“Utica University” added to Nexus Center name


Nexus Center website

A photograph of the Nexus Center, courtesy of the Nexus Center website: https://www.nexusutica.com/construction.

Isabella Hudziak, Editor-in-Chief

The $64 million Nexus Center building in downtown Utica will be rebranded to reflect an exclusive naming partnership that will add “Utica University” to its name and include a 10-year annual $150,000 donor-funded investment.

The announcement, which took place at 11:30 a.m. March 2 in the Nexus Center’s lobby, was made by Utica University, the Upper Mohawk Valley Memorial Auditorium Authority and Oneida County.

According to an email announcement from President Laura Casamento, the building will become the new home to the women’s hockey team and expand to include experiential learning opportunities for students.

“The facility, which houses classroom, faculty office, and conference room/collaboration space dedicated to our Sport Management program, will function as a living laboratory providing our students a distinctive, hands-on experience operating a destination sports venue,” Casamento said. “Through this partnership, we hope to create similar future opportunities for students in other academic programs, including but not limited to Physical Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition, and Exercise and Wellness Studies.”

Casamento said the marketing aspect of this rebranding is expected to attract around 4,000 elementary and secondary students due to the venue itself and other associated features.

“In addition to the building name and exterior, interior, and highway signage, the Utica University brand will be featured on all print, digital, broadcasting promotional marketing and advertising, associated social media and digital platforms, press releases, apparel, stationery, ticket stock and envelopes, and in-ice logos,” Casamento said.

The university will also have the opportunity to host gymnastics, wrestling and e-sports competitions in a larger-scale setting than the campus facilities could accommodate.

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon secured a $600,000 New York State and Municipal Facilities Grant, which was facilitated by the university and Auditorium Authority, to add resources to the third floor for the Sport Management program.

“This destination facility was built on the successful revitalization that is occurring across our region and the promise for more to come,” Casamento said. “We are excited and proud to be closely associated not only with this state-of-the-art venue, but with the amazing synergy and generous donor commitments that have made it all possible.”