51°F
Sponsored by

The Comets Craze Part II

They came. They skated. They conquered. We’re talking about the Utica Comets and their enormous economic impact on the Mohawk Valley. Between fans filling up the AUD almost every game and local bars and restaurants seeing a spike in business on home-game weekends, the economic impact is huge.
They came. They skated. They conquered.
We’re talking about the Utica Comets and their enormous economic impact on the Mohawk Valley. Between fans filling up the AUD almost every game and local bars and restaurants seeing a spike in business on home-game weekends, the economic impact is huge. Regardless of scores and stats, Comets staff says this team represents much more than just sports.
"This is much more than a hockey team this is about revitalization of the downtown quarter," says Frank DuRoss, Chairman of the Comets.
It’s hard to put a monetary value on the economic impact of the Comets but here's what we do know:
"We have hired over 180 people, over 50 full-time employees, we know that we needed 30 apartments for our players, we know that all of the money for design and construction have gone to local companies, we know that we've had a major impact in terms of the restaurant business," said DuRoss.
A major impact indeed. Just ask local restaurant owners.
"All through the years that we've had professional hockey here we've made Tiny's the place to come to and we've catered to our wonderful fans and to our players over the years and now our latest team, our newest team, our great team, the Utica Comets," said Joanne Gerace, Owner of Tiny’s Grill in Utica.
"Home games for sure, we're definitely seeing a spike, particularly the weekends after the games on the weekend they've had a lot of sell outs lately and it's been really good for us,” said Sam Tornatore, Owner and Operator of Babe’s Macaroni Grill & Bar in Utica.
Comets President and Utica native Rob Esche says these sell-outs symbolize much more than a spirited hockey town.
"I believe Utica is rising and I do believe good things are coming, I think that's what the sell outs exemplify it's kind of one of those things people are screaming from the roof hey we are here and I think that's pretty cool," said Esche.
"When it's sold out and we've been selling out more times than we're not lately it has just been awesome to see and it's the atmosphere it's not just the people that are there its' the kind of people that are there and the energy that they bring,” says Brendan Burke, the Utica Comets Broadcaster.
This energy rings out loud and proud not just for the comets but for a city on the upswing.
"When you couple the success of the Comets with the Nano, with Bass Pro Shop, with the new hotels, with Harbor Point, I think we're all finally coming together collectively to bring our community to a level they've never experienced before," said DuRoss.
Not all of these new changes can be seen on a daily basis, except one. The newly renovated AUD, a multi-million dollar project that comets staff members say is still ongoing.
"Oh a lot of time and a lot of money and we're not done yet we've got a lot more to do,” says DuRoss.
"There’s a lot of big things coming, especially for the AUD, you know next season we hope you won't be able to recognize the AUD again so it's going to be an exciting time this summer as well," said Director of Communications Mark Caswell Jr.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus