Any Buffalo Sabres fan that had an opportunity to experience "The Aud" has a special place in their heart for that building. As I sit here writing this now I have behind me a poster of the very last game at "The Aud" that I cherish very much and across the room is a picture frame given to me by a friend that has a ticket stub from the last game and a piece of a red seat. Those are items I will never let go of because that building meant so much to me and to others as we were growing up.
This weekend the City of Buffalo will be holding an event at the Buffalo Convention Center to relive some of those memories and to allow you take home a part of it. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the event this Saturday and Sunday but will instead depend on you to help me relive those Aud memories.
I have spoken at great length about the Aud before but I guess today it became real to me...the Aud is going to be gone real soon and all we have left is memories. I have my own artifacts hanging on my walls but this weekend you too have an opportunity to forever hold a piece of the Aud. I have to say that some of those blue seats would look real good in my basement and Christmas is coming so feel free to buy a gift for your favorite blogger. Oh wait what if I'm not your favorite...buy it for me and not your favorite blogger.
In all seriousness, there isn't a Sabres fan in the world that is old enough to remember the Aud that didn't like it. Whether it was sitting in the Oranges and literally hanging over the ice or it was sitting in the wooden chairs of the Blues or maybe an opportunity to visit the Aud Club we all have very fond memories of the Aud.
During the Winter Classic last season "Hockey Night in Canada" put together an amazing tribute to the Aud and it was very moving for me. I found myself getting chills when they played the clips of the fans chanting "Let's Go Buff-a-lo" and when they played the goal horn. Watch for yourself and let me know what you think.
I have nothing against the HSBC Arena, I think it is an outstanding building but it will never be the Aud...at least not for me. I hope that kids today can grow that same bond with the HSBC Arena that I was able to grow for the Aud. The problem with the buildings today is that they are all alike...it makes the game more fair but being different is what was great about the old buildings like the Aud, The Boston Garden, The Maple Leaf Garden etc.
Go out and buy your Aud merchandise this weekend and always remember what a great building it was.
If you are interested in more Aud memories there are plenty of links at the Aud Wikipedia page.