Global Spectrum To Boost Canalside Events, Venue

January 14, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 12:14 AM EDT

By Jill Perkins

January 14, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 12:14 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) It's become a staple of the Buffalo Community, over the past several years Canalside has grown into a popular hangout place.

Now the waterfront venue has an even brighter future.

"We really needed to get in front of most of these happenings in order to make sure and maintain the quality and level of service that Buffalo so readily has become accustomed to especially on the waterfront, said Robert Gioia, chairman of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.

And because of that, the ECHDC voted unanimously to replace its longtime partners at Buffalo Place with Global Spectrum.

The Philadelphia-based company will now be responsible for all public events at Canalside for the next three years, a contract that came at a price tag of up to $1.7 million.

"We're excited about being able to bring our experience in managing venues which include everything from both the maintenance to the programming to marketing and sales. We do all of these things, so by having a broad range of experience we kind of bring those functions together to work as one unit,' said Matthew Hollander of Global Spectrum, an international venue management firm which hosts more than 14,000 events at 120 venues each year.

These events range from Paul McCartney concerts to the superbowl. It's the company's expertise which local officials hope will take Canalside to a whole new level.

"Because of our experience, our contacts and experience in the industry we're confident that we can bring a high volume of event activity to build on the successes that have previously been experienced at Canalside," said Hollander.

Gioia says the ECHDC hopes to continue a relationship with Buffalo Place with the Thursday night concert series and other concerts at the inner and outer harbor.

The chairma says the decision to bring Global Spectrum in was a bittersweet one, because although it will take Canalside to a higher level, they are very grateful to Buffalo Place.

"While we are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with a caliber company of this size and expertise and reputation, it is with mixed feelings because we do say goodbye to a very loyal and critical partner the last six years and that's Buffalo Place," said Gioia.

About 25 full-time jobs are expected to be added as the project continues.