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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Hurray for Hollywood?

     June 14, 1976 -- The Buffalo Braves were coming off a relatively successful season in 1975-76. No, they didn't advance past the first round of the playoffs. But they did at least qualify for the postseason.

     Besides, losing to the Boston Celtics in six games was no disgraces. The Celtics went on to win the NBA championship that season, beating the Phoenix Suns in the finals.

     Braves' owner Paul Snyder had put on a ticket-selling drive earlier in the summer, and he wasn't happy with the results. Therefore, he announced on this date that Irving Cowan was given an option to buy the team for $6.1 million and move it to Hollywood, Fla. And the hearts on every Buffalo basketball fan stopped for a moment.

     Cowan was a former Broadway producer who thought a team in suburban Miami might work, even if the facility needed some severe upgrading to meet the NBA's standards. It wasn't even air conditioned.

     The City of Buffalo wasn't happy about the situation, and slapped the Braves with a couple of lawsuits. The deal eventually fell through. Cowan eventually turned his sporting interest toward horse racing.

     As for the Braves, they only had two more years left on the clock to stay in Buffalo.

     For more on the 1976-77 season, click here.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.