CITY OF UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — Over 30 years ago, what was once The Utica Devil’s were based here in the city from 1987 to 1993. Last week the Utica Comets shared their new 10-year affiliation deal with the New Jersey Devils. Utica’s Mayor Robert Palmieri says he was thrilled to hear The Devils were coming back.
“I’m extremely excited but I would first like to say that I was very appreciative to Vancouver. They came at a time when the city was starting to build and grow and the Vancouver organization was part of it. Sad to see them go but we’re really embracing the new jersey devil franchise coming up here,” said Mayor Robert Palmieri, (D)-Utica.
Many indoor recreational activities still aren’t at full capacity, including hockey games. Palmieri believes that once these restrictions are lifted, this new deal will have a positive economic impact on the City of Utica.
Palmieri said, “I just think that we are a hockey town and there’s a thirst for the AHL. It’s so strong here that that will be the continuation. Embracing Utica comets are we move forward. And as we’ve had sellouts over the years, you’ll see the same thing going on for the next years. Once we’re through this pandemic.”
Palmieri adds that he’s happy to hear they’ll be keeping the name the Utica Comets and commends their owner, Robert Esche for his part in the new deal.