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Batavia Ice Arena

January 24, 2022 - 9:37pm

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Calling it a significant event in his lifetime, Batavia businessman Guy Pellegrino walked away from tonight’s City Council Conference Meeting with a good feeling that the Batavia Ice Arena soon will be named in honor of the late David McCarthy.

Pellegrino, owner of Pellegrino Auto Sales on Pearl Street Road, and Brian McCarthy, president of the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation, spoke to city lawmakers at the City Hall Council Board Room to let them know how much it would mean to them for Council to vote in favor of accepting their offer to purchase the naming rights of the Evans Street facility.

City management put out a Request for Proposal back in October and apparently has drafted a contract that stipulates annual payments of $3,100 from Pellegrino Auto Sales over a 10-year period for the privilege to rename the rink The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.

“You couldn’t find a better person to have their name on that building,” Pellegrino said. “This is one of the most special things I have ever embarked upon.”

Pellegrino said he and David played hockey together from 1983 through the Batavia High Ice Devils’ run to the New York State finals in 1995.

“He was our team captain and was just one of my great, great friends,” he said. “But back to the naming rights and making sure David's name is on there. He was just very passionate, just a great, great hockey player and even greater person. So, to honor him -- that's honestly what we set out to do.”

David McCarthy was killed tragically in a motor vehicle accident in November 2006 at the age of 29. Shortly thereafter, his family and friends started the foundation in his name to support local youth sports.

His brother, Brian, said he appreciates Pellegrino’s generosity and will work closely with him to advance youth hockey and enhance what the arena has to offer for children and adults, alike.

“Guy came to us and said when this proposal (from the city) came out that he wanted to do this – not necessarily for his business, but in honor of his teammate and my brother, David McCarthy,” Brian said to the City Council members.

“Our family was just blown away that he wanted to do this. We thought, well, what can we do? So, what we bring to the table is … a charitable foundation that is passionate about improving and supporting youth athletics in Genesee County.”

McCarthy said the foundation has supported “a long and diverse list of organizations” over the past 15 years. The foundation has donated around $80,000 to youth sports during that time.

136932461_104300151620785_8012738598735997461_n.pngWith help from his father, Michael, and other family and friends, McCarthy said the foundation is in a position to help sports groups get started or move to the next level.

“As Guy and I talked about it a few weeks ago, I have the fun job of often times getting back to these organizations, reporting to them that we're going to step in and help,” he said.

“We have a huge golf tournament every June where we raise money to support youth athletics and it's become a very big event, and the community has just been amazing in supporting us,” he mentioned. “So, we're excited to take kind of that recipe and join forces with the people that have been working hard for years to make the ice rink an amazing place, and maybe even add a little more to the equation.”

Both men said they are hopeful that their offer will be accepted when Council votes at its next Business Meeting on Feb. 14.

Judging by some of the Council members’ initial reactions, they have reason to be optimistic.

Patti Pacino said she has an 8-year-old and 4-year-old (grandchildren) that use the rink and said, “I couldn’t agree more” with their bid to win the naming rights.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. thanked both of them for “thinking about the long term” status of the rink and fostering public partnership; Tammy Schmidt noted that her son “grew up at the rink and now her grandson” and Robert Bialkowski said he was glad that somebody from Batavia responded to the RFP.

Bialkowski asked what would happen if the city leases the rink to a different management firm that wanted to change the facility's name. City Attorney George Van Nest said there is an opt-out clause and that would be addressed at that time.

For now, both Pellegrino and Brian McCarthy are spending their free time as coaches – teaching the basics of hockey to their young children.

“We’re coaching together at the beginner level. Yeah, the smallest kids on the ice – 4 and 5 years old; as little as they get,” McCarthy offered. “The two of us have a long extension to our own hockey adventure ahead of us with our sons.”

Photo: Guy Pellegrino, left, and Brian McCarthy address City Council tonight about their offer to have the Batavia Ice Arena named in memory of Brian's brother, David. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: City drafts resolution to name ice arena in memory of standout Batavia athlete David McCarthy

January 21, 2022 - 11:56pm

136932461_104300151620785_8012738598735997461_n.pngWith the approval of City Council, a Batavia-based charitable organization that has done so much for youth sports in Genesee County over the past 14 years will be honored by having its name attached to the city-owned ice arena on Evans Street.

Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick, in a memo dated Jan. 24 to City Council, stated that Pellegrino Auto Sales and the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation have submitted the most competitive bid -- $3,100 annually for 10 years – to purchase the naming rights for the Batavia Ice Arena.

In October 2021, city management put out a Request for Proposal, seeking “a forward-thinking community leader” (business or organization) to present a proposal indicating at least a five-year commitment. According to the RFP, proceeds from the naming rights will be used to make improvements to the arena.

A draft of a resolution to formally accept the Pellegrino/McCarthy Foundation offer is on the agenda of Monday night’s City Council Conference Meeting at 7 o’clock at the City Hall Council Board Room.

The resolution stipulates that the facility will be renamed The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena during the 10-year term of a formal naming rights agreement and any renewals thereafter.

In her memo, Wiedrick wrote that the agreement grants the prospective sponsors the following rights:

  • Erect signage on the ice arena’s façade;
  • Place one sign (painted) on an interior wall for Pellegrino Auto Sales;
  • Hold two events for up to two hours each at the arena annually;
  • Inclusion in all promotional material and other media (press releases, etc.) in cooperation with the city and Firland Management, the company that oversees operations for the city.

It goes on to note that the sponsors will pay for the installation and removal of the façade sign and major maintenance of the sign, and that Pellegrino Auto Sales, located at 4060 Pearl St. Rd., will pay for the painting and removal of the interior wall signage and the sign’s maintenance.

The rink formerly was known as the Falleti Ice Arena for many years.

The David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation was formed in 2007 in honor of David McCarthy, who died in a motor vehicle accident in November 2006 at the age of 29.  He was a 1995 graduate of Batavia High School, where he excelled in baseball and hockey.

Since then, the foundation has donated more than $70,000 to numerous youth athletics’ organizations and individuals – including Batavia/Notre Dame hockey, Batavia Minor League Baseball, Le Roy Youth Softball and, last summer, to Batavia wrestler Casper Stewart, who competed in the USA Wrestling Nationals in Fargo, N.D.

It also sponsors the annual David McCarthy Memorial Christmas Hockey Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Fundraisers throughout the year, primarily a golf tournament at Batavia Country Club and bowling tournament at Mancuso Bowling Center, sustain the foundation, which is led by David McCarthy’s brother, Brian, president; father, Michael, treasurer; and Matthew Meyer, vice president.

December 23, 2021 - 9:35pm

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In what Head Coach Marc Staley called “our poorest effort of the year,” Batavia Notre Dame United – plagued by mistakes in its own zone and outshot by a more than two-to-one margin – dropped a 7-4 decision to Pittsford tonight in Section V hockey at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Sophomore Ben Norten scored three goals and assisted on another as the visiting Panthers broke away from a 2-2 tie with four goals in the second period to take a 6-4 advantage heading into the third period.

Pittsford, 4-3-1, fired 46 shots at BND goaltender Courtney Schum, while United could manage to put just 19 on Panthers’ goalie Aden Brown.

“This was our poorest effort of the year and we have to address that,” Staley said. “We have to come to play every night. And we didn’t execute tonight and they’re a fast team and a skilled team.”

Staley pointed to his team’s miscues in its own end that provided Pittsford numerous extra opportunities.

“We gave up too many pucks in our own zone -- sloppy play,” he said. “Pucks in the back of our net (given away). You can’t make mistakes against Class A teams that are good like this. And we made too many tonight, so we’ve got to tighten that up. And we will. It’s still early in the year.”

Pittsford had several chances to draw first blood but was unable to capitalize on a power play midway through the opening period.

When BND drew a pair of penalties at the 8:00 and 7:21, it came through with the two-man advantage -- with senior Gavin Schrader putting away a rebound at 6:59. Jameson Motyka and Zack Eschberger assisted.

The Panthers tied the score at 3:44 on a goal by sophomore Henok Hankinson (assisted by junior Will Masaschi) and took the lead less than two minutes later when junior Lucas Procious scored from close range, with Norten and Colin Norton assisting.

United rallied with a minute left in the period when Eschberger converted a pass from the speedy Schrader, who had raced down the left side of the rink past the defense.

