ROCHESTER — The City of Rochester has reached a long-term deal with the owners of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres to operate the Blue Cross Arena.

If approved by City Council, Mayor Lovely Warren says the 15-year agreement with Rochester Arena LLC, which is owned by Pegula Sports & Entertainment (PSE) will run from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2033.

"This agreement will put the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial on a clear path to the highest tiers of regional sports and entertainment venues," said Mayor Warren in a statement. "I am looking forward to working with the Pegulas for many years to come as we maximize the job-creating potential of the Blue Cross Arena and bolster our efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

The agreement requires Rochester Arena to pay the city $60,000 a year to operate all aspects of the arena, including ticketing, booking events, and concessions.

The company will also pay utilities and half of the Rochester Police Department’s costs related to arena events.

The City of Rochester will retain responsibility for the structure and replacement of building systems, while Rochester Arena will be responsible for routine maintenance and repairs

Over the course of the agreement, Rochester Arena and the City of Rochester will each contribute $3 million for capital improvements to the Blue Cross Arena.

"Pegula Sports & Entertainment is proud to announce our partnership with the City and begin transforming Blue Cross Arena into a premier attraction along the Genesee River,” said PSE Chief Operating Officer Bruce Popko. “Throughout the entire process of reaching this long-term agreement, Mayor Warren, Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Norm Jones and the entire Administration have demonstrated the utmost commitment to the future of Rochester and the Arena. We look forward to working together to realize Blue Cross Arena’s incredible potential, and playing a leading role in the development of Rochester’s downtown corridor.”