Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that $22 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant funding has been awarded to the Upper Mohawk Valley Memorial Auditorium Authority to construct the Nexus Center, a world-class, tournament-based sports complex in downtown Utica. The state contribution is half of the project’s estimated $44 million cost.
The 169,440-sq. ft. structure will be used 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,” Cuomo said in a statement. “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.”
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.
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.”