The Sports Bar-Rob Minter

VP of Business Operations for the Rochester Amerks, Rob Minter, joins Danger and Battaglia in The Sports Bar to discuss more of the details in the interim agreement between the City of Rochester and Pegula Sports and Entertainment at Blue Cross Arena.

00:26:17

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

The only way you can take ESPN Rochester with you is don't radio dot com that I downloaded today and listen to watch any time anywhere sports leader ESPN Rochester. Back in the sports bar danger have been tightly I think you joining us and AM 950 and 957 FM. Rob mixer is the vice president of business operations for the Rochester Americans joining us now the sport sport liven studio rob how are you this afternoon. I'm good I'm good thanks for having me good to be back yeah I got a lot more on your plate now is the guys that up TSE tell me you were the finger quote. Point person now has an accurate. That's accurate yeah I yeah I've been that the vice president. Business out here for the Amber's for the past seven months or so and and here in market at the arena and so when this you know more recently kind of came about it's you know I'm I'm here in market in an under the direction of our our folks at PSE and buffalo I'll be here and you know really be the point man here for the arena. Rob that's great news in and you know gene and I have been jumping off of desks for for months you know wondering why the city of Rochester had been so difficult. In terms of how they dealt with it at their word tenets at the blue cross Serena wins knowing that the goal is owners of the M Merck's. Really are right for a partnership I mean if you work with. Then as a partner you can see so much more happened in that arena and it looks like with this Italy short term agreement that that's the direction that had it. Yeah I mean in terms of the past the I'm I'm not run against because matter get into it I would just say that we are. You were very pleased that our partnership with the city Rochester here and mayor Warren and her staff and commissioner Jones and you know everything headed towards a future of this interim agreement and working together says to really craft a long term agreement to handle operations at the arena has our goal so. You know our partnership with the right now is very strong and we're very happy within in this was a tremendous opportunity for. Rob minter is the vice president of business operations for the Rochester Americans to get a question by the way. I you can tweet us at ESPN Rochester is a robbed is here in studio with us. Odd is far as the transition. How is it going. On what is happening with the staff. What does this mean for Geoff Calkins. It I'm not really. Yeah I get too much into it the staff that was there or anything with with that in regard but as far as moving forward. You know page are good you know they're moving you know this week has been it has been busy as threes we start to prep things and get ready for things for this for August 1. An and really we we look at the success we've had our venues and you know we keep banks inner harbor scanner knew where field. You know this is another arena that taking into our operations that we feel really strongly about and you know trying to find our successful models and other places and moralist mimic that here obviously per the venue size and are what we need but you know we're all Horry can often Ronnie and you know we decided director of building operations here from keybank sinner buffalo today it's really runs the building side of things under. Under my leadership and under the leadership of PSE obviously so. We feel great about it is busy. There's a lot to do there is a lot to review and really get our hands in and figure out the direction of but again working with the city here and working with our team in buffalo and with he has he has hole. We're excited. You know where were anxious to just keep this thing on. Rob fancy what with the Google is have been able to do what PSE has been able to do. Downtown buffalo round keybank and I think a lot of them have that same expect that all it's gonna the same thing is gonna happen Rochus and I think. It would be lovely if that were to happen but I don't think it's realistic thing that's gonna just happen overnight and we know that there's some projects that are already in the works we know that there's some. Some money that's been set aside for the renovations around and at the arena can you talk about any of that. And specifically when we might be starting to see some of those changes. Around blue cross Serena. Sure you any right to what's happened in buffalo is than tremendous you know it's beautiful boy it's it's really great part of that market and we don't really trust the arena here is such an important part of the fabric of this community in this culture has been for a really long time and yeah on the emirates has been there for a long time to read has been there. And we see it as just an important part of that downtown core door in the city of Rochester to develop and to work on and again working with the city and and taking a look at things from top to bottom. You know vote there's a there's really a short term and a long term plan and the things that that we want to take part in tuned to improve the experience and the surrounding area and yeah there's some you know again like you say it's going to be a process there's no magic switch that you can flip and any building or any area or all of sudden. Everything is brand new and sparkly right but it's a process and we're committed to that process. And committed to working with the city and everywhere that we can exit to push things forward you know both at the arena and the surrounding. PSC. Has the deal through the end of the year our guest here is Ron mints or vice president and other Rochester Americans so. About that fan experience and coming up it's going to be here before you know at that opening Friday night against us so for hammer fans listening