Pittsford controlled most of the action in the second period, outshooting the home team 26-10. And it didn't help the United cause when defenseman Noah Hudson's skate blade broke, forcing him to miss most of the 17-minute session while correcting the situation.

Norten scored off a rebound of a shot by Norton at 13:22 and Masaschi buried the puck after an initial save by Schum at 12:09 to put Pittsford up 4-2.

Following a BND timeout, United cut the deficit in half as Schrader deflected a shot by Parker Corbelli past Brown at the 11:00 mark (Eschberger also assisted), but Pittsford came back 55 seconds later as sophomore Brady McMahon beat Schum to her glove side from a tough angle.

After Schrader hit the crossbar on a shot at 6:25, United pulled to within a goal again as senior Vin DiRisio found the back of the net after a nifty pass from Motyka.

Schum made a couple tough saves inside of three minutes, but was unable to thwart Norten at the 1:14 mark when he scored his second goal, assisted by Norton. The duo combined again to close out the scoring at 10:57 of the third period after United gave up the puck behind its own net.

Pittsford clamped down in the third period, holding BND without a shot on goal until 2:57 remained in the game.

Asked if he thought Pittsford had a deeper team and better skaters, Staley instead talked about United’s unforced errors.

“We scored one on ourselves. Those are the things we have to address; too many giveaways in our own zone,” he said. “And we need more balance. We’re relying on two few guys right now.”

Still, Staley said he saw it as a learning experience.

“It’s good for us to play against these teams to learn the level that we have to get to,” he said.

Schrader upped his goal total to 15 (to go with his 15 assists) while DiRisio’s goal was his 10th of the season.

United, 5-3, travels to the LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo for games against Section VI opponents next week – at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday against Hamburg and at 1:15 p.m. Thursday against Frontier.

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Photo at top: Batavia Notre Dame's Jameson Motyka avoids a Pittsford defender as goaltender Courtney Schum looks on. Photos at bottom: United's Parker Corbelli controls the puck as Pittsford's Lucas Procious converges; teammate Brady Johnson looks to maneuver past Pittsford's Keegan Ahern. Photos by Howard Owens.

December 23, 2021 - 2:29pm

A victory over Pittsford tonight would give Batavia Notre Dame a psychological lift through Christmas and snap a long Section V hockey drought against the suburban Rochester school.

“This is a very important game for us, psychologically, as it can get us to 6-2 heading into next week's tournament at the (LECOM) Harborcenter in Buffalo, and knowing that a Batavia team hasn’t beaten Pittsford since, I think, 1994,” Head Coach Marc Staley said this afternoon.

The game is set for 6 o’clock at the Batavia Ice Arena on Evans Street.

bnd_united_logo.jpgThe Batavia Blue Devils were unable to defeat a Pittsford club when they met regularly in Monroe County League competition over the past three decades and, last year, Notre Dame dropped a 5-3 decision to the Panthers in the first round of the sectionals.

Batavia and Notre Dame combined forces prior to this season as "BND United" and has won five of its first seven contests. Pittsford is 3-3-1 but the record doesn’t indicate the overall strength of this year’s Panthers’ team, Staley said.

“This looks to be a dead-even game,” he said. “They have played against some very strong teams – Fairport, Massena and Penfield – and play a similar style to ours.”

On paper, United has more offensive firepower than Pittsford with five players in the top 10 in scoring among the six Independent teams. BND has scored 47 goals and given up 25 while Pittsford has scored 22 and allowed 22.

Senior Gavin Schrader is No. 1 in points with 13 goals and 14 assists, freshman Jameson Motyka and junior Ronin Hofmaster each have six goals and 11 assists, senior Vin DiRisio has nine goals and seven assists, and freshman Brady Johnson has seven goals and eight assists.

BND goaltender Courtney Schum has a 3.53 goals against average in her seven games.

The Panthers have three players with five goals apiece – senior Aidan McGrain, junior Lucas Procious and sophomore Henok Hankinson, while junior Will Masaschi has four goals and nine assists. Goalie Aden Brown has a 2.96 GAA.

Staley said both teams have solid power play units and it could come down to which team stays out of the penalty box.

“The team showing the most discipline likely will come out on top,” he said. “It shapes up to be a close game.”

December 18, 2021 - 8:41am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, notify, Batavia Notre Dame United, Batavia Ice Arena.

