ECHL officials to work CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Monday announced that four of the League’s officials have been selected to work the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29, at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
Buffalo, NY was the site chosen for the ECHL prospects game. Add to it the USA Hockey Player Development Camp held in July at Rochester, NY and you have to wonder why Western NY was chosen for these prestigious events. If you have been to downtown Buffalo to visit the
Marine Midland Arene HSBC First Niagara Center, there is not much to see or do while there. You end up traveling to Niagara Falls or go to the Anchor Bar for chicken wings. That is part of the reason owner Terry Pegula is going to develop the area as a hockey center. Multiple rinks for junior hockey and the Sabres practice arena, hotels, shops, restaurants and bars. He is buying the vacant buildings and the deep pockets (he is a billionaire) which allows him to do it with his finances and cheap money from banks. Because of this, and what Rochester did years ago with tobacco settlement money, they have set themselves up for top junior hockey and the ability to compete with Michigan, Minnesota, or Boston.
Which brings you back to Westgate Center in Glendale and what it could be with the proper ownership of the team and someone with vision. 41 home games for the Coyotes, an active management group for Jobing.com who can bring in top acts, and a constant flow of residents and visitors looking to spend their money while visiting Glendale. Like those who are visiting Tanger Outlets. And the Tohono O’odham nation’s casino (hopefully).
Once the team purchase goes through, the purchase and renovation of Polar Ice in Peoria must happen. The ice and location are too valuable for it to sit underutilized as it is currently. It will make it difficult on Stan Wilson and Tony Silva, but the Coyotes could hold some practices at Polar Ice once the ice gets fixed and a pro locker room and equipment area be constructed.
Now you truly able to host hockey tournaments and give the parents something to do during the downtime. Hotels and restaurants are already in place. You just need the ice.