Blue Cross Arena

Blue Cross Arena

stadium_name = Blue Cross Arena

location = 100 Exchange Blvd.
Rochester, New York
broke_ground = 1951
opened = October 18, 1955
owner = City of Rochester
operator = SMG
construction_cost= $7.5 million
$41 million renovation
former_names=Rochester Community War Memorial (1951-1998)
tenants=Rochester Royals (NBA) (1955–1957)
Rochester Americans (AHL) (1956-present)
Rochester Knighthawks (NLL) (1995-present)
Rochester Brigade (af2) (2001–2003)
Rochester Razorsharks (PBL) (2005-present)
Rochester Raiders (IFL) (2008-present)
seating_capacity = 12,428 (maximum)|

The Blue Cross Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Rochester, New York.

It is home to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, the Rochester Razorsharks of the Premier Basketball League, the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League, and the Rochester Raiders of the Indoor Football League.

The arena was built on a downtown site on Exchange Blvd (Street) that is bordered by Broad Street on the north, the Genesee River on the east and Court Street on the south. The property was formerly the home of the Kimball Tobacco Co. and other retail buildings. The arena was opened on October 18, 1955, and named the Rochester Community War Memorial. It was constructed in the style that was popular in the 1950s. The building included a full stage on the south end and an exhibition hall located on the basement level. The first event was a public trade show held in the exhibition hall and featured such famous Rochester-based companies as Eastman Kodak, Haloid (now Xerox), Bausch & Lomb, General Railway Signal and Rochester Products. It hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1956, the two-month finals of the American Bowling Congress tournament in both 1956 and 1966 and the fourteenth WWF In Your House pay-per-view in 1997.

From 1996 to 1998, renovations to expand the arena took place, eliminating the permanent stage at the south end of the building. On September 18, 1998, the arena re-opened and was renamed The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. Rossetti architects designed this multi-million dollar face-lift.

Its maximum seating capacity is 12,428. For hockey and lacrosse, its seating capacity is 11,215.


On 23 March 2006, Atlantic Hockey, an NCAA Division I Men's ice hockey league, announced that its league tournaments in 2007, 2008, and 2009 would be held at the Blue Cross Arena. 2007 was the first time the tournament was held at a neutral site.

The 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey East Regional was held at the Blue Cross Arena. Attendance was low due to high ticket prices and distance from large Division I programs.

The arena has hosted many National Hockey League exhibition games in its existence, but on November 12, 2003, the Buffalo Sabres and the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils played the first NHL regular season game in the venue, a game which ended in a 2–2 tie. The game was made possible by Sabres owner Thomas Golisano, who hails from Rochester. The game also featured two Rochester natives, Brian Gionta of the Devils and Rory Fitzpatrick of the Sabres. A second regular season game was held at the arena on October 26, 2005 with the Sabres falling to the Washington Capitals, 3–2. With the Sabres' recent success, high demand for tickets at Buffalo's HSBC Arena and the Rochester Americans no longer having an affiliation with the Sabres it is unlikely that there will be a regular season NHL game played in Rochester at any point in the future.

Local high school basketball games are played here, most notably the New York State Public High School Section V (five) Championships at the end of each season. Additionally, the arena is the home of high school cheerleading championships each year. The arena also hosts college basketball, and Section V hockey.

In addition to sporting events, the arena hosts a wide variety of entertainment events, including live concerts, ice shows and the circus.

On July 28, 2007 the CIFL Indoor Championship Game was held here, the first Arena Football Game played here since the Brigade folded in 2003.

Between December 2007 and April 2008, the BCA sold out for three shows, Bruce Springsteen, Lil Wayne and the Best of Both Worlds Tour with Hannah Montana.

External links

* [ Blue Cross Arena Website]

succession box
title = Home of the
Rochester Royals
years = 1955 – 1957
before = Edgerton Park Arena
after = Cincinnati Gardens
succession box
title = Host of the
NBA All-Star Game
years = 1956
before = Madison Square Garden
after = Boston Garden

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