July 17, 2008
Earlier this week, we learned that The Spectrum in Philadelphia will be demolished. That was a bit of a stunner, but the destruction of Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo has been anticipated for quite some time. The Buffalo Sabres split from The Aud in 1996; as early as 2001, word was that a Bass Pro Shops would take its place.
In 2006, the idea of retrofitting The Aud into some kind of retail/hotel hybrid was abandoned. This week, the Buffalo Planning Board approved a plan that will see the arena knocked down (but not imploded ... thanks, asbestos) in October.
In its place will be a planned 125,000-square-foot Outdoor World store from Bass Pro Shops. Which is charmingly ironic in the sense that there will still be people hooking in the same location where Christian Ruuttu and Adam Creighton used to play.
Quite a number of legendary players skated on that ice: Like Dominik Hasek, Gilbert Perreault, Pat LaFontaine, Dale Hawerchuk, Alexander Mogilny and Dave Andreychuk. LetsGoSabres.com remembered the final game in The Aud, played on April 14, 1996, as a "a nostalgic, bittersweet night to say 'farewell, old friend.'" After the jump, some video memories from that memorable night.
First up is the venerable Rick Jeanneret, offering some "Aud memories":
The skating wackiness with Sabres players that ended the previous video continues here, before a rather striking moment in which chants of "Let's Go Buffalo" cascade over darkened ice: