"What we want to be out of this facility is the place where every really good hockey player comes, feels like they have to come there for the kind of training we provide," Benson said. "Also for the local, we want the local kids here. We want this to be a place where they say, 'I don't need to go to Toronto. I don't need to go to Boston. I don't need to go to Minneapolis. I'm staying in Buffalo.' "
Several hurdles remain, including plan approval by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and approval by the Buffalo Common Council to sell the land to the Sabres for $2.2 million. Assuming those approvals come through, the Sabres want to break ground March 1 and have the first phase of the project open by fall 2014.
"We want to make an investment. We want to make Buffalo better, and we think the waterfront is the place to do it," Benson said."