Big…and surprising news…from the Mohawk Valley this afternoon.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Griffiss AFB in Rome for a pair of announcements for the city of Utica: first, an additional $10.5 million dollars in state funds will go towards more renovations for the newly named Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, on top of the 7 million already tied into the current project.
Second, the AHL announced that the 2018 All Star Classic will be returning to Utica for the second time in four years, taking place January 28th and 29th between the Adirondack Bank Center and Turning Stone Resort & Casino, who again will be the main sponsor. For those that wonder why the Comets got the All Star events back so quickly…well, it’s based on city interest in hosting the event, which includes having adequate hotel and meeting center space, among other things.
My first All Star event was in Utica back in 2015, and I must say the Comets did an amazing job. I’m definitely looking forward to making my fourth straight All Star trip!
Meanwhile, in the Southern Tier, the next chapter of Binghamton hockey began with the opening of Devils camp. Four Thunder signees–Tim Boyle, Pierre-Luc Mercier, Tim Harrison, and the newly signed Desmond Bergin–are invites, along with defenseman Tim Erixon (recently cut by New Jersey) and veteran forward Tim Kennedy, who split last season between Sweden and Rochester.