UPDATED: Oneida County celebrates grand opening of the Nexus Center
UTICA — Hundreds of people gathered in the Nexus Center to celebrate its grand opening Thursday night.
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.; Rob Esche, president of the Mohawk Valley Garden and the Utica Comets’ AHL team; and Carl Annese, chair of the Upper Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority, officially welcomed members of the public at the event, which took place at 400 Oriskany St. West, in downtown Utica.
"This facility really says a lot about this community, but it also really defines the community for years to come," Picente said. "Our vision, a goal that we had when we put this together, was that more people would come to Oneida County, to see Oneida County, not just to play in Oneida County. Of course, that's a big part of it, to play hockey, to play soccer, to play lacrosse, to have competitions, and cheerleading and robotics. ... Thousands of people every weekend coming into this community, from all across the Northeast, and this country, from across the world."
"The world is going to come to Oneida County because of what we've built here today," he added.
The center was first opened to the public on Friday, Nov. 11 for a hockey tournament, but the complex had not been completely finished. While the structure was completed and safe for occupancy, many of the smaller details like finishing touches on the concessions stations were yet to be finished.
The structure is 170,000 square feet and houses three playing surfaces that can be filled with ice or turf.
Nexus is set to host soccer, public skating, rugby, baseball, softball and other programs like the Northeast Tattoo Expo, which is scheduled to occur June 2–4, 2023. It will host 24 hockey and 24 lacrosse each year, and will draw teams from across the U.S. and Canada to Utica.
Future plans include expanding into a four-seasons complex, by potentially adding in outdoor sports fields.
Nexus is projected to bring 320,000 annual visitors to Utica, and $26 million annually for the local economy.
In a statement, Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "The completion of the world-class Nexus Center cements the State's ongoing vision for a reimagined Utica as a destination for sports fans and families alike.
Thanks to an assist from New York, this facility will surely put the Mohawk Valley's economy on a winning streak for years to come."
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here