team's founding more than four decades ago."

The current home of the Sabres was christened Marine Midland Arena in 1996 and renamed HSBC Arena in 1999.

"We're very happy and excited to be partnering with First Niagara on the most significant sports sponsorship agreement in Western New York history," said Ted Black, President of the Buffalo Sabres. "Marine Midland Bank was instrumental in financing the original construction of the Arena and HSBC Bank USA has been a great partner of ours for the last 12 years. We now look forward to our new partnership with First Niagara and growing our businesses together in Western New York."