Friday, August 22, 2008

Peace out Aud, Party!

What to do with an old crusty building in the middle of downtown hindering development and sitting mothballed for over decade...? Throw a party! Well if you actually wanted to get seats and shit outta the Aud your best bet was to break in a few years ago and just shark it yourself. Now you will have to bid on the 1,800+ seats with about a million other people that want 'em. Oh well..

"Buffalo officials are gearing up to throw a farewell party for the Aud

They're gearing up for what city officials call a "farewell address to Buffalo's beloved Aud," even hoping the event in late fall will lure former local residents to town.

The city is looking for an auctioneer to organize and aggressively market a long-awaited auction of memorabilia from Memorial Auditorium.

More than 1,700 "Blue Section" seats and 47 hockey dasher boards will be sold to the highest bidders at an auction that organizers say will be a lively community party.

Mayor Byron W. Brown and other city officials met with reporters outside the Aud today to discuss the time line. The city is requesting proposals from auction houses or other vendors to handle all facets of the sale, including an online auction to accommodate out-of-town bidders.

A company will be selected in three weeks, then will have 60 to 90 days to stage the auction. Brown said he expects the event to be held in late November or early December at a yet-to-be-determined location.

Susan Gonzalez, who oversees special events in the city, said one key task facing the auction house will be to launch aggressive marketing.

"A marketing plan can really take this to a different level of excitement," she said.

Some people may even be able to find the exact seats they sat in during an earlier era.

"We've heard from some season ticket holders who would really like to purchase their seats . . and take some of their personal history with them," said Brown.

City officials wouldn't speculate how much the sale will raise. The money will be used to help pay for the creation of a monument to honor the Aud.

Opened in 1940, the cavernous building has been vacant for a dozen years. It will be demolished as part of the ongoing development of the Erie Canal Harbor neighborhood, a blueprint that includes a proposed Bass Pro.

Public Works Commissioner Steven J. Stepniak said crews salvaged as much memorabilia as they possibly could. Thousands of fabric-covered seats could not be saved due to environmental concerns. The building is filled with mold and asbestos.

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