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View Poll Results: what do you think?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #1
BuffCity
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Buffalo - War Memorial Auditorium / Convention Center?

It just hit me...why does Buffalo wait so long to make a great move like this...

The Buffalo War Memorial Auditorium is a vacant and solid structure, we have seen proposals for Demolition and for a Major Anchor store here, yet it sits EMPTY.

My idea is to take and convert the convention center into a high tech and flashy new convention center which could see exibit space at around 200,000s/f. We wanna have more space...its right here. Hotels, plenty of room for spinoff development and added projects once the Donovan State office building comes down.

Here is what Buffalo has now...

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center 110,000 total Square feet, 64,410 square feet of exhibit space. The buildings main entry is on a one way street hidden from nearly every main square or crossing downtown. The convention center is dark and completely cuts off Genesee Street.

The "Aud" is around 230,000 s/f of total space, it is made solid from hard 1930's labor from the Public works commission. The structure already stands as an open space facility, The "Aud sits on Main Street with a MetroRail station at its doors. The "Aud" is only feet from the riverfront and canal project.

Here are some numbers of total convention center exhibit space in other noted cities:

Rochester - 100,000
Pittsburgh - 313,400
Cleveland - 375,000
Toledo - 75,000
Cincinnati - 200,000
Detroit - 700,000


All in all this could serve as a public market, convention center and a new hope for the Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring some new shows and tours to Buffalo...not to mention perhaps a hotel...in the end, filling a void called the "Aud"

anyone?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:20 AM   #2
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how about screw convention centers period. Our convention center gets used once per year, if we got a larger convention center we wouldn't get anymore shows or conferences.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #3
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Excellent idea.

Birmingham's BJCC has 300,000 square feet of exhibit and is expanding to over 415,000. Buffalo's current amount of space is shameful.

Perhaps if we had a decent center with some actual nice hotels we could actually land some conventions. What a thought!
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:28 AM   #4
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I dunno...I bet DallasTexan will jump into this one.

64,000 s/f is small, I mean the International Auto show fills Rochester's CC at 100,000 s'f, and its always packed...perhaps Buffalo is limited because it can't even handle an Auto Show in a city that built and builds Automotive industry components.

500,000 s'f is alot, yes...but the 150,000 to 300,000 range is normal for cities Buffalo's size. Perhaps the Convention Bureau needs to do some work as well, there is alot of money thrown at these people...yet I dont think any of us see results often.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:32 AM   #5
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agreed DT, this should be an objective...Buffalo is always trying to shed its bad image, how better than to bring them here and see its improved.

I look at it like this, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, M&T, HSBC, Roswell Park and many others are holding or adding jobs downtown...New Era for example...maybe they wanted to hold a convention or do something that requires more than 64,000 s/f.

A nice hotel would make this easier too...plus with MetroRail right there, it just runs man, runs.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #6
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New Era probably would not hold their own convention here, but what if they were part of a Sportswear Manufacturers Group that wanted to hold a convention and they had sway on where to hold it?

You're right; we need more exhibit space.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:50 AM   #7
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The current convention center is embarassingly small. I went to buffalo auto show once a couple years ago and it just made me depressed.

The money for tourism and conventions is continually siphoned away by the county. If they were actually able to use all the money, they might have better results landing more conventions. But still the facility is too small to handle big events.

Wasn't the Aud considered for a convention center before (late 90's maybe)? What reasons were given for not pursuing that?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:58 AM   #8
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It made you depressed? Imagine trying to sell it to groups and THEN showing them outdated hotel rooms last renovated in the Reagan era! It drove me insane!

le sigh.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #9
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I agree, Buffalo's hotel situation is dire.

Hampton and Comfort are decent but fairly cheap, the Hyatt looks like SHIT to be honest on the inside. I can only imagine what the Adams Mark must look like. lol

fact is, Buffalo is not trying to become a bigger more recognized city...it is fitting into is place at the end of the downward spiral.

I have not heard anything about the Aud in the 1990's...I'm sure they figured they would have it filled my now, back then.

I also like how it would be in a quick walk or tunnel? of the ballpark and HSBC arena...although I do think a new parking ramp is needed in this part of downtown like right by the Aud or by the HSBC Arena doors, as long as people have to park in the cobblestone...the longer it will look the way it does (no buildings)

as for what should be done with the old CC, break it in half and fill in Main PLace mall with the rubble, reconnect Genesee and allow the YMCA Olympic towers to use the old door it was given.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #10
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The Adam's Mark's lobby is very... disco. The rooms are even worse.



eep.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #11
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looks like the inside of a cruise ship...how tacky.

I still think Niagara Falls being as close as it is to Buffalo kinda ruins our chances for nice hotel chains, especially now with the casino operations going on.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:34 AM   #12
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It is a great idea, but the Aud isn't big enough. Therefore, I vote 'shut up.'
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #13
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Not big enough?

hiiiiiiii, 64,000 square feet isn't big enough.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #14
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200,000 s/f is fine...thats double of what Rochester offers and puts Buffalo in the same area as Pittsburgh and Cinci.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #15
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200,000 sq ft, OK. But what is that, the total floor plan? The area of a standard NHL ice surface (200'x85', 28' r corners) is 16,327 sq ft. And let's remember the Aud was the NHL's last arena with a "substandard" (small) ice surface. Does anybody know what those dimensions are/were?

How easy is it to remove the tiers of seats? Those things are set on solid concrete. Does this compromise the structural integrity of the building? You'd have to blow out all the interiors and update those famously dank and claustrophobic concourses too.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see this building kept and reused if possible. The problem is it seems like it's not a very adaptable structure owing to its very design, at least at a macroscopic level. More adaptable compared to other sporting venues (I'd like to see someone attempt creative reuse of a baseball stadium), but still. It might as well be an abandoned WalMart.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #16
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Don't convention planners want one level, high ceilings and few columns? Multi-level might work for a trade or auto show, but not a large meeting. Half watch key-note speakers in person, half on closed-circuit in the basement? That's the set-up we have now that puts us out of reach of large conventions. Sabre is right- it's still to small. And would they really be comfortable with 150' ceilings? Hello intimacy.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #17
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Sorry Buffcity but i vote shut up. It would be an awkward layout for one, and it needs to be modern and up with the times. I think the Aud should be turned in to something like this:http://www.my-tropical-islands.com/index-e.htm Its an indoor water park, just what we need.

Im not even sure if it would fit, but it makes sense. Its a fact that people become depressed due to the cold and staying sheltered up throughout the winter. Think about it, people are always depressed here! But its an idea.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #18
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Obviously, the Aud wouldn't be the only part of the convention complex... a new addition would be built.

I'll detail what I envision for the area when I'm not so busy at work.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #19
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But do you want to start "hogging" prime waterfront land for a convention center? Is that the best use of that land?

I agree, it's a good general vicinity to place one. I just think there are more (and possibly better) potential uses for the land immediately abutting the river from an everyday cultural/recreational aspect. Not that a CC shouldn't be "everyday", but it's different.

If a big new CC were to be built, I think a block or two away would be optimal, and there's plenty of land down there to warrant being picky.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 05:39 PM   #20
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The best part about my idea? It wouldn't go towards the water.

whee!
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