right now. Why are some things that you could expect whether it's new concessions something new how can things improve overall experience of the blue cross agreement. Yeah I think it's it's a couple fault I tell you on a one sided it you know from from a team perspective we should be really on the watch really excited and Don was in here yesterday. You know and and he see he shares some thoughts there and every day to day or time I talked to Randy sexton. He makes me wanna suit up and get out there and he makes me excited and I wanna buy season tickets you know like it's. For from a team perspective it's going to be a ton of fun and some experienced side of things you without getting into that too many details I would just say that everything's really be reviewed and we want. Our fans when they come on October 5 and and really for any event or concert before hand and afterwards we want them to have. Eight top notch or professional quality experience and start to finish right so when someone. In parks or card comes in the front door when they go to their seats they go to buy a hot dog they come back to go to our team store. Everything is is being reviewed the moment we wanna do everything we can again both in the short term and the long term plan of things to to take that experience to another level and I think that's really a big plus and us having operations. Rob we have lots of amor expense listening. You're the vice president of business operations for the emirates but we also lots of night hawks fans listening as well the Rochester night hawks' the other primary. Hate to use George Tenet and the other primary Tenet the blue cross or in with PSE taking over blue cross Serena and and words of of the night hawks'. In Kurtz tires wanting to move this team to Halifax is an expansion team. What can you speak on is far as the future of the Rochester Nye talks a blue cross Serena. Really all say is and we we support to national across sleek an and and working with them and and and related to growth and continuation of that sport here in the market. And here in our community and you know as far as that goes and that's really no comments. Well what about events that people have come to Knoll. Annually at the blue cross Reno I'll cite two of them. Section five basketball high school events or maybe three Bonaventure with that Atlantic hockey with that. On some of those things that are coming up on the calendar will you honor the previous. Commitments. Even though the deal you guys have tactically right now legally isn't only until December. Looking ahead here for fans alike section five or like going to saint Bonaventure are those things in the works come back. You know like you mention it's for us our major goal in years to work out a long term agreement with the city so that you know for in the years ahead. You know that that's all under consideration like you mentioned things that are you know I've been talks about happening in the future at the arena in our first goal is to sit down and work so long term agreement. In terms of of what's happened or what's been promised or what may or may not occur that's honest he's still under review. I'm as you can imagine you know recently there's been a lot more to. To start to look through and analyze it and figure out for. You know what what stays where does it when may or may not come you know I can tell you our goal is to provide that you know the best experience and the best quality experiences we can for our fans here in the community because. That's what they deserve you know people. This arena and come into the arena has been such the important part of the history of the city for a long time and on from here but. I can tell you that every time I talked to a fan or a customer or. You know I told you guys are island in Pittsburgh now every time someone matches me in my kids' T ball game a memory they had of going too enamored schemer and there years ago. You know it's our responsibility to create those memories for people in the future rights when they bring their loved ones or their kids or their friends and family members or coworkers. You know we're doing our best whether it's enamored scheme or another concert event to create is memories moving forward because of how important this is. As a staple to this market. We have to do everything in our power to continue. Rob I'm curious that that the rulers are Smart business people PSC's successful organization. Short term deal interim deal takes you through the end of the year. You wanna go through and evaluate everything and and look at every part of the arena and make sure that this is something that you want internal long term investment with is well. I don't think that this is likely but are there is there a chance you could look at everything during this interim period of Billick. Who could. We can't really know it how we his problem is this battle whoa we are in over our head and and then and then what happens. We have that worded. If that were to occur. All I would say we're we're committed to to really sitting down with the city and they've been great and an you have seen recent times here talking to everything in and we are committed to. Working out a long term program them. Well and again not Google the long shot question but you need to ask it again rob minter our guest here in studio in the analogy I'd use here on the show always. You know one once upon a time I drove off on that corner of the Honda Accord at a 160 mile a thousand miles. And I had the bill needs new tires new brakes and why want better Dwight wants. To go get the new car in your courts a conversations. Easy that even coming operas and off the table the conversations you know you know what. It's not worth all these improvements we really should start developing a plan here for a new arena in Rochester New York. All I would say is you know bears there's a lot to talk through both in the short term and the long term you know we've we are committed to blue cross arena and having it be in the