Farewell, Old FriendOctober 21, 2008
Today marked the last official time that Buffalo Memorial Auditorium would be opened to the public (well, the media and politicians at least) before its demolition next month. Its really sad to see what was such a great old building reduced to a vandalized mess of a shell. The sight of the crowd standing at what was center ice with the sun streaming down on them is a very haunting photograph.
Not that HSBC Arena isn’t a great building to watch a game in, but it lacks that character that the Aud had. I remember going to Sabres games as a kid, riding the train to the Aud with my parents, getting off right in front of the arena. I remember the walls of the lobby painted deep Sabre blue and gold with the marble floor and accents. The actual ticket turnstiles clicking as they recorded you entering the arena, the clicking sound mixing in with the din of the crowd and the program sellers grasping to gather people’s attention.
And c’mon, who can forget the Earl of Bud?
I remember seeing the “Niedermayer: Dead” sign for the first time in the Aud, and not really getting what it meant, wondering why someone wished ill on a hockey player. And since the Aud closed down 12 years ago, that should tell you just how long a blasted Neidermayer has been hanging around. (And yes, I did catch on to what Niedermayer: Dead sign referred to, in case you were wondering.)
A couple of really great galleries from today’s tour have been posted online.
This one is from The Buffalo News.
Yet another one is from Buffalo Rising, and is found on Flickr.
And of course, time for the gratuitous YouTube embeds. The first one is from the WGRZ News the night the Aud closed. Its a nice look back at the different NHL, soccer, lacrosse and basketball moments that happened at the Aud. Though I will warn you that you will be humming Simon and Garfunkel after watching the video.
This one was just linked by the boys over at Goose’s Roost a couple of weeks ago. Its the final part of the closing ceremony after the last Sabres game at the Aud. I’m just linking it because the final lap skate captures the history of the team, as well as the passion of the Buffalo fans. If you don’t have goosebumps listening to the “Let’s Go Buffalo” chant in the darkened arena, then you’re probably watching this dull as dishwater Sabres/Bruins game.