State Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announced today that the 2017-2018 New York State Budget includes $2 million to further expand and enhance the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
This funding will help cover the costs of Oneida County’s planned renovations to the Utica Aud, which will include new offices and club box seating suites, as well as upgrading the facility with women’s restrooms, fire alarms and a handicap-accessible elevator. This funding through the Empire State Development will be used to reimburse Oneida County, so that local taxpayers will not have to bear the costs of any construction.
As the Aud expansion gets underway, Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi will both continue to advocate for the project and are hopeful that additional funding will be secured to complete this phase of the renovations.
Senator Joseph Griffo said: “As downtown Utica continues its momentum toward economic revitalization, the Utica Aud fits perfectly into that vision as an exceptional sports and entertainment venue. It has been exciting to watch the Aud evolve into something very special for our community over the years, and any funding that helps make the facility bigger and better can only strengthen its appeal to the thousands of people that fill its stands.”
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said: “The Utica Memorial Auditorium has long been an outstanding venue for hockey games, concerts, and other entertainment events, and it is recognized as one of the best facilities of its kind in the country. This funding will help boost attendance even further, and will help complete the Aud’s transformation into an outstanding year-round venue that is a major part of downtown Utica’s revitalization.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente said: “The securing of this $2 million in the New York State budget is another step in the continual transformation of the Utica Memorial Auditorium into one of the premier arenas in the country. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo, Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi for their support in furthering our plans to solidify downtown Utica as a Sports and Entertainment District.”
Carl Annese, Chairman of the Utica Memorial Auditorium Commission, said: “Many of the improvements this funding will be used for will really upgrade the Aud. Expanded club box seating on the second level of the new addition will help us encourage more businesses, groups and organizations to attend events. A self-service elevator and other significant improvements will make the Aud more accessible to disabled patrons. And we are building a new women’s rest room, which is something patrons have been asking for, for a number of years.”