Statler City Celebrates First Year; Ice Ball Tickets On Sale Now

October 10, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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October 10, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - One year ago, Mark Croce's partially remodeled Statler City hosted its first wedding.

This past weekend, six couples celebrated their nuptials at the downtown landmark.

After investing $6 million of private money, the first three floors of the 89-year-old building have been completely restored.

"We've made a substantial private investment. There's been no public subsidy yet to date," said Croce, who is asking the city and state for his first public handout. Almost $6 million to refurbish the building's crumbling façade.

"We're working on a program to eliminate the scaffolding in front, working with city and state leaders to try to identify a funding source for infrastructure that was deteriorated long before we took ownership of the property," he said.

Croce will once again host New Year's Eve festivities at Statler City. Tickets for the Ice Ball are on sale now.

Last year's debut suffered from bad reviews, but Croce said he will issue just 1,500 tickets for this year's event. Compare that to the overcrowded 4,000 people who attended last year.

Once the 1,500 tickets are gone, Croce said, "It doesn't matter if you bring the Pope. Nobody is getting a ticket after that."

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