Any doubts that the Labatt Pond Hockey Tournament would be thwarted due to logistics, have now been largely alleviated at the City Hall level.
Tomorrow, it is anticipated that a condition restricted* use permit will be granted to developers of the Buffalo RiverWorks that will essentially give the green light to move forward with the Pond Hockey Tournament, as well as other events to come in spring. “Once again, with a project of this magnitude, as well as implementation along a relatively obscure section of the Buffalo River, our intention is to create a synergy with other waterfront developments that bound the Inner and Outer Harbors,” said Doug Swift, president of RiverWorks. “We understand the concerns that have been presented regarding the speed of the timeline that we have put forth, but we have addressed all of those issues since the onset. Our intention is to make sure that the Labatt Pond Hockey event runs as smoothly as possible. In fact, we have the ability of creating a non weather dependent event thanks to the six mechanically refrigerated ice rinks that we are building. If we’re going to be a hockey town, then we’re going to need to be able to provide frozen rinks for players. For the first time, the tournament organizers will be able to concentrate on the logistics, rather than the weather. We realize that there are other entities in close proximity to the site, and will do our best to ensure that everything from signage to snow clearing is incorporated into our operations.”
Today’s announcement, made by Mayor Byron Brown and South District Council Member Christopher Scanlon, came with the following conditions that will require Buffalo RiverWorks to:
1. Place signage on both Ohio & Michigan Streets to guide the RiverWorks’ guests as well as general public and industrial users to their respective destinations.
2. Implement sufficient security and traffic control at the pond hockey event, including but not limited to, payment to the City of Buffalo to cover all Buffalo Police Department overtime costs incurred as a result of the pond hockey event.
3. Provide demonstrable proof that the pond hockey event will have shuttles available at RiverWorks’ sole expense in sufficient quantity/capacity to move the pond hockey participants/attendees from distant parking areas to the pond hockey event.
4. Ensure that the sidewalks in the area are cleared of snow where determined necessary by the Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Streets to facilitate safe access to the venue.
5. If a safety agreement, detailing necessary conditions, procedures and improvements for the continuation of the restricted use permit beyond the last day of the pond hockey tournament is not reached with the Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets, the restricted use permit shall lapse.