Sabres to light up First Niagara Center

October 26, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2011 at 6:45 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

October 26, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2011 at 6:45 AM EDT

Another very visible sign of the transformation of the former HSBC Arena into the newly-renamed First Niagara Center will take place Tuesday night.

Prior to the Buffalo Sabres host the Tampa Bay Lightning, the exterior lights on two signs outside the downtown Buffalo sports and entertainment venue will be turned on and officially bear the First Niagara Center moniker. The ceremony takes place at 6:45 p.m., about 45 minutes before the Sabres-Lightning face off in a game televised on Versus, the National Hockey League's cable broadcast outlet.

The illuminated signs include one above the building's main entrance where 10-foot tall letters have been installed and the other is above the western entrance that faces the Central Wharf area. Three-foot tall letters hang above that entrance.

All lights are energy-efficient LED systems.

The lights will be "turned on" by Sabres President Ted Black and John Koelmel, First Niagara president and chief executive officer.

"We're incredibly proud to be a Buffalo bank, and this is just one way we get to share our pride in our hometown," First Niagara Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications David Lanzillo said of tonight's ceremony to mark the completion of the massive new signs adorning the newly rebranded First Niagara Center. "It symbolizes, for all to see, our commitment to Western New York and all of the First Niagara customers and employees who make this great community their home."

First Niagara and the Sabres, on Aug. 25, announced that the Buffalo-based bank acquired the venue's naming rights. The naming rights run for 15 years.

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