News Release - Mayor Celebrates Expansion at Blue Cross Arena

 City of Rochester

News Release

(Tuesday, June 15, 2021) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced today that the first phase of the expansion project of the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial is complete, demonstrating the commitment to fulfill the vision of the ROC the Riverway waterfront revitalization program.

“The Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial is well on its way to becoming the premiere sports and entertainment complex this city deserves and an important connection to our beautiful river in Downtown Rochester,” said Mayor Warren. “I am grateful for the support and vision of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and our State Legislature who understand the value of this facility and its role in our ROC the Riverway Program. This and our other riverfront projects are critical components in the fight for more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all of Rochester’s citizens.”

The 4,500-square-foot expansion marks the fourth ROC the Riverway project to be completed since the program kicked off in August of 2018, joining the Promenade at Erie Harbor; the ROC City Skatepark; and the North Terrace of the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Improvements at the West River Wall; the Rundel Library North Terrace; and Charles Carroll Plaza are currently under construction.

The Phase 1 completion positions the facility for the second phase of renovations set to begin next year. That phase will re-define the BCA’s river terrace on the west side of the facility to enhance its connection to the Genesee River, raise the visibility of the War Memorial’s Eternal Flame; and complement other ROC the Riverway projects including a re-purposed Broad Street Aqueduct and improvements at the Convention Center and Rundel Library.

The Phase 1 expansion includes a new bistro area with floor-to-ceiling windows that will project light and activity toward Exchange Boulevard, adding to the sense of Downtown’s liveliness in the evening hours. It also includes the new outdoor marquee, a locker room for visiting teams; reconfigured office space, a video room and improved audio visual system; and improvements to the building infrastructure such as a new roof and restroom upgrades.

The almost $12 million project was funded by the New York State Legislature and the City of Rochester and is part of the $20 million in improvements taking place at the Arena. Pegula Sports and Entertainment has already spent almost $2 million on a new state-of-the art scoreboard and guest Wi-Fi.

Phase 2 will be funded with $6 million from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to the ROC the Riverway Program through the Empire State Development Corp.’s Finger Lakes Forward Initiative.

The ROC the Riverway program brings together almost 30 public improvement projects along the Genesee River through Downtown to improve the potential of the waterfront property to create jobs and improve the city’s quality of life. The projects total more than $500 million and in 2018, Gov. Cuomo pledged the first $50 million in State funding.

For more information on the Roc the Riverway program visit

The Phase 1 expansion was performed by: Bergmann Associates, project design; Lu Engineers, resident project representative; Javen Construction Co., general construction; Concord Electric, electrical construction; Bell Mechanical Contractors, mechanical construction; and the John W. Danforth Co.; plumbing construction.