(Tuesday, June 15, 2021) – The first phase of the expansion project of the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial is complete, demonstrating our commitment to fulfill the vision of the ROC the Riverway waterfront revitalization program.
The Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial is well on its way to becoming the premiere sports and entertainment complex this city deserves and an important connection to our beautiful river in Downtown Rochester. I am grateful for the support and vision of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and our State Legislature who understand the value of this facility and its role in our ROC the Riverway Program. This and our other riverfront projects are critical components in the fight for more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all of Rochester’s citizens.
The 4,500-square-foot expansion marks the fourth ROC the Riverway project to be completed. Since the program kicked off in August of 2018, the Promenade at Erie Harbor; the ROC City Skatepark; and the North Terrace of the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center have also been completed.
Improvements at the West River Wall; the Rundel Library North Terrace; and Charles Carroll Plaza are currently under construction.
The second phase of renovations is set to begin next year. That phase will re-define the BCA’s river terrace on the west side of the facility to enhance its connection to the Genesee River, raise the visibility of the War Memorial’s Eternal Flame; and complement other ROC the Riverway projects including a re-purposed Broad Street Aqueduct and improvements at the Convention Center and Rundel Library.
The Phase 1 expansion includes a new bistro area with floor-to-ceiling windows that will project light and activity toward Exchange Boulevard, adding to the sense of Downtown’s liveliness in the evening hours. It also includes the new outdoor marquee, a locker room for visiting teams; reconfigured office space, a video room and improved audio-visual system; and improvements to the building infrastructure such as a new roof and upgraded restrooms.
The almost $12 million project was funded by the City of Rochester and the New York State Legislature and is part of the $20 million in improvements taking place at the Arena. Pegula Sports and Entertainment has already spent almost $2 million on a new state-of-the art scoreboard and guest Wi-Fi.
Phase 2 will be funded with $6 million from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to the ROC the Riverway Program through the Empire State Development Corp.’s Finger Lakes Forward Initiative.
The ROC the Riverway program brings together almost 30 public improvement projects along the Genesee River through Downtown to improve the potential of the waterfront property. This will create jobs and improve the quality of life in our great City. In 2018 Governor Cuomo pledged the first $50 million in State funding towards these projects which total more than $500 million.