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Utica Comets AHL Discussion - Part IX

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05-20-2013, 08:20 AM
  #476
UticaHockey
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Utica Aud

I don't think the Canucks will be paying for any upgrades to the Utica Aud its a matter of securing funding from the state to take care of the immediate needs such as renovated locker and training rooms plus a new scoreboard. Long term upgrades would include the addition of club boxes and additional seating on the stage end of the rink to increase capacity neither of which would be needed for next season.




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05-20-2013, 01:45 PM
  #477
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Originally Posted by UticaHockey View Post
I don't think the Canucks will be paying for any upgrades to the Utica Aud its a matter of securing funding from the state to take care of the immediate needs such as renovated locker and training rooms plus a new scoreboard. Long term upgrades would include the addition of club boxes and additional seating on the stage end of the rink to increase capacity neither of which would be needed for next season.
Hey thanks for stopping by. What's the vibe there, are they psyched for a hockey team?

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05-20-2013, 02:27 PM
  #478
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Originally Posted by PRNuck View Post
Hey thanks for stopping by. What's the vibe there, are they psyched for a hockey team?
You're welcome! There has been a lot of excitement ever since February when the news broke that Utica could see the return of AHL hockey. It was supposed to be the Flames coming with Vancouver moving their AHL team to Abbotsford. When that deal hit a snag things got quiet until the news broke that Vancouver is seriously looking at Utica for a home to place their AHL team.

There is speculation that the Canucks could come to Utica while they work out an agreement in Abbotsford and then do an affiliation swap with the Flame in a year or two.

Utica has a rather long tradition with minor league hockey dating back to the 1960's with the Clinton Comets of the old Eastern Hockey League. We haven't had professional hockey at The Aud for 12 years but Utica College plays there now and leads the nation in attendance for D-III hockey. The support that Utica College has received is one of the reasons why Rob Esche and his investors are trying to bring AHL hockey back to Utica.

The rink would be the smallest in the AHL at just under 4,000 in it's current configuration but Utica's location has it advantages in keeping expenses low. Utica is directly in the middle of 5 other Upstate NY teams with Syracuse being only 45 minutes away, Albany 1 1/2 hours, Binghamton, 2 hours, Rochester and Adirondack being about 2 1/2 hours away. Plenty of other AHL cities less than a 4 hour drive as well. Shorter bus rides reduces hotel and travel expenses and provides much more practice time which is so valuable in a development league like the AHL.

When you get 3,300 people in The Aud it is over 80% full and rocking. If you get 4,500 or so in a 12,000+ seat arena like some of the larger AHL cities the biggest thing that you will notice is all of the empty seats. Plus the cost of operating a 4,000 seat arena is so much less than a 12,000+ arena.

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05-20-2013, 02:54 PM
  #479
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Thanks Utica.

Hoping the Canucks can work out a long term agreement there.

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05-20-2013, 03:08 PM
  #480
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Originally Posted by UticaHockey View Post

When you get 3,300 people in The Aud it is over 80% full and rocking. If you get 4,500 or so in a 12,000+ seat arena like some of the larger AHL cities the biggest thing that you will notice is all of the empty seats. Plus the cost of operating a 4,000 seat arena is so much less than a 12,000+ arena.
Great post! I hope Utica ends up with the Canucks affiliate, and we'll get lots of great reports from posters like you.

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05-20-2013, 03:29 PM
  #481
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Great post! I hope Utica ends up with the Canucks affiliate, and we'll get lots of great reports from posters like you.
Thanks! That is one of the best things about the Aud....It is LOUD!!! Something to do with the round, circular structure that just seems to amplify the sound. The Aud was actually a prototype for Madison Square Garden with its cable suspension roof design.

http://www.uticaod.com/aud/x77508396...rough-facility


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05-20-2013, 07:33 PM
  #482
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UticaHockey --

how is the economy doing in Utica these days, and do you think the town can support the AHL? About 15 yrs ago I lived in Syracuse for a few years, and Utica seemed to be struggling. Has it bounced back a bit?

I think the density of teams in Upstate New York makes Utica an ideal site for an AHL team for all the reasons you bring up. I used to go to games in Syracuse when the Crunch were the Canucks farm team. I always enjoyed the atmosphere. Makes much more sense to me to put a development team in that region than it would in Abbotsford.


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05-20-2013, 08:20 PM
  #483
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UticaHockey --

how is the economy doing in Utica these days, and do you think the town can support the AHL? About 15 yrs ago I lived in Syracuse for a few years, and Utica seemed to be struggling. Has it bounced back a bit?

I think the density of teams in Upstate New York makes Utica an ideal site for an AHL team for all the reasons you bring up. I used to go to games in Syracuse when the Crunch were the Canucks farm team. I always enjoyed the atmosphere. Makes much more sense to me to put a development team in that region than it would in Abbotsford.
The economy is still struggling in Utica as it is in most of upstate. When I first heard the rumors that the AHL may come back I was skeptical at first that there would be enough support. However the key to being successful is to keep costs down which can be done in Utica. I am also very confidant in the local investment team of Rob Esche and Frank DuRoss. Esche has the passion for his home town and plenty of connections in the hockey world and DuRoss has decades of experience owning and managing professional sports teams.

