Buffalo Sabres finalizing plan to keep rival fans away.
Frank Gunn/Canadian Press  

Buffalo Sabres finalizing plan to keep rival fans away.

The Buffalo Sabres are implementing a plan to keep rival fans out of their building.

Jonathan Larivee

The Buffalo Sabres will once again attempt to keep rival fans out of their building, although whether or not their strategy will prove to be effective remains to be seen.

A recent report from the Buffalo News has revealed that the Sabres are looking to strengthen their home-ice advantage by giving priority to fans in the local area when it comes to pre-sale tickets for hockey games at Keybank Arena. The Sabres are reportedly finalizing plans to try and keep those tickets local, although it is not entirely clear yet how they intend to do so.

It is no secret that Canadian hockey fans often make the trip down to Buffalo to attend NHL hockey games and that is especially true when teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens come to town. The Sabres obviously feel that their home ice advantage is damaged by having large contingents of rival fans in their building, but the decisions like this one to keep fans out of the building are always met with widespread criticism.

It's not just Canadian hockey fans who will be impacted either, fans of the Detroit Red Wings often make the journey to New York state when the Red Wings are in town, and that is also true of fans of the New York Rangers who often make the journey up state to see their team play.

“Obviously last year, there were a handful of games where we saw the wrong color blue or the wrong color red coming into the building, depending on the jersey we were wearing,” said Buffalo Sabers vice president of sales Frank Batres-Landaeta as per The Buffalo News. “It’s something that we’ve been talking about and discussing and trying to figure out: How do we get tickets in the hands of Buffalo fans?”

Die hard fans who make these journeys in the first place often find ways to circumvent these restrictions however, without knowing exactly what the Sabres will implement this time around, it remains to be seen if they will be able to do so once again.