Monday, October 24, 2016

Keybank Center


KeyBank Center 
1 Seymour H Knox III Plaza
 Buffalo, NY 14203
http://www.keybankcenter.com/ 



KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY is home to the Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits and many concerts.
Overall the KeyBank Center is accessible. There are some issues with the elevators and waiting (4 to 5 times if that is your only way to get down) when you are on the 300 level. Elevators are also somewhat hidden if you’ve never been there. Signage would be helpful to show where the elevator is. Adding an attendant on the elevators might be beneficial for people with disabilities who need help to use the elevator. Some more suggestions to make accessibility better would be:
the addition of another set of elevators would help cut down confusion and wait time,
higher platforms on the 100-level wheelchair section, better snow removal in front of the arena. It is a great venue and with some minor changes it would be an even better venue. KeyBank Center earns 4 out of 5 Wheelz!



Parking:

There are many places to park around the KeyBank Center. The HSBC bank lot is one of the closer lots. As you pull into the lot there are handicapped parking spots at the front of the lot closest to the building. There is a security check point to go through, which allows you to then park closer to the building. Another parking spot is a few blocks from KeyBank Center at Mississippi Street lot. This is probably the toughest to maneuver with the bad weather. On a nice day it is not a bad walk and the handicapped parking is right on the corner leading toward the sidewalk. There is the ramp that is attached to KeyBank Center. However, this is only for season ticket holders who also purchase a parking pass to enter. There are times it is open to the public, but you'd have to check the website to find out when. There are many handicapped spots in this ramp along with a walkway to the 200 level. The major trouble with this ramp is being stuck for quite some time while waiting for traffic to die down enough to leave. Having many options to park is definitely beneficial to those who are in wheelchairs or are on crutches.


Entering the Key bank center:

There are four entrances into the Key bank center. There is an entrance on either side of the building one in the front of the building and another near the parking garage that is also a security entrance. Once you enter the building the Sabres store is at one end and the box office and guest services at the other. The box office window is very manageable and easy to roll up to and either purchase or exchange tickets. The guest services office is also wheelchair accessible, however, it can be difficult if it gets overly crowded. There are ushers that scan your tickets to enter the event near guest services and at the front of the arena as you walk in. Once inside there are elevators beyond the escalators that are tucked away and can be used for all levels. There is also another elevator in the security entrance that goes as far as the suite level.










100 level:

The concourse is fairly wide for traffic in and out of events. It can get congested and you may be waiting as people make their way to the elevator or escalators. The 100 level includes many concessions and the smaller Sabres store, along with restrooms. The concession stands are easily accessible and are at the correct level for someone in a wheelchair to easily get food and/or drinks.

Two things that the 100 level has that other levels do not is Headline Sports Bar and the Poor Man's Aud Club. While both places are great to sit and talk before the game, the tables are all high at Headline, which makes it difficult to talk if you can’t get into the higher chairs. The Poor Man’s Aud Club have lower benches and some tables. It is an open area with several tables to roll up to and order food and drinks.

The hundred level has a lower level of the Harbor Club that offers a dining area and a small bar. It is an open area with several tables. There are stairs leading up to the main level of the Harbor Club. The elevator next to the Club takes you up to the 200, suite, and 300 levels. The 200-level Harbor Club has a view of the ice, a bar, and a few different food stations. You must have a 200 level ticket to get into the Harbor Club. There are two ways to order: via a waiter or buffet style. Trays are provided for buffet ordering.




Seating:

100 level- The KeyBank Center has many areas in the 100-level for handicap seating. While you are very close to ice level and you are very close to the action there is an issue that most of the handicapped sections on this level have a slightly elevated platform for people in wheelchairs. These platforms, unfortunately, don’t elevate a wheelchair high enough to be able to see over the person sitting in front of you. My recommendation would be to possibly to look into slightly higher platforms for this level. Overall, this is a great level to be close to the game or concert that is taking place and be close to the action.



200 level

At either end of the Harbor Club is the 200-level seating area. It is a bit more difficult to maneuver in the 200-level because most of the level is carpeted. The one advantage to having tickets in the 200 level is if you have a parking pass with your ticket the parking garage is connected to this level. The elevator is at the opposite end of where the parking garage entrance is, so you have to walk to the main elevators to go up to the 300 level or down to the suite and 100 levels.


Seating:

The 200-level seating areas have seating on both sides and both ends. The sides seating is very clear and you can see the entire event. These seats do not hinder your view and are at the right level for the perfect experience. The seating on the sides are four companion seating in the top row. Some 200-level seats have a waiter or waitress services which makes it easier so you don't have to get up or carry your food.



Suite level

The next level up is the suite level. The suites wrap around on the entire arena and are also carpeted, much like the 200-level, which can make it difficult to maneuver at times. The suite is a very wide open area with a couch, higher chair and a table, with a bar area. There are three rows of seats in front of the glass. The first chair on the top level of the seats can be removed for wheelchair accessability. The other two rows have a step to get down. This makes it so that there is nothing blocking your view. Each suite has its own restroom that is very wheelchair accessible. The difficulty of the suites is that there are two main elevators that service this area. This could lead to a very long wait as all other areas are emptying out as well.




Seating:

Suite level-suite level seating is probably one of the best vantage points in the KeyBank Center. The view is great and you do not have to worry about the crowds and anyone standing up in front of you if you choose to sit on the couch or in the bar area behind the seats there are TVs to watch the event.


300 level

The 300-level is much like the 100-level in that the concourse is very similar, there are many concession stands, bathrooms and other amenities (like another small Sabres store). There are a couple of areas with some tables to stand and eat or put your drink down and have a conversation. Most of these are high top tables.


Seating:

The 300-level seating (where my tickets are for the Buffalo Sabres) is my favorite for a game or event. Their handicap seating areas are enclosed by a black curtain and there is plenty of room once you get into the seats to maneuver. There are also fold out chairs for companion seating. The best part about the seats is that the seats in front of you are covered and unusable, so the people in wheelchairs can see everything that goes on. The unobstructed view allows one to be able to see all the action without having to look at the jumbotron. For hockey events, the view from the 300-level allows you to see the plays as they develop and see all the action - from all over the ice!



Concession stands

The concession stands at the KeyBank Center are all accessible and all easy to get to - on all levels. The cardboard carriers are helpful when ordering a meal, however, when ordering a drink from a bottle (plastic) the cap is thrown away and can make it difficult to carry the bottle back to your seat with no place to put the bottle so it does not spill. There are options of fountain drinks that are served in cups with lids and straws.




Restrooms

Restrooms are located throughout all levels for men and women and are wheelchair accessible. The 300-level has a family restroom located near section 312, but you must first go to Guest Services (by section 312) to obtain a key. The suite restrooms as I mentioned before are all accessible and each suite has its own personal restroom.