Just hours after the owner of the Rochester Knighthawks lacrosse team announced he was moving the team to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the owners of the Buffalo Sabres are stepping in to keep a team here in Rochester.
Terry and Kim Pegula have announced they have been awarded a franchise in the National Lacrosse League. Their company, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, is also making a significant investment in the arena, which will help pay for a new center-hung electronic score board that is currently being installed.
Kim Pegula, who was raised in Fairport, says she is proud to have a hand in keeping the franchise going.
"I grew up here," she told reporters. "This is home to me. I have such great memories here. My brother played hockey here, my parents took me here for hockey games, so to have it still standing here and be able to reinvest in it and to have different generations coming here -- I'm super excited about that."
The Arena is also getting some other improvements, including upgraded restrooms and ticketing area.
Mayor Lovely Warren also announced that thanks to city and state funding, they will be able to more forward with an expansion on the arena that includes a restaurant and lounge. She says she's grateful the Pegulas are keeping the Knighthawks franchise alive in Rochester.
"Lacrosse is the fasting growing sport in the country," she said. "I think it's going to be growing at an even more rapid rate and I think having the Pegula's step in and take on this franchise is something we truly appreciate."
"I think this is going to be great for Rochester long-term and well into the future."
Warren says the combined investments from the city, the state, and the Pegulas totals $18 million.