Senior winger Gavin Schrader scored three goals and freshman Brady Johnson tallied a pair of goals and three assists to lead Batavia Notre Dame to a 9-2 victory over Fulton in Friday night's opening round of the Dave McCarthy Memorial Christmas Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.

The victory puts United in the championship game at 3 this afternoon against Webster Schroeder, which defeated Bishop Timon, 10-0.

United, 4-2, scored twice in the first period, three times in the second and four times in the third as it outshot the Red Raiders, 50-20.

Jameson Motyka opened the scoring a minute and 46 seconds into the game (assisted by Parker Corbelli and Johnson) and Johnson made it 2-0 about two minutes later (assisted by Andrew Kasmarek and Motyka).

Kasmarek (assisted by Gino Falleti and Addison Warriner) gave BND a 3-0 cushion early in the second period before Nick Long answered for Fulton with 9:28 on the clock.

About four minutes later, Schrader – who now has 13 goals this season – converted a pass from Ronin Hofmaster before returning the favor, setting up Hofmaster for a goal with 1:40 left in the period. Alex Johnson assisted on Schrader’s goal and Zack Eschberger picked up an assist on Hofmaster’s goal.

In the third period, following a goal by Jameson Motyka (assisted by Brady Johnson), Schrader scored back-to-back power play goals with 11:47 and 9:42 on the clock. Motyka and Brady Johnson assisted on the first one, with Hofmaster and Eschberger assisting on the second goal.

Brady Johnson closed out the scoring with 8:04 left (assisted by Noah Whitcombe).

United goaltender Courtney Schum made 18 saves, including a stop on Fulton’s Nick Long on a breakaway midway through the first period.

Owen Dixon scored the other goal for Fulton, 1-5-2. Fulton and Bishop Timon will meet in the consolation game at noon.

October 7, 2021 - 2:55pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city of batavia, Batavia Ice Arena.

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City of Batavia management is looking for a “forward-thinking community leader” in the form of a company, organization or even an individual wishing to secure the naming rights for the Batavia Ice Arena at 22 Evans St.

Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick today released a six-page Request for Proposal titled “Batavia Ice Arena Naming Rights” that gives potential arena sponsors until Nov. 5 to submit proposals outlining why their name should be associated with the 43-year-old ice hockey and skating facility.

According to the RFP, revenue from naming rights will be used to make functional and aesthetic improvements inside, and on the exterior of the arena. Applicants are asked to provide one or more names for consideration in their proposal.

Terms and financial obligations to the sponsor stipulate a five-year commitment, but do not include a set annual fee to be paid to the city.

Wiedrick said the manager’s office is leaving the yearly (or five-year) financial contribution up to the sponsor, and will consider the amount offered along with other factors.

When asked if the applicant had to be located in the city or Genesee County, she said that wasn’t the case “since we just don’t know what sort of interest is out there.”

“We’re going to be reviewing all of these submissions to figure out what is the best one that works for the City of Batavia,” she said.

Individuals are welcome to apply, Wiedrick said.

“It could be anyone … but more often than not, with any ice arena or anything that’s going out for naming rights, it does tend to be associated with a business.”

The RFP indicates that the city owns the arena and Firland Management operates it.

It also spells out benefits and opportunities at the facility, which hosts youth, high school and adult hockey competition and open skating events, with annual attendance at more than 70,000.

“Your sponsorship will position your company as a forward-thinking community leader,” it reads, emphasizing ways to promote the brand and “build positive associations through special events, league play, community experiences, traditions, and memories made at the Ice Arena!”

Exterior and interior signage will be permitted, as well as the promotion of the company (organization, individual’s) name on the City of Batavia website and all marketing materials.

The selected sponsor also will be able to hold two private events up to two hours each – one in the fall/winter and the other in the spring/summer.

Sponsor responsibilities include:

  • Signage development, design and production, with approval by the City of Batavia, and contracting and paying for all work relative to the installation of all exterior and interior signage.
  • Ongoing maintenance and bulb replacement in a timely manner for the signs that are located on the exterior of the building. All other signs in the facility once installed are the responsibility of the City of Batavia.
  • Promotion of advertising opportunities that may include additional revenue or marketing benefits to support the ice arena.
  • Presentation of a strategy to increase awareness of the facility’s new name (a key component of the proposal) and to present a strategy to facilitate complete use of the new name prior to the start of 2022.

