Utica, N.Y. – The CEO of Mohawk Valley Garden announced today that the famed Harlem Globetrotters will bring their talents to the Adirondack Bank Center on Thursday, February 7, 2019, as part of their all new Fan Powered World Tour. A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. Since 1960, the Globetrotters have been performing in Utica and have established themselves as a staple of entertainment at the Adirondack Bank Center (formerly the Utica Memorial Auditorium). Featuring some of the most elite dunkers on the planet, exceptional ball handlers, and Guinness World Record holders, a Globetrotters game is more than just basketball – they are the ultimate in family entertainment that will bring smiles and fan interaction to people of all ages.

Tickets for the Globetrotters World Tour go on-sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, online at or, in-person at the Adirondack Bank Center’s box office or by calling 315-790-9070. Tickets for the Globetrotters in Utica start at just $17. Fans looking for a VIP, interactive experience can purchase a Magic Pass, presented by Tum-e Tummies, starting at just $20. Group pricing is also available by request.

Be sure to visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ADKbankcenter for more information.

About the Harlem Globetrotters®

The Harlem Globetrotters® are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 92 years. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 123 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans – among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents – over nine thrilling decades. The American Red Cross is the official charity of the Harlem Globetrotters. Sponsored by Entenmann’s Donuts ®, Ticket Galaxy and Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: and follow them on Twitter @Globies.

UFC Fight Night In Utica Knockout Success

Bantamweight Marlon Moraes concluded UFC Fight Night at the Adirondack Bank Center with a dramatic knockout less than a minute into the main event. After delivering a textbook head-kick to his opponent, Jimmie Rivera, the fight was all but over. A quick flurry of punches followed by the referee’s call and Moraes would earn top honors for the night leaping to the top of the cage to celebrate.  

Twenty-four athletes squared off inside the octagon positioned perfectly beneath the Adirondack Bank Center’s iconic 72 cables. It was only the eighth UFC event in New York since MMA was legalized in the State with over 4,000 fans filling the seats.

The FS1 broadcast would begin with the commentator calling Utica “the city that God forgot.” By the end of the evening it was confirmed he was wrong. Utica, NY was at the epicenter of the UFC world and fans and fighters alike were raving about the iconic AUD atmosphere. At times the feeling in the building rivaled that of a Comets home opener or playoff series. A “U-TI-CA” chant could even be heard at one point.

“What made me the happiest was how excited the fans were for UFC being here in Utica,” said Moraes. “They were amazing.”

Local favorite, Gregor Gillespie, won the co-main event in a second-round submission to improve his record to 5-0 handing Vinc Pichel his first loss since 2012.

“I couldn’t imagine coming home and losing in front of the crowd that came to support me,” said Gillespie. “It’s such a unique feeling. I appreciate that more than I express.”

“I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’ve never been to a fight before,” said Erika Hawes. “We had a lot of fun! It was so exciting; the crowd was great and we loved our view. You could see everything. Our guy, Desmond Green, won his fight and we couldn’t be more thrilled for him and his team.”

After Sam Alvey’s split decision victory he turned to the crowd and confirmed, “Hell yeah, Utica! Woooooo! Your town is beautiful!”

The final phase of the West End Expansion of the Adirondack Bank Center project finished just in time for UFC Fight Night with the opening of 72 Tavern & Grill.

The full-service eatery featuring a 160-inch high definition LED video wall, 30-foot bar and 5,000 square feet of space for diners and sports fans opened at 11am on Friday and was filled with fight fans by dinner hour. The atmosphere was similar to that of the arena floor.

“From the entrance outside it looked like it would be small, however when you went inside, it was the opposite,” said Karina Casaletta. “I just stopped in quick to check it out and have a drink at the bar. The bartenders were all super friendly and even though there was a good amount of people there we got our drinks right away! Looking forward to going back soon to sit down and grab some of that delicious looking food that others were ordering.”

Unlike the concession options inside the Adirondack Bank Center, the 72 Tavern & Grill will be open 7 days a week providing the perfect space to enjoy the Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, Belmont Stakes and more! A calendar of featured events is available on the tavern’s website.

