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Multiple events not coming to Blue Cross Arena as negotiations stall

July 15, 2019 05:19 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC has learned new information regarding the potential loss of major events at Blue Cross Arena.  

Last week, the Jehovah's Witnesses Convention, which has been held in Rochester for the past three decades, moved to Pennsylvania after organizers say they were unable to reach an agreement with Pegula Sports Entertainment (PSE), the organization that runs the arena.

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So far, News10NBC has confirmed Disney On Ice, Monster Jam and Sesame Street Live will not be coming to Blue Cross Arena this year or next.  

Feld Entertainment, the producer of those events, tells News10NBC they are at a stalemate in negotiations with PSE. Feld Entertainment says they are looking for a similar deal to what they had with SMG, the previous operator of the arena. 

Feld says PSE wants to go in a different direction, and there are a number of hold-ups to getting a deal done. 

A spokesperson for PSE said in a statement Monday, "We have had many conversations with Feld Entertainment and remain open to reaching a reasonable agreement to bring their events to Blue Cross Arena."

The financial impact the loss of these events could have on the Rochester community have some politicians concerned. City officials say, however, PSE is meeting all the terms and conditions of their contract, and they made a huge investment in Rochester when they bought the Amerks and Knighthawks.

"This contract with PSE somewhat guarantees the anchor tenant, that has over 42 dates here, is going to be here for some time in the future," said Norman Jones, commissioner of environmental services for the City of Rochester. "I see positives. I see a sports group, an entertainment group making a vital investment in the City of Rochester."

"I think it's time we ask why," said Rachel Barnhart, Democratic nominee for Monroe County Legislator's 21st District. "What is going on with the management of this facility? What's in the contract? Why have the fees gone up? Why aren't these events coming here? So, we want to call on the city to answer some of these questions and find a solution."

The city says revenues are up and expenses are down after Pegula Sports and Entertainment took over Blue Cross Arena.

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