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Sean Ryan, local groups call for public hearings on proposed Outer Harbor amphitheater

Partnership for the Public Good Executive Director Andrea O' Suilleabhain
Thomas O'Neil-White
Partnership for the Public Good Executive Director Andrea O' Suilleabhain

State Senator Sean Ryan joined citizen and environmental groups Thursday calling on the Erie Canal Harbor Development Group to hold in-person public hearings on a proposed 8,000 capacity amphitheater at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

The E.C.H.D.C had held public hearings online during the pandemic, but with those restrictions lifted Ryan says now is the time for the corporation to hear what the public has to say in person.

State Senator Sean Ryan
Thomas O'Neil-White
State Senator Sean Ryan

“We need to give the public a real chance for input,” he said. “Allow the public to vet these plans.”

Standing with Ryan at the Outer Harbor’s Lakeside Bike Park was Partnership for the Public Good Executive Director Andrea O’ Suilleabhain, who said the amphitheater and 750-space parking lot are not what is needed for Buffalo’s Great Lakes Waterfront and not the right use of public money.

“For years many community organizations and residents have led Partnership for the Public Good in expressing a shared vision for our Great Lakes Waterfront,” she said. “E.H.D.C. has actually acknowledged this vision when they summarized the public comment on their Outer Harbor master plan. They noted that residents want a space distinct from Canalside and its many activities, concerts and attractions. Here on the Outer Harbor, according to the E.C.H.D.C., residents want a place where you can get away from an urban environment and enjoy a quieter, simpler waterfront.”

In consideration of public input, O’ Suilleabhain says the corporation should amend its plan and create a one with a unified vision.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.