March 9, 1926 - Seymour H. Knox wanted to do something that had a lasting impact for the Western New York community, following in the footsteps of his father and an art gallery in Buffalo. It's fair to say he succeeded.
Knox, along with his brother Northrup, decided in the early 1960s to attempt to win an expansion franchise in the National Hockey League. The brothers formed a group that applied for a team when the NHL wanted to go from six to 12 teams. They were turned down in that request.
The Knoxes didn't give up. They later tried to buy the Oakland franchise and move it to Buffalo, but that plan didn't work either. But instead, Seymour and Norty reapplied when the NHL was expanding from 12 to 14 teams. This time they were successful, and the Buffalo Sabres started play in 1970.
Seymour wasn't used to taking the spotlight, and he usually let others in the organization step out in public. Still, when there was talk of building a new arena to replace Memorial Auditorium, Knox stepped up his public profile in order to move plans along. The construction of a new building a block away from the Aud is a tribute to those efforts.
Sadly, Knox died in May, 1996, only a few months before the building opened. But his contributions to the sporting arena in Western New York will never be forgotten.
--- Budd Bailey