For more than two decades the annual ball drop in Downtown Buffalo has helped Western New Yorkers ring in the New Year and thanks to the efforts of a group of local businesses the event is staying put.
Thousands of people are once again expected to flock to Roosevelt Square for the 28th annual ball drop on December 31st. Proceeds will benefit the Police Athletic League but there were some concerns about securing the more than $60,000 needed to keep event at it's traditional location. That's when Buffalo Place joined the Police Athletic League in rallying a group of local businesses to support the Buffalo staple.
"We decided to help out," said Buffalo Place Executive Director Michael Schmand. "The PAL had some of the sponsors they've had in the past decline. We were able to put together a nice sponsorship team to bring the ball drop to where it should be at Roosevelt Plaza."
Just this week Cleveland announced that the city had to cancel it's New Year's Eve celebration because of a lack of funding. Schmand is happy Buffalo businesses came together to support what's become a big Buffalo mainstay. "I think the fireworks make it special. I think the whole event leading up to the ball drop makes it special. Just having people near downtown taking a look around and seeing all the changes that have taken place. That makes it special."
Anchor sponsors for the “Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks” include the City of Buffalo, Buffalo Place, M&T Bank, the Western New York Chevy Dealers, Liberty Yellow Cab and the Western New York Chevy Dealers. Other sponsors for the “Buffalo Ball Drop” include Big Ditch Brewery, Iskalo Development, Carmina Wood Morris, Ciminelli Real Estate Corportation, Ellicott Development, Frey Electric Construction Company, Key Bank, Signature Development, Avalon Development, The Hyatt Regency, Uniland Development, WKBW, 7 ABC and WGRF-FM 97 Rock.
WKBW, 7 ABC has been the television sponsor for all 28 years and will once again broadcast the ball drop on New Year's Eve.
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