Jehovah's Witnesses relocate summer conventions from Blue Cross Arena

July 09, 2019 11:29 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A conference that has traditionally been held at the Blue Cross Arena is going elsewhere this year over money. 

The Jehovah's Witnesses say their annual convention has been held at the arena for more than three decades but this year, 90 congregations are relocating to Pennsylvania. 

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The group could not reach an agreement with Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which says an event of this size requires hard costs to run safely. 

Pegula Sports and Entertainment gave News10NBC the following statement: 

"We have made Blue Cross Arena available for this summer's Jehovah's Witness Convention. Safely hosting an event of this size requires several operational hard costs including security personnel, emergency medical technicians, traffic police detail and janitorial services. No revenue from these services is retained by Rochester Arena, LLC. The Jehovah's Witnesses have been offered the lowest possible costs to fulfill these needs and hold a safe and enjoyable event."

Read below for a statement from the Jehovah's Witnesses regarding the relocation: 

"We value the partnerships that we have built in the city of Rochester over the past three decades. Over the years, these partnerships have helped to foster a clear understanding of what each party needed out of the contractual agreement. The recent change in management at the Blue Cross Arena changed the dynamic of our partnership. This was to be expected. But relationships take time to develop and mature. And since our conventions are just weeks away, time was not on our side. That's why it was vital for us to secure another venue for our congregants."


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