Governor Hochul Announces Grand Opening of $64 Million Nexus Center in Downtown Utica

December 1, 2022

State Supported, World-Class Recreation and Sporting Complex Will Serve as Premier Tournament-Based Facility for Ice Hockey, Box Lacrosse, Soccer and Other Field Sports

Will Host Major Tournaments, Drawing Sports Teams from the Northeast and Canada to the Mohawk Valley Region

Projected to Attract More Than 320,000 Annual Visitors Who Will Add More Than $26 Million to Regional Economy, Reinforcing State's Economic Vision for Mohawk Valley

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the grand opening of the $64 million Nexus Center in downtown Utica. The announcement comes in advance of a ceremonial "puck drop" to be held later this evening by local officials. Thanks to state support, which includes $22 million through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, the 170,000 square-foot tournament-based recreation and sporting complex will be utilized for ice hockey, box lacrosse, soccer and other field sports, and will draw competitive youth teams from across the U.S. and Canada. The Nexus Center is projected to host 24 hockey and 24 lacrosse tournaments each year, welcoming more than 320,000 annual visitors and generating over $26 million annually in direct visitor spending. 

"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," Governor Hochul said. "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." 

The Nexus Center has three sheets of ice and is located next to the Adirondack Bank Center, the home of the American Hockey League's Utica Comets, Utica University 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 support turf sports. In addition, the Nexus Center offers more than 25 locker rooms, commercial office space, college classroom space, retail space, food and beverage services, and other multi-purpose training spaces. 

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 events, 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.   

Utica University has recently announced its partnership with the Nexus Center to enhance is Sports Management program, providing a highly innovative, first-of-its kind opportunity for students in the sports management program to gain real, professional experience. The Nexus Center will allow students to have a hands-on, interactive learning experience to help put their foot in the door when searching for employment upon graduation. In the last decade, the sports industry skyrocketed from 23rd to the sixth largest industry across the country. Utica University has roughly 40 students currently in the sports management program. 

Read the full press release here.