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HSBC Arena - Buffalo, NY
Originally known as the Marine Midland Arena, the HSBC Arena in Buffalo opened on September 21, 1996, replacing the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. It became the HSBC Arena in 1999 when HSBC, the parent company of old naming sponsor Marine Midland Bank, renamed the venue as part of a corporate re-branding. Currently the home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, the venue has also played host to several postseason NCAA basketball games.
The most infamous moment in HSBC Arena history occurred on November 16, 1996. As the Buffalo Sabres prepared to play a game, the Jumbotron scoreboard crashed from the ceiling, landing on the ice. No one was injured fortunately, and the game was postponed.
Several WCW events were held at the arena from 1997-2000, including the 2000 Fall Brawl pay-per-view that saw Booker T win his second WCW Championship from Kevin Nash in a Steel Cage Match. WWE made its first visit to the venue in July 1999 for the Fully Loaded pay-per-view; that night, Steve Austin defeated Undertaker in a First Blood Match to retain the WWE Championship. The 2005 Great American Bash was the second WWE pay-per-view to emanate from Buffalo.
RAW and SmackDown have visited the HSBC Arena several times as well. On July 23, 2001, Lance Storm defeated Albert to win the Intercontinental Championship, and another memorable RAW in June 2003 saw Triple H defeat Rob Van Dam in a No Holds Barred Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.