Chimes which sound two minutes before each period's faceoff summon hockey fans to their seats where they can cheer the home team, the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. First Niagara Center is also home of the NLL's Buffalo Bandits Lacrosse team. Fans may browse for Bandits, Sabres, and NHL team merchandise in the Sabres Store located on the property. Fan comfort is a priority as amenities offered include coat check service, multiple ATM machines within the facility, elevators, escalators, a first aid station, baby-changing stations, and wheelchair accessibility to seating areas and restrooms. Service animals are allowed. And the Sabres Store and concession areas accept Canadian as well as U.S. currency. On-site ticket sales are funneled through FNC's Handbill Policy, the details of which can be found online at their website, whereby all fans are assured a fair and reasonable place in line.
This facility is smoke-free. Backpacks or outside beverages and food are not allowed. Its normal seating capacity is over 19,000. Having formerly been known as Marine Midland Arena and HSBC Arena, First Niagara Center opened in 1996. It offers 80 luxury suites with excellent views of the sports action on the ice. These suites include private parking, private concourse, and concierge service. The Party Suite comes with a personal attendant and optional wet bar. Available during Buffalo Sabres games are the exclusive Harbour Club and Lexus Club. The arena's press box memorializes Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Darling. And all members from the team's inception are honored by plaques near the entrance pavilion in Alumni Plaza.
First Niagara Center's versatility is quite an asset as it has hosted events for various sports organizations including:
• International Ice Hockey Foundation
• Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
• National Collegiate Athletic Association
• National Hockey League
• National Lacrosse League
• Ontario Hockey League
• World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.