New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has broken ground on the $44m Nexus Center, a recreation and sporting complex in downtown Utica.

The 169,440ft² new sporting complex will serve as a premier tournament-based facility for Ice Hockey, Box Lacrosse, Soccer and other field sports, drawing sports teams from across the US and Canada.

Each year the Nexus Center is expected to host 24 hockey and 24 lacrosse tournaments, attracting more than 320,000 annual visitors, who could spend more than $26m on their stay in the Mohawk Valley Region. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

An outdoor winter festival could be held at Griffiss Business and Technology Park this December to support state and regional tourism marketing initiatives. The Winter Festival will commemorate the Park’s 25th anniversary, coinciding with the opening of the Nexus Center.

The Nexus Center is expected to have three sheets of ice and will be located next to the Adirondack Bank Center, 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 organisation.

The ice could be easily transformed into field-based surfaces so that turf-based games could also be performed. The centre will also feature over 25 locker rooms, commercial office space, college classroom space, retail space, food and beverage services and other multi-purpose training space.

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Governor Cuomo said: “The Nexus Center is a key component of our bold vision to generate economic growth in Utica and the entire Mohawk Valley by boosting tourism and creating more opportunities for New Yorkers.

“This exciting milestone puts us one step closer to transforming downtown Utica into a world-class destination for visitors from all over the country and the globe.”

The Nexus Center is also expected to focus on out-of-town tournament participants year-round, while also catering to the needs of local athletes. When the facility is not being used for a tournament or other events, it will function as a community sports and recreation centre for area sports organisations, high schools and colleges.


Image: Rendering of the new Nexus Center to be built in Utica. (Credit: New York State.)