Tools

Utica Memorial Auditorium just about ready for Comets franchise home opener

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica Comets will have played three road games by the time they finally play their first home game. 

The first home game in franchise history is set for Wednesday night.

On Friday, News Channel 2 went on a tour of the renovations that have been made at the Utica Memorial Auditorium since the announcement of the return of professional hockey to Utica came back in June.

New seats, a new paint job, new high-tech scoreboard, big screen monitors, a brand new home team lockeroom with all the bells and whistles are just some of the upgrades to the 50 year old Utica landmark.

Comets Director of Communications Mark Caswell, who is from this area grew up playing hockey and played a number of games himself at 'The Aud', "I played hockey in this building growing up.  I've been in this building since I was two years old and to see the renovations come along in the last 90 days is amazing to see.  And it's amazing to see a 50 year old landmark brought up to standards."

On Friday, the team of crew-members that will entertain the crowd before the game, during timeouts and between periods rehearsed as well, including the crew that will jettison tee shirts up into the crowd using a slingshot.

The crew that will create the videos that will be displayed on the big screen during the game were working on their videos as well on Friday.

Chuck Obernesser with Streamline Concepts Video Production in Utica is heading that up, he says he and others are working on videos for the team's 'Comet TV'.

Before the franchise home opener, The Bud Light Fan Fest will be held outside the Aud from 4:00 to 7:00, including a free concert by 80's rock band Night Ranger.

85 year old NHL legend Gordy Howe is scheduled to drop the first puck.

What's On