Blue Cross Arena Upgrades Project - Phase 1

The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial was originally constructed in the 1950’s and there was a major renovation and expansion in the mid 1990’s. It is currently home to the Rochester Americans AHL hockey team, the Rochester Knighthawks NLL lacrosse team as well as hosting many special events, shows and concerts throughout the year.

This project is part of the broader ROC the Riverway initiative which will consolidate more than two dozen transformative projects along the Genesee River under a single concept to achieve synergy and leverage the value of Rochester’s riverfront. Revitalizing the Genesee River corridor will help fuel our local economy. RTR will serve as a major asset in attracting new jobs and solidifying our identity as a vibrant waterfront community.

Additional information about the ROC the Riverway initiative, and upcoming Blue Cross Arena riverfront expansion initiative at the can be found at   

This project is funded by grants from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and by the City of Rochester. 

About the Project

The project scope consists of a combination of upgrades to enhance the patron experience at the arena as well as improvements needed for operational and maintenance reasons. The work consists of:

  • Audio/Visual System Upgrades – Including arena bowl loudspeaker system replacement, distributed speaker upgrades, audio & video controls and infrastructure upgrades. 
  • Public Restroom Upgrades – Including lavatory partition replacements, faucet & flush valve replacements, finish upgrades and general repairs.
  • Locker Room Suite – The creation of a new locker room suite in what is now operations office space on the west side of the building. The new locker room will serve the home lacrosse team and visiting hockey teams, it can also function as additional dressing room space for large show productions. The relocated offices will be housed in a proposed addition off Exchange Street. The second floor of the addition will expand the existing concourse level concessions area. 


Final designs and estimate were completed in summer 2019 and the project construction was bid in fall 2019. Construction will begin in spring 2020 with substantial completion by December 2020.

Blue Cross Arena Upgrades – Phase 2: Riverside Expansion

Consistent with the ROC the Riverway Vision Plan, the next phase of upgrades to the Blue Cross Arena will involve an expansion on the river side of the arena to create a first floor full service bar and restaurant, expanded concessions area on the second floor, and a redesigned War Memorial Terrace public space along the river. Design of this phase is anticipated to begin in spring 2020.


If you have questions or comments concerning the project, please contact the City’s project manager, Chris McManus in the City’s Bureau of Architecture and Engineering at (585)-428-6846 or by email.