fabric of the community in the downtown core door and you know along the view forever there. You know that that's really what we're committed to you were commuted to it this is committed to the growth of that arena. And all of the things that are kind of going to then go to shortens long term play of things. And Merck's vice president business operations rob minter joining us in studio here the sports bar with danger and tag Leah let's drill down a little bit on the Iraq the river way projects and in some of that. Some of the improvements haven't talked about for that I mean eat it I guess that would they're talking about this being complete around 20/20 three if I'm not mistaken is is right around the time. That that we should start to see a little bit more action with some of these improvements around the arena what what you know about the rock the river way projects specifically. You know I would say dad obviously and you know I'm at sat in a few meetings that they had in the in the area just from a business community standpoint but really that that's something for the city to get into and you know and our partnership with them obviously will sit down and and and talk within the consult with them really you know really anything and everything that may happen in the arena so there could be all sorts of things that could come. For information regarding those lines but you know really our goal is is to work for the city Rochester on. Everything that can happen at the arena and what's going to be best both in the short and long term for our fans and for for the overall experience. This the eagle sports entertainment looking to do more than just. The arena here is there an opportunity because we. We look I look at jealousy is at buffalo what the what is happening with Harbour Centre in things that have gold around so. Wayne you're sitting down and talking about a long. Term plan is it bigger than just a hockey arena and what events we put in set how accurate. You know the way the way we see it too is you know we've we've. You know ban committed to Rochester ever since you know tankan Google bought the am marks in the extension bills camp down the road saint John Fisher recently like. You know we we are committed to growing. As much as we can as an organization here sir I think a lot of it goes into what happens at the arena and obviously the surrounding area. We don't we wanted to do our part to continue to be an attraction. You know for for fans and for customers and for visitors to the city is well. To be really part of the docket so when they come in the Rochester. The arena and that's surrounding areas kind of part of that to do list I'm I think that's what Leo and we go to the city intended to do it to the citizens in the fans in this area. And the surrounding market. Innocence and had to give you so many specifics per say but that's that's our play I mean our our our goal is to be committed to this area and doing. Everything that we can in our part in and around the arena it's. A big part of that investment pro fan's standpoint is a winning team and last year the embarks. Getting the post season although a short run in the post season a talk about this appointment of the season ending the way it did. And let's talk about realistic expectations for this year given. So a lot of these names we've heard returning at least on one year deals of Bailey's Baptiste the eve of the one year contract with the sabres a two week deals. That'd been signed to we're gonna have a roster here in Rochester with a lot names that the fans are gonna be familiar with. Yeah right now you write and and that you know last season we you know we had a really good year overall. I think it's the first time we are in the post season in the last force for years really three seasons for years. I'm so to get back there was step one right and and Christie are coaches talked about that Randy stocked about that that was you really step one and and we got there and of course. You know you wanna go as far as you can every season but it doesn't always work out that way and yes Faris as this year goes I mentioned earlier. Every time I talk with win those guys about what's going on I'm just I'm just so excited and now I'm so excited to. You know fight if I didn't work all the games are he had becoming. And and like you said we have a lot of guys coming back from or perspective especially on the defensive end. That should make us really strong and there we're gonna have a lot of skilled players that did better here in Rochester this year some goals scores below a bit more skilled up front. We know we've got a goaltender that that's got some experience in an. I'm and we feel really good about the team and should be exciting. I'm Moshood via you know a great year on the ice for for fans and for for hockey in general on any and we'll see how things shake out. You know once we get closer who CC or our roster makeup looks and I'm but I can tell you everyone are building this is just excited. Our fans it's as shown us that bad reception as well I'm as we look into this year from a business standpoint so. It's it's a great time to be of. He's the point guy for the operations of blue cross arena now rob mints or business operations. Vice president for the Rochester Americans are guest here in the sports are. Rob I Knoll. You were here a couple years ago all but does the question we have to ask. It's 116 under so curious and as is an ancient history but. There at the RP one out to manage this arena. And it was surprising to me and all there is that PSE did not quit being a bit and it kind of went back to default to the previous company. Now can you weren't here. But from your knowledge and talking other people on the situation and talking to the city for manner. What changed. From the PSE perspective why is this important now we're we're two years ago this might have been overlooked. And as you mentioned in this you brining gonna love this answer but as you managed I wasn't here I don't have all of the the