Basketball Wiki
Blue Cross Arena
Location 1 War Memorial Square
New York Flag Rochester, New York
Opened October 18, 1955
Owner City of Rochester
Operator SMG
$7.5 million
1955–1957 Rochester Royals (NBA)
2005–present Rochester Razorsharks (PBA)

The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial (originally Rochester Community War Memorial and commonly Blue Cross Arena) is a multi-purpose indoor arena, located in Rochester, New York. Its maximum seating capacity is 13,000. For hockey and lacrosse, its seating capacity is 11,200.

The arena opened on October 18, 1955, as the Rochester Community War Memorial, it was renovated in the mid-1990s and reopened as The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial, on September 18, 1998.

It is home to the Rochester Americans of the AHL, the Rochester Razorsharks of the PBL, the Rochester Knighthawks of the NLL, and the Rochester Lancers of the MISL.


File:Monroe Community College Graduation.JPG

Monroe Community College graduation at the Blue Cross Arena

The arena was built on a downtown site, bounded by Exchange Boulevard on the west, East Broad Street on the north, the Genesee River on the east and Court Street on the south. The property was formerly the home of the Kimball Tobacco Co. and other retail buildings. The arena was paid for by pennies collected by school children in the area. Originally named the Rochester Community War Memorial, opened on October 18, 1955. The building included a full stage on the south end and an exhibition hall located on the basement level. One of the members of the construction team was Gorilla Monsoon.

On March 13, 1996, renovations to expand the arena took place, eliminating the permanent stage at the south end of the building. On July 24, 1998, Blue Cross Blue Shield and City officials announced that the name of the renovated arena would be Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. On September 18, 1998, the arena re-opened to the public during a formal ribbon cutting/rededication ceremony. Rossetti Architects designed the $41 million face-lift.

Notable events[]

The first event at the facility was a public trade show held in the exhibition hall and featured such famous Rochester-based companies as Eastman Kodak, Haloid (now Xerox), Bausch & Lomb, General Railway Signal and Rochester Products.

It hosted the 1956 NBA All-Star Game, the two-month finals of the American Bowling Congress tournament in both 1956 and 1966 and the fourteenth WWE In Your House pay-per-view event in 1997.

On July 28, 2007, the CIFL Championship Game was held in the arena. It was the first arena football game played in the venue since the Rochester Brigade folded in 2003.

Local high school basketball games are played here, most notably the New York State Public High School Section V (five) Championships at the end of each season. Additionally, the arena is the home of high school cheerleading championships each year. The arena also hosts college basketball, and Section V hockey.

In addition to sporting events, the arena hosts a wide variety of entertainment events, including live concerts, ice shows and the circus.

The arena played host to The Rolling Thunder Revue Tour on November 11, 1975, headed by Bob Dylan.

The Grateful Dead's performance, on November 5, 1977, was recorded and later released as a live album, entitled Dick's Picks Volume 34.

Footage from Phish's documentary Bittersweet Motel, was filmed here on December 11, 1997.

The December 29, 2010 episode of WWE NXT took place in the Blue Cross Arena.

Ice hockey[]

Aside from the Rochester Americans, who play their home games in the arena, the Blue Cross Arena has played host to several notable ice hockey events and games. On November 12, 2003, the Buffalo Sabres and the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils played the first National Hockey League regular season game in the venue. The game was made possible by Sabres owner Tom Golisano, who hails from Rochester, and featured two Rochester natives: Brian Gionta of the Devils and Rory Fitzpatrick of the Sabres. It ended in a 2–2 tie. A second regular season game was held at the arena on October 26, 2005, with the Sabres falling to the Washington Capitals, 3–2.

On March 23, 2006, Atlantic Hockey, an NCAA Division I Men's ice hockey league, announced that its league tournaments in 2007, 2008, and 2009 would be held at the Blue Cross Arena. 2007 was the first time the tournament was held at a neutral site. Additionally, the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey East Regional was held at the Blue Cross Arena. Attendance was low due to high ticket prices and distance from large Division I programs.

The Rochester Institute of Technology men's hockey team has played periodic regular-season games at Blue Cross Arena instead of at their smaller on-campus rink, due to the large capacity.

Every year, the Blue Cross Arena hosts regular season Section V high school hockey games and the Section V Basketball championship.

The arena has also hosted many NHL exhibition games during its history.


External links[]