HSBC Arena will play host to the first two rounds of the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The World Junior's Hockey Tournament will bring thousands of fans to Western New York from all over the world but it seems a the local tourist organization will not be offering services to fans, as they have in the past.
The Buffalo Niagara Conventions and Visitors Bureau was at the forefront of the NCAA Tournament held in March here in Western New York, offering informative maps of local hot spots, Twitter updates about transportation delays and volunteers on each corner downtown to point fans where they needed to go. 2 On Your Side is told that because the World Junior's is an event bid on by the Buffalo Sabres, the CVB will not have an active role in the 11 day hockey tournament.
The CVB declined Channel 2's request for an interview stating that the Sabres were the lead on the event. When asked why the hockey tournament was different than the NCAA tournament, a member of the CVB responded, "The NCAA Tournament was a collaborative effort."
A source tells Channel 2 that the two organizations may be at odds over dollars. Our source says that when the Sabres bid for the World Junior's Hockey Tournament, the CVB never offered a firm amount of money that they could contribute for tourist services and when Buffalo won the bid, talks between the 2 sides broke down. Another source tells Channel 2, the CVB asked the Sabres to pay the CVB for services the Sabres wanted offered during the 11 day event as the CVB did not budget for the hockey tournament and in essence, may not be able to foot the bill for requirements the Sabres were asking for.
As a result, the CVB will not have a presence or coordinated effort for fans during in the World Junior tournament like they did during the NCAA tournament.
A spokesperson for the Buffalo Sabres says the team will offer food and drinks under a large tent that will be outside the arena in between games so fans can find lunch or dinner quickly. A restaurant manager for the Pearl Street Grill tells Channel 2, his restaurant has been preparing all year for this event. Pearl Street Grill has hired additional staff, remodeled parts of their building and even opened a new deli to accomodate the thousands that will be in Western New York the week following Christmas.
Click on the video link above to see Marissa Bailey's report.