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First Niagara examined return of 'Aud'

John Koelmel, the CEO of First Niagara Bank, knew the Knox brothers (who founded the Sabres), remembers watching The French Connection and has been a fan of Sabres hockey for years. He's knows the team's traditions, which is why his bank and the Sabres examined bringing back the name of the team's longtime arena: The Aud.

Instead, the sides decided on First Niagara Center as the new name for the building at the foot of Washington Street.

"We talked about Auditorium," Koelmel said at the news conference announcing his bank had acquired the naming rights to HSBC Arena. "It’s a little bit of a mouthful and all the rest of that. First Niagara Center, everyone felt it rolled off the tongue pretty well and resonated well."

The Sabres played in Memorial Auditorium from 1970 until 1996.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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