For more coverage of the events including photos, videos and Tavern updates follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

UFC Fight Night FAQ


 What time do doors open?

The doors will open for UFC Utica Fight Night at 5:30pm.

Will there be tickets at the doors?

Yes, tickets will be available at the door until sold out, however we recommend purchasing them ahead of time by visiting www.empirestatetix.comor calling 315-790-9070.

How long will the event last?

The first event begins 6:30pm with prelims at 8pm and the main event scheduled to begin at 10pm. The main event is expected to last until 1am.

What can I bring into the Adirondack Bank Center?

We ask that guests please refrain from bringing in outside food and beverage, audio/video/professional photography equipment, laser pens, unapproved pamphlets/handouts, weapons of any kind, illegal drugs/alcohol, and any other items deemed to be inappropriate by Adirondack Bank Center Management. This list is not all-inclusive, so if you have an item in question, please call ahead of time.

Is photo/video recording allowed?

Video cameras, tripods, audio recording devices, and cameras with zoom lenses are NOT permitted inside Adirondack Bank Center at any time.

Where should I park for UFC?

The Adirondack Bank Center operates two parking lots during events. The VIP/Handicap lot is located adjacent to the building on Auditorium Drive and can be accessed through the entrance on Whitesboro Street. A second large lot is located behind the building with an entrance on Whitesboro Street and is open to the public. These lots will have limited parking available at all events for $5. Other free and charged parking options surrounding Adirondack Bank Center are also available.

Will the other bars at the Adirondack Bank Center be open for the event?

All bars and concession stands inside the Adirondack Bank Center will be open for the event including the Horton Room, Zetlin’s and one9five9. Kilfoil’s Irish Pub will be closed for this event.

How does the Utica Food Pantry drive work?

Fans are encouraged to bring a canned food item to the Adirondack Bank Center on Fight Night and drop it off at one of the pickup vehicles parked in front of the Labatt Blue Ticket Entrance. This initiative is part of the UFC’s commitment to bettering the communities they visit and is supported by a $5000 donation to the pantry from the UFC.

When is the weigh-in?

There will be no ceremonial weigh-in for this event.

72 Tavern

 Can I make a reservation at 72 Tavern on June 1st?

No. Due to the UFC event no reservations will be taken for June 1. Reservations will be taken on Open Table beginning Monday, June 4.

Can I go back and forth between the restaurant and the Adirondack Bank Center for UFC?

No. The Adirondack Bank Center has a no re-entry policy.

What type of food will be served at 72?

The dynamic menu will transition from lunch to dinner, showcasing dishes ranging from appetizers to full-sized entrees. 72 Tavern & Grill perfects your favorite guilty pleasures, from finger lickin’ wings, to juicy burgers, to decadent flatbreads.

What are the hours of 72 Tavern on June 1st?

72 Tavern will open its doors to the public for the first time at 11am.  

UFC News Conference Kicks Off Fight Week

The UFC hosted a free news conference inside the 72 Tavern and Grill on Tuesday morning ahead of the highly anticipated UFC Fight Night: Rivera v. Moraes at the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday, June 1.

This was the public’s first chance to see inside the 72 Tavern and Grill, also opening Friday, June 1 for a weekend of great sports including UFC Utica Fight Night, Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals and Game 2 of the NBA Finals.Fighters Jimmie Rivera, Marlon Moraes and Gregor Gillespie were joined by New York State Senator Joseph Griffo, New York State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Mayor Robert Palmieri, Utica Comets President Robert Esche and David Lockett, UFC Senior Public Relations Director.

Friday night’s event will be only the 8thUFC event in New York State since its legalization on March 22, 2016.

New York State Assemblyman Joseph Griffo was one of the many elected officials who worked tirelessly to legalize MMA in New York State. “We were very happy the day the Governor signed the bill to legalize MMA,” said Griffo. “It is a great opportunity for athletes to compete in the state of New York and economic benefit.”

Marlon Moraes and Jimmie Rivera will headline Friday’s event and promised to both “put on a show” and “entertain [Utica] on Friday night.”

Gregor Gillespie, a native of Rochester, NY is excited to compete in the octagon in his home state once again. “Being able to fight in New York is incredible, it feels good to be home. I want to win for you guys, my people in Rochester and Upstate New York.”

