The Utica NEXUS Center's grand opening will be held on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at the newly opened facility, according to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. NEXUS is a 1,200 seat venue for youth and junior hockey, soccer and Lacrosse tournaments. The feature rink of the facility will serve as the home ice for Utica University's Women's Hockey program, as well as home to Utica Comets' junior teams.

"This is a landmark day for our community. A day in which we can all be proud," said Picente. "This is another step in the creation of our premier sports and entertainment district, a destination for competitors from near and far, which is transforming the entire region."

The grand opening will feature a quick ceremony emceed by WIBX's Bill Keeler, featuring Picente, Rob Esche of Mohawk Valley Garden and Carl Annese, Chairman of the Upper Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority. A ribbon cutting will take place, followed by a reception and the entire event is open to the public.

NEXUS, which opened in November, was first announced on May 16th, 2017 as part of Picente's plan for the U-district. Prior to COVID, progress on the facility moved quickly with the Aud Authority purchasing the adjacent Tartan Textile property in December, and within a year, the county secured $22 million from the state to help build the center. In total, the county kicked in $15 million and bonded for another $32 million to complete the project which had a final price tag of $64 million. It's projected to attract some 320,000 visitors annually who are expected to inject some $26 million into the local economy each year.

It features several luxury boxes overlooking the playing surfaces, 20 locker rooms, commercial office space, college classrooms, retail stores, state-of-the-art training space, a fitness track and food and beverage services.

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"Now, families from all over the United States and around the world will come to Oneida County to compete in an unrivaled tournament play facility and have the opportunity to experience all we have to offer," said Picente. "I congratulate our partners for their commitment, and most importantly, I thank the residents of this community whose unwavering support has made this possible," he said.

Utica's NEXUS Center Preparing for Grand Opening

With hockey tournaments on the schedule in just a matter of hours, workers scramble to prep Utica's new NEXUS Center for its opening on November 9th.

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