By ALAN ROBINSONAssociated PressTUSCAN VILLA, Minn.
(AP)It’s a familiar story.
An NHL franchise moves, then gets folded.
Or it stays put.
Or they’re sold to a new team that takes over.
Whatever the case, the Buffalo Sabres are doing something different with their brand in Buffalo.
The Sabres, the NHL’s fourth-oldest franchise, will be a part of a brand-new arena.
And the team is making sure the arena is as authentic as possible, and that includes the exterior, according to general manager Tim Murray.
The exterior of the Sabres arena in Buffalo, N.Y. (Photo: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images)The Sabres have been working with architects and engineers to make sure the team’s iconic building has the look and feel of the original.
And that includes re-purposing the original roof of the building to be a more modern look, said Murray.
The exterior will be clad in steel and glass panels, and there will be light-up LED screens on each side.
The new Sabres building will also feature a scoreboard, and a new retractable roof, which will be the tallest in the NHL.
It’s been a long road for the Sabres.
The team folded in 2015, and the team was sold to new owner Ralph Wilson for $5.9 billion.
In 2017, Wilson announced the Sabres would be in a brand new arena that will seat 10,000 people.
It will be called the Pepsi Center and be financed by the team.
It’s scheduled to open in 2021.
The team was supposed to have a new building built in Buffalo for the 2019-20 season, but Wilson decided to move forward with the new Sabres.
A new building was finally built in 2019.
It was supposed be the Sabres’ last home.
But the team went on to host a World Cup of Hockey in 2022 and was rebranded the New York Rangers.
The Buffalo Sabres will be known as the Sabres in 2020.
But it won’t be the only team that will play in the new arena.
The New Jersey Devils, the last team in the AHL, will play there.
The New York Islanders will play at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the Prudential Center.
And the New Orleans Pelicans, the Pelicans’ last affiliate, will take over the home of the New Jersey Sabres.
The NHL’s third-oldstest franchise was originally sold to the New Mexico Wranglers for $2.5 billion in 2001.
The NHL announced the sale to the Wrangler family in January 2018.
The Wrangling’s ownership group bought the team in 2009 and moved it to the Buffalo facility in 2015.
It was then rebranded as the Buffalo Bills and became the Buffalo Braves.
In its first season, the Bills played in the newly named Wells Fargo Arena.
The Bills won three straight playoff series in 2017-18.
The Buffalo Sabres won their first playoff series, losing in seven games to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round of the playoffs.