Utica's Nexus Center is now officially the Utica University Nexus Center. The Aud Authority, Oneida County, and Utica University announced on Thursday that the university has secured the naming rights for the newly opened $64 million state of the art sports complex.

“It gives me great pleasure in saying for the last time, ‘Welcome to the Nexus Center.’ It will now be, ‘Welcome to the Utica University Nexus Center,’” says Carl Annese, chairman of the Upper Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority. “As the partnership grows between Utica University and the Auditorium Authority, so do the possibilities.”

Officials estimate that the center will attract some 400,000 visitors annually for amateur athletic tournaments for hockey, soccer and lacrosse. The facility also serves as the home of the Utica Women's Hockey program, Utica Jr. Comets Junior A hockey teams, and serves as a practice facility for the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.

Utica University will also host select large-scale gymnastics, wrestling and e-sports competitions inside the venue, as part of the agreement.

“When Oneida County committed $47 million to bring the Nexus Center to downtown Utica, we knew it was going to transform the region, and it has done just that,” says Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The teams and families it has drawn for youth sports are packing our hotels, restaurants and businesses, and along with the Adirondack Bank Center, is leading to further development in and around the area. Through its hockey and sports management programs, Utica University has been with us every step of the way, and the new possibilities this naming partnership brings with it are endless.”

The Utica University Nexus Center is a 169,440 square foot facility that features state of the art amenities to make it a tournament destination. It complex features three multipurpose 200ft. x 85ft. playing surfaces to be used as ice sheets or turf. The facility includes several locker rooms, a bar/cafe, and pro shop. The center is also connected by a walkway to the historic Adirondack Bank Center, which adds another playing surface for tournaments.

“The benefits of this naming partnership go far beyond the significant marketing return on investment that it will generate,” says Utica University President Dr. Laura Casamento. “This destination facility was built on the successful revitalization that is occurring across our region and the promise for more to come. We are excited and proud to be closely associated not only with this state-of-the-art venue, but with the amazing synergy and passion for progress that have made it all possible.”

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.

World's Largest Dish of Pasta, and a Wedding - Utica, NY, Feb 14, 2004

The Guinness Book of World Records affirmed in 2004, that the World's Largest Dish of Pasta was made in Utica, NY with the Keeler Show. Now with WIBX, Keeler worked with Tony's Pizzeria and other to create a dish of pasta weighing over 7,000 lbs. and the event included an actual wedding. The dish of pasta weighed 7,355 lbs. (3,336 kg) and lasted in the Guinness Book for several years. The dish was assembled and the wedding was held at Sangertown Square in New Hartford, when Keeler was hosting a 6 night a week television show, The Keeler Show, on FOX 33 TV in Utica and FOX 68 in Syracuse.

New Photos of the new Downtown Utica Wynn Hospital (February 2023)

Just eight months before it's scheduled to open, MVHS officials took WIBX's Bill Keeler and Jeff Monaski, along with Photo Journalist Nancy L. Ford through the new Wynn Hospital in Utica. The new downtown hospital is expected to open in November.


More From 96.9 WOUR