inner workings of what occurred then ruin I can get into it but. I can tell you that did the connection and a and that partnership in the bond that we have with the city now is extremely strong. I'm and the mayor you know mayor Warren and her administration over there's been tremendous and you know obviously an in recent times here. On this been good to really sit down and talk about the plan there and what what's gonna occur and how we're committed from our side and they're committed from their side and I think that's where you find those. You know phenomenal partnerships to where everything kind of makes sense. And privacy. And when we started talking about this more recently insist it was a great opportunity for us and it was something that we were we were more than happy to take part. Yeah I think the opportunity is there with blue cross screen and in you mentioned the commitment for PSC. Two blue cross Serena. When those renovations start to take hold right around 20/20 three the arena will be 75 years old. And 75 years ago Rochester was a different community it was a it was a a bustling community are growing and emerging community. It it isn't that way now and I'm curious from a business perspective when you look at that just the size of blue cross Serena. Or does it an arena that might be scaled down just a little bit has to fit the demographics of of this community. And an in arena scaled to size and also able to take in the larger events at the same time simultaneously. Wouldn't that down the road make business sense if if you're tearing can Google. You know I think it the other day this is this is there. It's a really strong market you know I think for us it's it's our job accidents continue to build fan equity and and customer according to put it that weighs in that just keeps things Kansas hammers but. You know from a customer standpoint it's our job to develop equity and reasons for them to visit theory right. It's our job to bring in. Top quality shows and on a recurring basis in the putting their products on the ice on and to make sure our Arenas is taking care of their right away from my experience standpoint and I mentioned earlier like. You know nothing makes me happy when people tell me stories have been coming years ago on what not and again I I Groban Virginia going to DC for different things and you know I think for us if we if we approach and handle our business the right way. And intend you know the results tend to follow and I think that's really the monster that we that we have that we want to have we wanna do things the right way. And do the right away from the get go and a lot of those types of things tend to work themselves out you know we need to continue to build fans and and to build customers in this market and you know that's what we should be more word on. Rob when and while I'm a sales guy you're a sales guy who we ask people here business owners what's the biggest challenge what's their biggest opportunity. So right now for. He has ceased like Rochester Americans what's the biggest challenge. As far as where you need to get suing your vision would you say and not I think we talked about some of the opportunities because you. You have a fan base here that. We saw. Our great crowd for Brian Gionta and you saw the potential. Of last year but it is so I guess my question is what is your biggest challenge in the short term next year. Yeah I like you said potential wise I mean our our playoff game that we had here was tremendous crowds out on Wednesday night you know was phenomenal. I can't think that the fans and supporters enough for that. You know from from Intel inside look there there's there's a lot of things it works here I would say obviously are the puck drops on October 5. You know I was just getting operations of the building on on August 1 there's you know an event on August 26 WB it's a billowing there's another one the next month. You know it's it's about taking all those things that maybe we didn't have to think about before there. And starting to work does in the fall of our operations and so that's you know for me from a personal perspective it's about managing my time and make sure that we're checking out boxes as we go. I'm so obviously in the interim we wanna make sure there is up and running and we've got everything in our belts were working through contacts that we whatever may be that we wanna make sure we feel good about and we do. Com and getting ready for the puck to drop in October so that that's obviously a very front facing challenge as you would expect. For us you know again I mention this or we we owe it to our fans into our customers our visitors to to do everything we can provide the best experience and you know I did today it's it's you know it in there are keys basically now so we need to make sure that we're doing that from start to finish and we don't then. That's only our own fault so from a town that's always huge counts. And as the operator rebuilding our horror or running a business you're challenges to make sure you're taking care of your people and announces the results from naral and fall. Rob you mentioned mayor Warren you mentioned commissioner Jones knew we hear Jeane and I've been. Pretty harsh critical of of how they dealt with their as they called tenets of blue cross ring over the course of time. Who commissioner Jones was on with us one time and and you know didn't really have a lot of answers as to we have questions that we had about the long term. Viability of the earmarks apple across Serena. Ito I've also said and we've also said in the past couple of weeks. Bravo kudos to it to have lovely Warren to commissioner Jones to our elected officials to City Hall for getting this partnership done with PSE it's really. Il all we've ever asked for you know to start you don't. Building towards a future with. A company like PSC that has such an outstanding track record I guess and curious how has. Those talks with the city been going how they've been you know the report was it that this