The RFP, which will be distributed to businesses by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, also includes requirements for successful submission and criteria for evaluation.

The rink formerly was known as Falleti Ice Arena.

File photo. Thanksgiving holiday open skate at Batavia Ice Arena.

March 9, 2021 - 2:47pm

It seems as though the City of Batavia is playing somewhat “shorthanded” when it comes to the financial arrangements surrounding the operation of the Batavia Ice Arena on Evans Street.

On Monday night, City Council voted in favor of an extension and modification of its lease agreement with Firland Management, the firm that has managed the rink for more than a decade.

Negotiated changes call for the Virginia-based company to hold off on its lease payment of $25,000 to the city until Jan. 1, 2022, instead of the original due date of March 1 of this year, and also for the reduction of Firland’s contribution to the rink’s capital fund for 2020-21 from $32,958.30 to $5,000.

Additionally, the contract will be extended for two years through March 2023; Firland’s lease payments will be $20,000 annually for 2021-22 and 2022-23; and its capital fund contribution will be $5,000 annually for the next two fiscal years.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski said concessions were made because the rink was closed for several months last year, adversely affecting Firland’s bottom line. With the changes, the city has escaped (at least in the near future) the possibility of Firland walking away.

When the resolution came up for a vote toward the end of Council’s Business Meeting, Council Member Rose Mary Christian requested that it be amended to a one-year lease instead of two in order for the city to explore opportunities to find private ownership of the facility.

Her request, however, did not receive a “second” so the original resolution stayed on the table.

Council Member Robert Bialkowski said he understood what Christian was attempting to do, but pointed out that a one-year lease could come back to haunt the city.

“If we have a one-year lease and they have not paid the bulk of the money that was supposed to be paid the second year, we would really come up short on that,” he said. “I think this is the best we can do. We have to support it and that’s it.”

Council Member Paul Viele, a longtime youth hockey enthusiast, said he has observed that “Firland is doing a lot better job than they have in the past.”

“With people like Mr. (Robert) Gray (of the Friends of the Rink organization) helping out and volunteering – good things are coming,” Viele said.

Bialkowski said the only ice rinks making money are the ones backed by wealthy sponsors, and then brought up the naming rights to the rink (formerly known as the Falleti Ice Arena).

“I don’t think $500 should put your name up there for five years. That’s like giving that away,” he said.

Viele said the rink would make money “if you have more than one sheet, and that’s expensive to get another sheet.”

Earlier, during the public comments portion of the session, Gray encouraged Council to vote yes to the amended operating agreement.

The Stafford resident said that under the current lease, Firland had the option to extend the lease for another five years.

“Due to extenuating circumstances caused mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the rink was closed from March 17 to September of the last year, both parties agreed to the two-year lease,” he said. “A new section was also added for the first time that dealt with the sale of the facility -- in the event that the city sells the facility or transfers ownership of the facility.”

Gray said that the new lease isn’t perfect, but "it does give requested consideration to Firland for the late payment to someone who has operated the ice rink for the last 14 years. It will allow the rink to be operated for another two years instead of sitting vacant.”

“City Council recently approved the new lease for Dwyer Stadium that was agreeable to both parties. Why wouldn’t you do the same for the Batavia Ice Arena? I think the proposed lease serves both Firland’s interest and the interest of the City of Batavia. The Batavia Ice Arena is a productive community asset.”

He cited a 2018 Creek Park feasibility study that indicated the estimated annual use hours at 1,600, estimated annual attendance at 68,500 and estimated economic output at $2.3 million.

Gray then took a veiled jab at Christian, who previously said the rink (for hockey) was used only by the “elite.”

“These elite people are your neighbors, coworkers and friends, and are found in every ward in the city and almost every village in the county,” Gray said. "Many people also believe that GAHA youth hockey is the only user of the ice rink. This is not true. The Batavia Men’s Hockey League, both high schools, public open skate, figure-skating lessons and pickup hockey all pay to use the ice at the rink. GAHA currently pays $200 for a 50-minute session – that’s four dollars a minute.”

He then commended Council for hiring Tabelski as manager, saying he has met with her twice to implement a program for his organization that would allow volunteers to identify and complete rink improvements at no or low cost to the city.

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