"Artvoice: The Best of Buffalo 2015" and the Confused Buffalo Sports Fan

The wonderful citizens of Buffalo, NY have spoken. Since 2007, Buffalo’s Artvoice magazine has been conducting a poll to deem local happenings and places as the “Best of Buffalo.” The nominees were broken into six categories—The Fine Arts, Food & Drink, Local Music, Nightlife, People & Places, and Shops & Services. Each category was then specifically broken down to include as many local things as possible with the intention of bringing exposure to all of the wonderful things that make Buffalo quite the happening place to be.

Reading the results for both the nominees and winners will definitely bring a good laugh. Here are a few that really had me laughing out loud (bold denotes winner of category):

Best Thing About Never Winning a Championship

Being the underdog
Better draft picks
Low expectations

Most Over-Covered Story of the Year

Lancaster Redskins
Sabres tanking
Buffalo school board
What color is the dress?
Anything Buffalo Bills

We Need More People Like

Hillary Collura
Terry Pegula
Carl Paladino
Rex Ryan
Jim Kelly

 Yes. More people like Terry Pegula would be a great addition to the City of Buffalo.   Photo courtesy of David Duprey/AP

Yes. More people like Terry Pegula would be a great addition to the City of Buffalo. 

Photo courtesy of David Duprey/AP

Best Famous Person from Buffalo

Jim Kelly
Rob Gronkowski
Robby Takac
Patrick Kane
Christine Baranski

Best New Idea You’ve Heard for WNY

Solar City
Developing Canalside
Build a new stadium
Downtown stadium
Continued waterfront development

Worst Idea You’ve Heard for WNY

Downtown stadium
Housing at outer harbor
Building a new stadium
Keeping the stadium in Orchard Park
City Mission expansion

Like the kid I saw wearing a Patriots windbreaker and a Bills hat in the airport the other day, there is still some confusion on what we want to see in Buffalo.

Personally, I see the stadium debate from both sides. As run-down as the Ralph is, I think many of us don’t understand how good the gameday atmosphere is because of the location. The amount of space has been prime for tailgating, which is essential to the Bills fan experience, and bringing the stadium to an already crowded downtown area could bring an end to the traditional pregame festivities. With a move downtown, things would definitely change from that aspect.

But could a downtown stadium be a major addition to the cornerstone pieces that are popping up all over the city? It seems as if there is a new restaurant or brewery opening up every other week and they seem to be strategically placed throughout Buffalo. On the eastside of Buffalo, only a few blocks from First Niagara Center, is Larkin Square and the recently opened Hydraulic Hearth. A putt putt course is also in the plans for Larkin Square and is slated to open for business on June 17th. Flip over to the westside and Resurgence Brewery is holding down Niagara Street and boasts a full house on any given weekend night with their tasty beer and indoor lawn games. And how could I not mention the Harborcenter? One of Mr. Pegula’s finest projects that continues to bring people to downtown Buffalo all year round. Like the pieces to a puzzle, these different establishments are beginning to tie Buffalo together. Could a downtown stadium be that one missing puzzle piece that always seems to get lost under the sofa, only to be found years later after the puzzle is long gone and forgotten?

It’s a debate that will continue to go on until a final decision is made. But as Buffalo sports fans, and more specifically Sabres fans after this season, I am glad to see that our confusion is still a unifying factor in our crazed fandom. Should there be a new stadium built downtown? Should I cheer for the other team so that we can get a higher draft pick? I don’t know. Let’s talk about it.

To check out the full results of “Artvoice: The Best of Buffalo 2015,” click here.