BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Despite Jack Eichel’s recent injury, fans are excited and very optimistic of the Sabres this year. Thousands of fans came out to the pre-game “Party in the Plaza”.
A new name, a new sound, and a new way to get in. Fans packed alumni plaza right before the puck dropped at Key Bank Center for the season-opener.
Linda Varble of Amherst said, “Buffalo is on the up and up and boy I’ll tell you I am hoping that they go to the playoffs this year – I think they will and I wish a speedy recovery to Jack Eichel.”
This was the first time the Sabres played under the name Key Bank Center after converting from the First Niagara Center. This is also the first time fans had the option to use a “smart” option to get into the game.
Mike Varble said, “I’m just going to use my smartphone and see how it works.”
Tickets that were printed at home also worked. Once fans got inside, they saw new lighting on the rink. During the game, every time the Sabres score a goal this season, fans will hear DJ Kool’s 90’s hit “Let me clear my throat”.
Towards the end of the plaza party, fans marched into Key Bank Center with the hope that all of these new changes will mean a “new team”.
Jason Batko of Lackawanna said, “Sabres man! Sabres season! It’s great, I hope we can get to the playoffs, it’s a loss with Jack Eichel being out, but other than that we should be good”
With one giant gasp of air, Batko added, “Lets go sabres!!!!”
For a better fan experience, the Sabres also unveiled a new WiFi system, a new smartphone app, and new food options.