BTW, the Crunch are having a fantastic year. They swept through the first two rounds of the playoffs and are waiting to find out who their next opponent will be.

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05-21-2013, 08:24 PM
  #484
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It was announced today that the Utica Aud received a $2M state grant for renovations. This should take care of improvements needed for the AHL next year while they apply for additional grants to turn the And into a first class facility.

http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Utica...208321151.html

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05-21-2013, 08:33 PM
  #485
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Originally Posted by UticaHockey View Post
It was announced today that the Utica Aud received a $2M state grant for renovations. This should take care of improvements needed for the AHL next year while they apply for additional grants to turn the And into a first class facility.

http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Utica...208321151.html
Great News, thanks

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05-21-2013, 09:05 PM
  #486
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Glad things are (supposedly) progressing with Utica. Does anyone else think that rink looks like a giant landmine? I'd be happier to see our prospects play in a giant cement landmine than sprinkled across a bunch of other minor league teams though.

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05-21-2013, 09:23 PM
  #487
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Originally Posted by UticaHockey View Post
It was announced today that the Utica Aud received a $2M state grant for renovations. This should take care of improvements needed for the AHL next year while they apply for additional grants to turn the And into a first class facility.

http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Utica...208321151.html
Something is definitely brewing there.I initially wanted the team to stay in Peoria but I do like the idea of Utica being so central to it's division rivals and minimizing travelling time and improving practice time which is so important for our prospects.

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05-21-2013, 09:27 PM
  #488
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Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
Glad things are (supposedly) progressing with Utica. Does anyone else think that rink looks like a giant landmine? I'd be happier to see our prospects play in a giant cement landmine than sprinkled across a bunch of other minor league teams though.
looks like a giant water tank.

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05-21-2013, 09:31 PM
  #489
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looks like a giant water tank.
I guess I can't disagree with that one lol

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05-21-2013, 09:49 PM
  #490
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So...what will they be called? I hope they have a cool logo, some of the AHL teams have really snazzy jerseys (and then there's the Chicago Wolves...).
Utica Seamen?
Utica Cuticles?

I'm not gonna lie, I don't know anything about Utica.

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05-21-2013, 10:09 PM
  #491
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So...what will they be called? I hope they have a cool logo, some of the AHL teams have really snazzy jerseys (and then there's the Chicago Wolves...).
Utica Seamen?
Utica Cuticles?

I'm not gonna lie, I don't know anything about Utica.
Rumor is the Utica Comets which is traditional around here. Hockey dates back to the 1920's in Clinton, NY which is a suburb of Utica. In 1949 they named themselves the Clinton Comets and renamed the Mohawk Valley Comets in the 70's when they started playing in Utica.

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05-21-2013, 10:12 PM
  #492
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Originally Posted by UticaHockey View Post
Rumor is the Utica Comets which is traditional around here. Hockey dates back to the 1920's in Clinton, NY which is a suburb of Utica. In 1949 they named themselves the Clinton Comets and renamed the Mohawk Valley Comets in the 70's when they started playing in Utica.
I can dig the Comets. That's some retro flair right there.

I hope they keep the colours green and blue since the Canucks have a pretty unique colour combo.

Muhahaha, now people in NY will have to like us.

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05-21-2013, 10:28 PM
  #493
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i wonder, has there been any mention of Utica and Canucks from MG?

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05-21-2013, 10:41 PM
  #494
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If they do play in Utica next season, will there be any division realignment going on? It'll be interesting to see the prospects play different teams in the East though, compared to the Midwest.

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05-21-2013, 11:28 PM
  #495
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Originally Posted by UticaHockey View Post
Rumor is the Utica Comets which is traditional around here. Hockey dates back to the 1920's in Clinton, NY which is a suburb of Utica. In 1949 they named themselves the Clinton Comets and renamed the Mohawk Valley Comets in the 70's when they started playing in Utica.
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I can dig the Comets. That's some retro flair right there.

I hope they keep the colours green and blue since the Canucks have a pretty unique colour combo.

Muhahaha, now people in NY will have to like us.
Yup, I like the retro names, hope they go that way.

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05-21-2013, 11:50 PM
  #496
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They'll F it up and call the team the Comet.

Sorry, pet peeve. I can't stand singular team names.
Wild
Lightning
PEI Rocket
etc.

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05-21-2013, 11:58 PM
  #497
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They'll F it up and call the team the Comet.

Sorry, pet peeve. I can't stand singular team names.
Wild
Lightning
PEI Rocket
etc.
TBF lightning is kind of plural.

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05-22-2013, 12:07 AM
  #498
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The Utica Comets sounds cool and we can bring the Flying Skate jersey back for it (always thought I looked like a meteor or something )

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05-22-2013, 01:34 PM
  #499
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Generally I'm not too pleased with the vincinity of Utica compared to Vancouver. That's a very long trip to bring up a prospect.

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05-22-2013, 01:35 PM
  #500
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https://twitter.com/News1130Sports/s...60292591476736
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Hearing the #Canucks deal for a farm team in Utica is 95% done - just some legalities left.
that's good

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