Detroit is the home of the Red Wings, the venerable Joe Lewis Arena, a large youth hockey culture and—for many years—the nickname "Hockeytown, USA." But that title may now belong on the opposite shore of Lake Erie ... in Buffalo, New York.

A recent Detroit Free Press article asks if Buffalo is indeed the new Hockeytown. Why? In addition to a Sabres fanbase as rabid as any that cheer for the Red Wings (or any other team, period), Buffalo recently opened HarborCenter, a 19-story building that's devoted exclusively to hockey.

The Free Press article describes HarborCenter as:

... a nearly $200-million waterfront edifice with 650,000 square feet of space that includes two rinks — on the building's sixth floor — a hockey academy, training center and parking garage.

On the first floor is an elaborate Tim Hortons that is partly a memorial to the famous Horton himself, the coffee shop chain co-founder who died in an automobile accident in 1974 while playing for the Buffalo Sabres.

Meanwhile, sites devoted to hockey in Detroit have been closing.

So is it possible that Western and Upstate New York could steal the Hockeytown nickname that Detroiters hold nearly as dear as Motown?

[Detroit Free Press]

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