was a negotiation it's our back in February it's England and her for six months of me. How has it been working with the city of Rochester is we've certainly heard a horse horse from other professional sports teams in the in the area. Why would just say first clarify you know we've been talking with him for months about the hammer swing situation circuit obviously that's that's always an ongoing discussion and that had been in talks for a bit more recently that kind of changed into. You know the operations of the building so let's just declare pretzels right. I'm sexually talks me great you know I mean really commissioner Jones and I. I spent a lot of time talking especially recently and his staff over there and obviously they're worn in the press conference last week. They've been really great really productive and again were were committed from our side. And we know they are as well and and you know it's exactly the type of partnership that she wants and I think this is a it's a great time to be downtown in that area and all on the river there and I think it's it's a great time for us a blue cross three intent to have this opportunity says things are great. And we look forward it to continue to work for them on long term deal. Now long term. Can you put a number on an overnight while it gets. Eight expectation right now frontier field had what ten year deal tenure DO NT I'm jealous or another tenure I got so mean that would be kind of a baseline and guess. Boy if you get a long term deal. Well then that insurers but not not the hammocks are going anywhere blight. Did not hear you you're you're les that seems ludicrous that me. But I yeah I keep saying Ontario spread tired of hearing that term but I looked at in terms of years in things like that that really hasn't been worked out yet. I'm again that's the goal from both parties and we're getting there and we're continuing to have those discussions so. You know again I can tell you were were heavily committed to Rochester and the surrounding area and and we will be for years to come. Robbie been very generous with your time this afternoon in the sports bar with dean germ the tightly wanna make sure that we give you plenty of time to get fans listening right now excited. But the upcoming season where can they get season tickets what you are working to get all the information that they need. For this upcoming Rochester Americans season she. Marianne and appreciate Dan thanks again for having me on how is a pleasure and an aunt and always loved to come over here now when you guys are hammy but yet it's going to be a phenomenal year and I talked about it earlier I don't sound like a broken record but the team should be a ton of fun to watch these very skilled up front solid defensive core coming back. You know again that our relationship and commitment from from upstairs with the sabres and down here is very strong. An and it's really a fortunate thing for us to be able to work there and be able to see it as well. So if you go to our website Nazi Demi and every dynamics dot com. You know all the information is there for season tickets or group tickets or partial plans for this coming season obvious your schedule was just released last week. We open up on October 5. And all my information on the web site as well so if anyone has a question or a suggestion or. You know eyes as is my staff I'll tell you my doors literally always open mind my phone's always there. I'd more than encourage it I'd love to hear from the people here again I'm I'm not a Rochester area an and I I ask soon lobby here. And I plan on being here a long time and so I'd love to continue to hear from people on the market. Not to mention a season ticket members and anyone else on the this season's going to be a tough on and we love to have you along for the ride. One last question for me I guess is more pro wage though. Because one cool annual event it was always 1 September that kind of went away and you home this team through the Buffalo Sabres would comment. In a former president of PSC said that the blue cross arena was an NHL ready okay. That's something we can work toward at some point down the road here perhaps baseline. I'd like I would say you know anything in everything's possible you know we don't wanna limit ourselves to. Yes anything that may occur I'm obviously not going to and to speak more strongly on them that. Tom but. Yeah I mean I think there's all kinds of things could happen and I think again if you know our plan is operators to handle the building right away into. You'll be prepared and and be well pointed to kind of take on opportunities as they come. We're just planting seeds here yet I know Agassi here for Ireland I got a memory like analysis I remember. Love it rob it's great having you in the sports bar really appreciate yet. Yeah comedy and getting us fired up for the potential changes now with PSE coming in. And managing blue cross through the what we can expect in the future of course the immediate future. Between 182019 Rochester Americans season great having you on with the song and it's a pleasure thanks Ian Graham you got Al Merck's vice president of business operations rob mentored joining us here. In the sports bar with danger and tightly geno let's take a break here come back. Go around the NFL with NFL appetizers brought you exclusively by Alex is plays Alice displaced. Making mouth watering barbecue baby back ribs for over 25 years on Monday Alex is rigs. Dot com the top stories from around the National Football League. Next in the sports bar. Danger and the tag Leo on ESPN Rochester. Look super fans sports junkie. Player and that's. Just in a better. ESPN Rochester dot com free to join us. He's 57. The sports and no sports leader and listen lives what do you foresee. Probably his bills and sabres who earlier this sports bar when danger and exactly how. Stories opinions in context he'd only. ESPN Rochester dot com. 957. Sports leaders ESPN Rochester who.
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