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Home > Leadership > Mayor > News Room > Press Releases > Buffalo Ball Drop Returns to Downtown Buffalo For Its 29th Year

Buffalo Ball Drop Returns to Downtown Buffalo For Its 29th Year

December 20, 2016 - Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown invited city residents and visitors to ring in 2017 at the 29th annual “Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks” at Iskalo Development’s Electric Tower, located in Downtown Buffalo’s Roosevelt Plaza.  Roosevelt Plaza is located where Huron, Genesee, and Washington Streets meet.
“Now in its 29th year, the ‘Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks’ has become an annual tradition that keeps getting bigger and better and Downtown Buffalo is ready to celebrate the best New Year’s Eve yet,” said Mayor Brown, noting the many new and existing restaurants located within blocks of Roosevelt Plaza, along with skating at Rotary Rink and First Night Buffalo at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.  “I thank our exceptional sponsor organizations, including M&T Bank as it continues to celebrate its 160th anniversary, for their dedication to this event and to the citizens of Buffalo and Western New York.  Their commitment to our city, and its many assets, fills us with a great sense of pride as we work to continue to build a city of opportunity in Buffalo, where everyone benefits from our city’s rising prosperity.”
The evening is produced by Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo, the Police Athletic League of Buffalo and Buffalo Place, with major sponsors that include M&T Bank.

“Now in its 29th year, the Ball Drop continues to grow bigger and brighter—just as downtown Buffalo continues to grow bigger and brighter! We encourage everyone to make downtown Buffalo their New Year’s Eve destination, and to come see why we at M&T Bank so are optimistic about the city that has been our home and headquarters since the day we were founded in 1856”, said C. Michael Zabel, Group Vice President of Corporate Communications at M&T Bank.

Buffalo Place Executive Director Michael T. Schmand stated, “Buffalo Place is excited once again to participate with the City of Buffalo, the Police Athletic League, and the sponsorship family in celebrating a great Downtown Buffalo tradition, the 2017 New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.”

Other major sponsors include the Western New York Chevy Dealers, Big Ditch Brewing Company, Carmina Woods Morris DPC, Frey Electric Construction, Hyatt Regency Buffalo, Liberty Cab, Uniland Development Corp., Ciminelli Real Estate Corp, as well as WKBW, WGRF-FM 97 Rock, Yancey’s Fancy and Iskalo Development.

Once again, the New Year’s ball will descend from atop Iskalo Development’s Electric Tower, carefully in synch with the ball in New York’s Times Square.

“Iskalo Development is pleased to host the 29th consecutive Ball Drop at the historic Electric Tower”, stated Paul B. Iskalo, founder and CEO of Iskalo Development.  “Each year we look forward to welcoming fellow Western New Yorkers to Downtown’s Electric District to celebrate our great city and ring in the New Year.”

Local singing sensation and Buffalo’s own Caitlin Koch will headline the show, kicking off at 10:30p.m., concluding with the Buffalo Ball Drop and Fireworks at midnight.  Koch grew up in Orchard Park.
This year, D.J. Jickster from 97 Rock will co-host the event with The Eyewitness News Team, including Anchors Keith Radford and Ashley Rowe, with Elizabeth Lewin serving as the evening’s roving reporter. Coverage of the “Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks” will begin with “Eyewitness News at 11pm” followed by the television special "Countdown to 2017" that includes “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” on ABC-TV.
Michael Nurse, WKBW-TV VP and General Manager stated, “WKBW is proud to be a part of this great event since the beginning and we are so glad that the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Place are able to continue the tradition of Buffalo’s Ball Drop.  We look forward to broadcasting the celebration of Buffalo’s resurgence and entrance into 2017 on WKBW as we have for the past 29 years!”

The Police Athletic League of Buffalo (PAL) helps produce the “Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks” and benefits from sponsorship proceeds.  “The Police Athletic League of Buffalo is honored again to be part of the 29th annual Ball Drop,” said Nekia Kemp of PAL.  “To all the sponsors – thank you for helping us, help our children.”

Video walls set up by Indigo Productions will offer digital images of the Buffalo and Times Square ball drops, including a presentation of the “Countdown to 2017” HD telecast presented by WKBW Channel 7, a co-sponsor of the Ball Drop events since the first one in 1988 - when 97 Rock offered it as a gift to the city.
The Ball will drop in synch with its sister in New York’s Time Square, followed by a spectacular fireworks display presented by the Chevy Dealers of Western New York.  Skylighters of WNY will shoot the fireworks show and choreograph it to classic rock and seasonal music favorites.
A “test drop” of the Ball will be held at 535 Washington Street, in front of the Electric Tower on Thursday, December 29th   at 10 am, when crews hoist the specially designed ball to the top of the tower, testing the hundreds of special lights and timing the descent.