Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has been anointed prime developer of the Webster Block in downtown Buffalo. It’s a great plot of land, a pivot point between the waterfront and the arena in which the Sabres play professional hockey.
Dubbed Harborcenter, the $123 million plan comprises two ice rinks (set 60-feet above street level), a 200-room hotel, restaurant, retail space and parking, all interconnected, like a Habitrail for humans.
It’s brilliant. There is nothing else like it in North America. A hockey mecca, capable of attracting all kinds of icy tournaments. The idea actually builds on Buffalo’s strengths, rather than plow over its weaknesses. It’s such a great idea I think we should think even farther outside the rink.
Let’s give Pegula the rest of the city, too.
America, this wondrous melting pot, thrives on diversity. A free market, with a democratic counter-weight, the republic was called forth by the voice of the people. That does not mean that everywhere, all the time, in this great land, we need a freely elected government. We are big and strong enough to handle a little pocket monarchy here or there.
I say we make Terry Pegula Lord of Buffalo. Let him rule over the city, first ward to Hertel, West Side to East, and see what he can do with the thing. It won’t be that much different from the Griffin administration, just a little more honest about the structure. It’s not completely unprecedented, either. Native Americans have nations within our nation from sea to shinning sea.
Terry Pegula seems clever, industrious and loves the city. What else could you ask of a leader? With one stroke we cut down the infighting, competing fiefdoms, petty political parries and thrusts. No more deflections. One ruler, one person responsible, maybe one unified step forward.
Besides, if we don’t like it, we revolt. It’s all the rage now. A Buffalo Spring.