Deal Announced for New Multi-Purpose Arena at Mohawk Harbor

For Immediate Release Contact: Ray Gillen
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Deal Announced for New Multi-Purpose Arena at Mohawk Harbor
Schenectady, N.Y., February 26, 2024–An agreement has been finalized for a public-private partnership to build a new arena at Mohawk Harbor, the latest investment in Schenectady’s ongoing revitalization efforts.

“This arena represents the start of an exciting new chapter in the storied history of Union hockey,” said College President David R. Harris. “Just as importantly, the facility will be a tremendous community asset that will strengthen Schenectady and the region for decades to come.”

“We truly appreciate the support of Governor Hochul, Speaker Heastie, Assemblyman Santabarbara, the Schenectady County Legislature, Mayor Gary McCarthy and the City Council as well as private donors led by Neil Golub,” said David M. Buicko, CEO of the Galesi Group said, “This shows that when Schenectady stands together nothing can stand in our way. This is another milestone in this community’s amazing comeback story as we build on the success of Mohawk Harbor by building a new sports venue and events center that will be another major attraction for visitors and a resource for local residents.”

The $50 million project features a 2,200-seat ice hockey rink with capacity expanding to 3,600 for other sporting events, trade shows, special events and conventions.

Union has negotiated a long-term lease with the developer, West Yard Properties, LLC, a member of the Galesi Group of companies, to be the primary tenant for the arena. The College will contribute $20 million over 25 years for the arena to host the school’s Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs.

State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara worked with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Governor Hochul to secure $10 million from the state; the Schenectady County Legislature contributed $5 million and the Schenectady City Council $2.5 million. Neil Golub, retired Price Chopper CEO, has pledged $1 million toward the project.

“The arena at Mohawk Harbor is a great addition to the Schenectady community,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “Thanks to the hard work of Assemblymember Santabarbara, Union’s hockey team and their fans will have a new home rink, and Schenectady will become a new destination for special events in the area.”

“I’m pleased to see the culmination of our collective efforts in bringing this project to fruition,” stated Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “What started with securing $10 million in the state budget to committing an additional $1 million from my office, this endeavor underscores my commitment to enhancing quality of life and fostering growth in Schenectady as a tourist destination. I believe this groundbreaking project will usher in a new era for Schenectady, not only providing a new home for Union College hockey, but a state-of-the-art multi-purpose arena at Mohawk Harbor that is a significant investment in our community’s future. It brings with it the potential to attract exciting new events to Schenectady, including NCAA tournaments, big names in entertainment, and new economic development opportunities. It’s also been inspiring to see the outpouring of support at every level of government. I applaud all stakeholders for their collaborative efforts in making this transformative project a reality.”

“Over the last 20 years we have worked to bring new investment and development to the County, supporting projects that will have a lasting impact,” said Gary Hughes, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This new arena will create jobs and bring new visitors to our community, further bolstering our economy and enhancing the transformation of Mohawk Harbor.”

Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “The team that came together to get the puck in the net will stay together and continue to make Schenectady a leading regional destination and a shining example of a community that knows how to keep winning.”

The 97,178-square foot area will be built at Mohawk Harbor. The site is very close to the Union campus and to other amenities that will support Union hockey players, coaches and fans, including two hotels, restaurants and more.

Officials plan to break ground in the spring. The arena is scheduled to be completed in time for the Union teams to play in their new home for the 2025-26 season. The teams currently play on campus in the Frank L. Messa Rink at Achilles Center, which opened in 1975.

2-26-24 Mohawk Harbor Arena

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