New Name for HSBC Arena

August 25, 2011 Updated Aug 25, 2011 at 7:01 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

August 25, 2011 Updated Aug 25, 2011 at 7:01 PM EDT

(Buffalo, N.Y.) It is now official, the home of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team has a new name - "The First Niagara Center."

The 18,690 seat facility opened in September 1996.

At the time, Buffalo based Marine Midland Bank signed a long term multi-million dollar agreement to own the naming rights.

The building was originally called the Marine Midland Arena.

In 1999, it was renamed HSBC ARENA after Marine Midland Bank became HSBC.

Recently, HSBC sold off all its upstate NY branches to First Niagara Bank.

Negotiations between HSBC, First Niagara, and the Buffalo Sabres resulted in a new naming rights contract with First Niagara Bank, N.A.

While financial details were not disclosed, First Niagara has signed a 15-year agreement with the Buffalo Sabres.

First Niagara has exclusive exterior facility naming rights, category exclusivity in the facility's bowl, other interior and exterior signage branding, exclusive on-site ATM presence, television and other value-added promotional events.