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SMG removed as operator of Blue Cross Arena

Local News
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SMG, the company that manages operations at the Blue Cross Arena is out, city officials announced Friday.

Speaking with News 8, city spokesperson James Smith says the company simply has not been performing up to expectations.

“They owe more than three-quarters of a million dollars to the City of Rochester,” Smith explains. “Which really means they owe three-quarters of a million dollars to city taxpayers.”

The city says they demanded SMG pay up and SMG said they couldn’t.

“At this juncture, we’ve decided we just can’t continue on,” Smith adds.

Smith says the city will now manage the facility in the interim while searching for a new operator for the arena.

When asked about how the Pegulas, the owners of the Amerks, Sabres and Bills, would factor into this change, Smith told us, “I think they are comfortable knowing in the interim the city will be able to continue operating the stadium and will honor the agreements in place.”

Smith continues, “As far as who may or may not be interested, those folks may be interested and we’re certainly going to be talking to them and there may be others as well. We need to go through a process to decide where we go from here.”

In a statement, representatives for the Pegulas said, “Pegula Sports and Entertainment remains heavily committed to the Rochester community and to the future of Blue Cross Arena. We are continuing to work closely with Mayor Warren and her administration to create a first-class fan experience along the Genesee River that will benefit Rochester’s downtown corridor.”

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