The HARBORCENTER experience begins Friday, Oct. 31, as the complex drops the puck on its opening weekend.
"The level-six experience comes alive Halloween weekend," said HARBORCENTER President John R. Koelmel. "And we promise that all of our guests and visitors will find our one-of-a-kind hockey and entertainment complex to be a real treat!
"We start by hosting one of the biggest weekends in Canisius College hockey history while also launching our HARBORCENTER Cup youth hockey tournament series. Our commitment to developing players, coaches and athletes at all levels will then be on display as our Academy of Hockey, Youth Development Partnership and other programing at the rinks and IMPACT Sports Performance begins the following week."
The Canisius College Golden Griffins and Ohio State Buckeyes faceoff Friday at 7:35 p.m. to open a two-game series in downtown Buffalo. Meanwhile, some of the nation's best boys 16U and 18U teams are in town for the first HARBORCENTER Cup tournaments, which include teams from as far away as Michigan, Ontario, Pittsburgh and Chicago.
HARBORCENTER's Tim Hortons Café and Bakeshop will open one day earlier (Thursday, Oct. 30), with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 a.m. Later in the day, HARBORCENTER and Sabres officials will join Tim Hortons representatives and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown to unveil a statue of Tim Horton at the corner of Main and Scott streets, paying tribute to the life and career of the Sabres legend in a special way.
(716) Food and Sport will have a series of soft-openings during that same time, initially supporting the planned events and activities throughout the week, before opening to the public by Nov. 7.
A VIP grand opening celebration is planned for the evening of Thursday, Nov. 6. That event will include comments from HARBORCENTER leadership and local public officials, a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, as well as a reception for local business and community representatives and other invited guests on levels six and seven of the facility.
Plans are being finalized to host a series of open houses for the general public to see the facility beginning the weekend of Nov. 8-9.
"Our planned activities, coupled with the Sabres playing four home games the week of Nov. 2, will immediately provide real evidence that HARBORCENTER and Canalside will become a year-round destination," Koelmel said. "While construction on the Marriott hotel and our retail space will continue in the months ahead, we're very excited to now have the community and visitors from around the country experience the fabulous destination that so many have worked so hard to create and build. We're ready to dazzle."