UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It took months of negotiations and planning to bring the Utica Comets to the Mohawk Valley, with many officials getting involved in the process. Canucks Assistant General Manager Lawrence Gilman made the announcement in Utica Friday afternoon. Gilman said, "We are deeply proud to announce today that we are relocating or minor league affiliate, our AHL franchise here to the City of Utica." The team will be owned locally under the management of Mohawk Valley Garden Incorporated, led by former NHL: player and Whitesboro native Ron Esche and long-time AHL owner Frank DuRoss. The team will play at the Utica Memorial Auditorium and launch for the 2013-2014 season. Senator Joe Griffo also announced Friday afternoon, he and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi lobbied for an extra $3 million dollars to go along with $2million already secured to make improvements to the Aud. Gilman says he's been to Utica a number of times during the negotiations and is very impressed with the city and those who wanted to bring the team here, and he also has a message to those folks and the fans. Gilman said, "I just want to say thank you very much for allowing us to be here, we're going to do our very best to place a competitive team year in and year out and hopefully deliver the Calder Cup to Utica and the Mohawk Valley." Season tickets will go on sale starting Saturday.