Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Mayor Byron W. Brown on Thursday announced that the City of Buffalo has awarded contracts for the management of three city-owned ice rinks.
The winning bidders are the North Buffalo Bison Hockey Association and Hasek’s Heroes, which partners with the The Buffalo Sabres Foundation.
“This is the result of a unique collaboration between the city, the Buffalo Sabres and two valuable local hockey organizations,” Brown said. “New management for these community facilities will strengthen hockey in Buffalo by providing upgraded arenas for hockey players and fans of all ages.”
Lafayette Ice Rink was awarded to the North Buffalo Bison Hockey Association, which recently completed its 52nd year of play. The Bisons currently have 23 boys and girls teams that play travel hockey throughout Western New York and Southern Ontario.
Hasek’s Heroes partnered with The Buffalo Sabres Foundation, and the dual management group was granted Cazenovia and Riverside Ice Rinks.
The rinks will receive infrastructure upgrades in addition to new management. Mayor Brown announced a $959,500 renovation project at North Buffalo’s Lafayette Ice Rink in April 2011, for improvements including a new Zamboni, ice rinks dasher boards, chiller and compressor, updated furnaces, a new scoreboard and glass, upgrades to locker rooms and dedicated funding in the capital budget to be designated for expansion of locker rooms. The City of Buffalo also recently installed new lighting units and reflective ceilings at each of the three rinks for increased visibility on ice surfaces.
The Buffalo Sabres Foundation will donate $100,000 for infrastructure upgrades at the Cazenovia and Riverside Ice Rinks. Each of rinks designated to The Buffalo Sabres Foundation and Hasek’s Heroes will receive $50,000 in renovations.
“The Buffalo Sabres Foundation is very happy to be supporting Hasek’s Heroes in their operation of the Riverside and Cazenovia Ice Rinks,” said Cliff Benson, Senior Advisor of the Buffalo Sabres. “Sean Green and Hasek’s Heroes have done a great job the past several years teaching kids how to skate and play hockey on the ice, but more importantly, they have helped them with educational and mentoring programs off the ice. Our hope is that by having a second rink, Hasek's Heroes can serve an additional 100 (plus) disadvantaged children and make an even greater impact on the Buffalo community. ”
Hasek’s Heroes was founded ten years ago by former Buffalo Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek. Hasek provided $1 million in order to provide underprivileged children with the opportunity to play hockey.
“The new management agreements will result in greater accountability for vendors and cooperation with city regarding daily maintenance and future capital projects,” said Mayor Brown. “This positive change in management for the three city-owned indoor ice rinks will provide consistency in policy, contract conditions, uniform hourly rates, and increase in dedicated public skating hours for each rink.”
Public Skate Hours are now as follows:
• 3 weekday evenings: must provide 2 hours of public skating between 4-8 PM
• Saturday: 7-9 PM
• Sunday: 2-4 PM
The previous agreement for management of the three rinks was signed in 2004 with Erie County, and has since expired. The RFP bidding process with the City of Buffalo was issued March 14, 2011. Five proposals were received by April 1, 2011 as part of this competitive process.
The new contracts stipulate two-year agreements with the city, with the option for an additional year extension.