Projects > Memorial Auditorium Demolition

Memorial Auditorium Demolition

The Buffalo Memorial Auditorium (AUD), was a 16,000 seat arena constructed in 1939, enlarged in 1970 and closed in 1996.  Through the decades the massive facility had been home to the Buffalo Bisons, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Braves, Buffalo Bandits, Buffalo Stallions, Buffalo Blizzard and many other sporting events, concerts, conventions, circuses and shows.  

In 2006, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corporation contracted with Watts to provide environmental engineering services in connection with proposed abatement, remediation and demolition of the massive facility.  Watts was directed to perform environmental assessments, surveys, investigations, sampling, design development, preparation of construction documents and cost estimates for the environmental remediation of the AUD.  

Environmental surveys performed by Watts included a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, a Geophysical Survey to look for buried underground storage tanks, a Hazardous Waste/Contaminated Materials Inventory of the entire building contents, a Microbial Assessment of the conditions within the structure, a PCB-containing Materials Investigation, a Pre-Demolition Asbestos Survey, and a Lead-Based Paint Survey.  Work was done without the use of site lighting and heat as all the utilities to the building had been previously terminated.  In addition, ten years of no maintenance had resulted in the numerous damaged areas to the roof, leaking and extensive microbial growth and loss of soft materials.  

Watts’ surveys quantified all identified hazardous and solid waste materials and prepared remediation cost estimates for various options that initially included conversion of the structure and its potential re-use as a Bass Pro Shops anchor store.  

The environmental remediation design included the development of remediation and abatement design documents, specifications, drawings and bid forms.  Watts assisted the Owner in pre-bid and pre-construction meetings, reviewed and approved all pre-work submittals and provided on-going construction administration services including attendance at weekly meetings for the duration of the project.


  • 2010 Silver Award of Engineering Excellence

    ACEC of New York for the Remediation of the Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY