The Nexus Center Will Serve as a Premier Tournament-Based Facility for Ice Hockey, Box Lacrosse, Soccer and Other Field Sports
Will Draw Sports Teams from Throughout the Northeast to the Mohawk Valley Region
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $22 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant funding has been awarded to the Upper Mohawk Valley Memorial Auditorium Authority for the construction of the Nexus Center, a world-class, tournament-based sports complex in downtown Utica. The Nexus Center will be a 169,440-square-foot facility to be utilized primarily for ice hockey, box lacrosse, soccer and other field sports, and will draw competitive youth teams from across the U.S and Canada.
"The success of our downtown communities is vital to regional economic growth and this new world-class sports complex will help transform Utica and drive tourism in the area," Governor Cuomo said. "The Nexus Center is part of our bold vision to make downtown Utica a destination for visitors from across the globe and at the same time generate exciting new opportunities for Mohawk Valley residents."
"This significant investment as part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative for the construction of the Nexus Center will add a world-class sports facility in Utica," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This tournament space will bring various teams to the area from across the country, attracting visitors to the Mohawk Valley and continuing to grow the economy of the region."
This $44-million facility will be adjacent to the Adirondack Bank Center, the home of the American Hockey League's Utica Comets, Utica College men's and women's hockey programs, and the Utica Jr. Comets youth hockey organization. The ice can be easily transformed into field-based surfaces to attract sports that can be performed on a turf playing surface. In addition, the Nexus Center will feature more than 25 locker rooms, commercial office space, college classroom space, retail space, food and beverage services, and other multi-purpose training space. The Nexus Center is projected to host 24 hockey and 24 lacrosse tournaments each year and will see a projected 322,560 annual visitors who will spend more than $26 million a year during their stay in the Mohawk Valley Region.
The Nexus Center will focus on out-of-town tournament participants year-round, while catering to local athletes during the week for practices and training. When the facility is not actively being used for a tournament or other event, it will function as a community sports and recreation center for area sports organizations, high schools and colleges. The connectivity of the Nexus Center to the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium also enhances its overall regional impact and scope. Future plans for the Nexus Center include expanding to a four-season sporting center, with the potential to add outdoor multi-use sports fields to the north and into the Harbor Point area - a vision consistent with the Utica Harbor Master Plan.
State investment has helped rejuvenate downtown Utica. With the input of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council and other stakeholders, the downtown neighborhoods have been reimagined as destinations for urban entertainment, recreation, sports, and entrepreneurship. A $300 million State investment will help a new hospital reshape downtown. The newly renovated Utica Memorial Auditorium is home to two professional teams, the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League and the Utica City Football Club of the Major Arena Soccer League. Loft apartments have been built along Genesee and State Streets and in the Bagg's Square neighborhood. State funding is being used to repair the harbor walls and help redevelop waterside properties for mixed-use purposes.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Nexus Center is an integral part of reimagining downtown Utica as a sports, arts and entertainment hub, drawing events and teams from all over the Northeast and Canada and boosting the local economy."
Senator Joseph Griffo said, "I am proud to have supported and advocated for this important project in downtown Utica, as it will support tourism and generate economic growth in the Mohawk Valley. The result will be more jobs and a more vibrant downtown that welcomes residents and visitors alike."
Assembly Member Marianne Buttenschon said, "Revitalizing our downtown areas is vital to rebuilding our upstate regions. The Nexus Center will bring teams from across the northeast to the region, while inviting young families to live, work and play in Utica and the surrounding communities, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his support."
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said, "The Nexus Center is part of our bold vision for making Oneida County a sports, tourism and recreation destination. I am thankful to Governor Cuomo for supporting this project with vital funding that will bring the Nexus Center from concept to reality. The Governor continues to be a valued partner in bolstering the economic development of our community from the renovation and expansion of the Adirondack Bank Center to the elevation of our UAS industry at the Griffiss International Airport."
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said, "The Nexus Center is a key part of the revitalization of the entire Greater Utica region. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for supporting this project and for encouraging new investments to spur economic growth in our city."