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City of Niagara Falls mayor proposes downtown event venue and adventure park

The proposed 6,000 seat venue and adventure campus would be known as ‘Centennial Park’.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino has set his sights on generating year-round tourism in downtown Niagara Falls.

Restaino said it’s his goal to keep visitors in Niagara Falls all 12 months of the year and wants to offer more activities for tourists during the winter season. 

To do this, Restaino is proposing the City of Niagara Falls partner with New York State to build a multi-faced year-round event campus.

The proposed 6,000 seat venue and adventure campus would be known as ‘Centennial Park’ and would allow the city to host concerts, performances, hockey games, and ice skating.

According to proposed renderings, the project could be located near Falls Street and John Daly Blvd. in downtown Niagara Falls. 

“There is no venue in Niagara County that can hold 5 to 6,000 people at an event. So, we think the City of Niagara Falls and the County of Niagara are long awaiting this kind of event center,” said Restaino.

Plans for Centennial Park include an indoor arena, outdoor amphitheater, a water feature, wall climbing adventure course, and a parking deck.

Niagara Falls City Council Chairman Kenny Tompkins called this proposal 'a game changer' for Niagara Falls.

“It really would allow families to engage in activities, it’s designed, based upon what we’ve put together, to be a four-season location,” Restaino continued.

Mayor Restaino has already presented this proposal to Niagara Falls City Council and discussed it during a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin on Monday.

“He was very receptive, his comment to me was that ‘this seems rather simple. My hope is that conversation coupled with the Governor’s commitment to bring funding into the hospitality industry will result in great economic development opportunities here in the city,” said Restaino.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Monday $450 million will be invested into tourism workers and the tourism industry statewide.

Mayor Restaino said he will be speaking with New York State representatives and the Seneca Nation about the proposal soon.

“Given the nature of just the tourism season, which by the state's own estimates is around 9 million visitors, the return on investment for the cost associated with this development is exponential,” he said.

2 On Your Side asked Chairman Tompkins if he has any concerns about the current unknown price tag associated with the project. 

"No not the way they are spending money in our government today, our federal government and state government, I don't see any problem with the price tag," he said.

You may remember a similar development known as ‘Wonder Falls’ that was proposed back in 2014 for the vacant Rainbow Centre Mall. Five years later, in 2019, Uniland Development dropped the project and said it was ‘not economically feasible.

Tompkins says this proposal is different because it is being brought forth by the city and residents and not a developer.


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