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State to provide half the funding for $44 million sports complex in downtown Utica

By Eric Reinhardt


A rendering of Nexus Center, a $44 million, “tournament-based,” sports complex that the Upper Mohawk Valley Memorial Auditorium Authority will build in downtown Utica. The state has awarded $22 million to help cover the cost of the project. (Photo credit: Utica Comets website)

UTICA, N.Y. — The Upper Mohawk Valley Memorial Auditorium Authority will use a $22 million state award for the construction of Nexus Center, a $44 million, “tournament-based,” sports complex in downtown Utica.

This facility will be adjacent to the Adirondack Bank Center, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. Adirondack Bank Center is 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 169,440-square-foot Nexus Center will “primarily” host ice hockey, box lacrosse, soccer and other field sports, and “will draw competitive youth teams from across the U.S and Canada,” Cuomo’s office contends.

The Nexus Center is projected to host 24 hockey and 24 lacrosse tournaments each year and is estimated to annually host more than 322,000 visitors who will spend more than $26 million a year during their stay in the Mohawk Valley region, per Cuomo’s news release.

“The Nexus Center is part of our bold vision for making Oneida County a sports, tourism and recreation destination,” Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said in the governor’s release. “I am thankful to Gov. Cuomo for supporting this project with vital funding that will bring the Nexus Center from concept to reality.”

The Nexus Center will feature more than 25 locker rooms, commercial office space, college-classroom space, a retail section, food and beverage services, and other multi-purpose training space.

The facility will focus on out-of-town tournament participants year-round, while catering to local athletes during the week for practices and training. When the Nexus Center is not hosting a tournament or other events, it will function as a community sports and recreation center for area sports organizations, high schools, and colleges.

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,” per Cuomo’s release.

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