UTICA, N.Y. -- Wednesday night's Utica Comets home opener will leave nearly 4,000 hockey fans jockeying for far fewer on-street parking spaces than last season.
"We're aware of it. Unfortunately, it's nothing that we can control. With construction and the hospital erecting the concrete barriers around the footprint of the hospital, it does take away several parking spots that were utilized previously for attendance at The Aud," says Lt. Bryan Coromato of the Utica Police Department.
"I'm concerned about it, obviously," says Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. "...People are going to have to walk a little further, or maybe there's some shuttle things we can work in conjuntion with the city and the Aud Authority to do. So... I think we've got to see what happens first."
Other options for getting to the game include shuttle service from the Celtic Harp on Varick Street. Tiny's Grill, in West Utica, says check with them before each game for possible shuttle service. Swifty's Pub, in downtown Utica, did provide shuttle service for home games part of last season, but won't be offering shuttle service this season.
Utica Police say fans should not park near any concrete barriers in the downtown area. In addition, police say there will be no parking at the following locations:
- North side of Lafayette St. from Broadway to State St.
- South side of Columbia St. from Broadway to State St.
- Broadway from Columbia to Lafayette
The Comets say the Adirondack Bank Center's two parking lots hold 550 spaces and aren't always sold out.