Senator Sean Ryan Urges ECHDC To Collaborate With Wilson Foundation For Outdoor Event Space And Outer Harbor Planning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM SENATOR RYAN - 8/13/2021

SENATOR SEAN RYAN URGES ECHDC TO COLLABORATE WITH WILSON FOUNDATION FOR OUTDOOR EVENT SPACE AND OUTER HARBOR PLANNING

ECHDC Wants To Build Large Outdoor Event Space On The Outer Harbor, In Direct Competition With ‘Great Lawn’ Outdoor Event Space At Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park – Ryan Wants ECHDC To Work Together With Wilson Foundation To Avoid Building A Competing Outdoor Event Venue On Buffalo’s Outer Harbor

BUFFALO – Today, August 13, 2021, New York State Senator Sean Ryan urged the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) to work together with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to ensure that development plans for the Outer Harbor and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park complement one another. Ryan recently pushed ECHDC to scrap proposed plans for an 8,000-person capacity outdoor event venue on the Outer Harbor, and instead invest in greenspace and public access upgrades.

ECHDC’s proposed outdoor event space on the Outer Harbor would be in direct competition with the “Great Lawn” and other outdoor event spaces that will be built at Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park. Ryan wants ECHDC to work together with the Wilson Foundation to avoid building a competing outdoor event venue on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, which would create unnecessary competition for large events along Buffalo’s waterfront. ECHDC’s plans to build an outdoor event venue at the Outer Harbor eschew years of public feedback revealing that residents of Western New York prefer that the waterfront space be developed as a natural environment.

Instead, Ryan suggested, ECHDC and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation should collaborate on a plan to establish a large-event space at Centennial Park and expand green space at the Outer Harbor in place of the planned event venue.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “We have a long history of siloed decision-making in Buffalo that often leads to scarce resources being wasted on projects that clash with one another. With the planned large-event venue at the Outer Harbor, I fear that we are going down that same path once again. Through years of public feedback, the people of Western New York have made it clear that they want a ‘quieter, simpler’ Outer Harbor that features trails and green space. It is imperative that ECHDC work together with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to ensure that Outer Harbor funding is not wasted on a plan that will disregard the public’s wishes, only to create competition for outdoor events on Buffalo’s waterfront.”

###