Governor Andrew Cuomo made several big announcements during his visit to the Mohawk Valley Thursday afternoon. The big news was the amount committed by the state for the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Cuomo announced that the state’s investment in the facility will total out to $10.5 million dollars for the expansion of the building. Cuomo appeared at the Oneida County Airport in Rome. He first announced a renewal of the relationship between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and NUAIR for drone testing at the former Air Force base. Unmanned aircraft development is seen as an important ingredient in the future economic development of the Mohawk Valley.
Following the NASA – NUAIR announcement, Cuomo moved to another area of the airport where he was joined by another group of dignitaries. That list included state Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito, State Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Utica Comets President Robert Esche, Oneida Nation leader Ray Halbritter and Empire State Development Commissioner Howard Zemsky.
Cuomo noted the work on the Auditorium will add up to date sprinklers and fire alarms, increase the women’s restrooms capacity, add office space and bring the building to current ADA standards.
Just on Wednesday it was announced that the Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority had entered into a ten year agreement on the naming rights to the building. The new name for the facility is the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
It was also announced that the Aud will hosts the 2018 AHL All Star Classic in January, the second time in three years that the league All Star Game has been held in Utica.
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