The event concluded with a charitable donation from the UFC to the Utica Food Pantry in the amount of $5000. Russell Brooks accepted the donation on behalf of the Utica Food Pantry, “to have an organization come into town and want to help is really special. Our shelves need this shot in the arm this time of year.”

Tickets for UFC Utica Fight Night are still available by visiting the Box Office at the Adirondack Bank Center between 9am and 5pm or by calling 315-790-9070 or visiting

72 Tavern & Grill Coming to Adirondack Bank Center This Spring

Utica, N.Y. – President of Mohawk Valley Garden, Robert Esche and President of ORB Food & Beverage, Jeff Stone announced today that 72 Tavern & Grill, a modern sports bar with a full-service restaurant attached to the West End of the Adirondack Bank Center, will open later this Spring.

72 Tavern & Grill, named in honor of the 72 cables that have held up the roof of the Adirondack Bank Center for over 50 years, will be operated and managed by ORB F&B, the branch of Mohawk Valley Garden that runs the Adirondack Bank Center’s concessions and food service operations. The focal point of the bar restaurant will be a 160-inch LED HD video wall, designed and manufactured locally in Whitesboro by Mike Evke, Founder of Eversan. Construction on the eventual site of 72 Tavern & Grill is on pace for a Spring opening.

“It’s extremely exciting to be able to expand ORB F&B into the restaurant industry at the Adirondack Bank Center, an historic venue that has consistently served as a social center of Utica,” said President of Mohawk Valley Garden Robert Esche. “72 Tavern and Grill is a key factor in providing the ultimate experience for the patrons and fans at this historic National Engineering Landmark.”

With its own dedicated entrance and exit, 72 Tavern & Grill will be open year-round and seven days a week, catering to brunch, lunch, and dinner crowds alike. One of 72 Tavern and Grill’s main functions will be to cater to local sport fanatics, showcasing the fiber-optic feeds of all Comets home games, in addition to Sunday football, NHL playoffs, March Madness, fight nights, and other nationally televised sports and entertainment events. The menu will feature a range of cuisines and dishes from appetizers to full-size entrées, all focusing on a strong fusion of unique flavors and comfort food classics.

Beginning on Monday, March 19, ORB F&B will hold a job fair, where interested applicants can come to the Adirondack Bank Center with a completed application for a brief first-round interview. The job fair will run as follows:

Monday, March 19, from noon-3 pm
Wednesday, March 21, from 4-7 pm
Thursday, March 22, from 4-7 pm

ORB will be filling over 50 vacancies, ranging from Assistant Managers to Servers to Cooks to Bussers. If you are not able to attend the job fair, please email with your application attached.

“We are looking forward to the opening of 72 Tavern and Grill and the addition of over 50 employees to ORB and the Adirondack Bank Center,” said President of ORB Jeff Stone. “Our goal for the restaurant is to serve as a year-round mecca for sports fans throughout the Mohawk Valley.”

 About ORB Food & Beverage

ORB Food & Beverage, LLC was founded in 2013 alongside the inception of Mohawk Valley Garden, the Utica Comets, and Garden Entertainment. ORB operates and manages the concession branch of the Adirondack Bank Center, in addition to the food service of the new premium seating addition of the arena.


SUNDAY APRIL 29, 2018 – 5PM
Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, New York



Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Tag Team Champions, The Bar

Braun Strowman vs. Elias


Finn Balor
Matt Hardy
Bray Wyatt
Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss
2018 Royal Rumble Champion, Asuka

Tickets start at just $15 and will be available starting Friday March 2nd at 10AM. Tickets available at the Adirondack Bank Center box office or by phone at 1-866-688-8750. Tickets can also be purchased online at!


Mohawk Valley Garden CEO Robert Esche announced today that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is coming to the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday, June 1, for UFC Fight Night.

With the help of Senator Joe Griffo and Garden Entertainment, UFC will make their stop in Utica just over two years since mixed martial arts (MMA) became legal again in the state of New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill on April 14, 2016, with help from Griffo in facilitating the process. New York was the last of all 50 states to legalize MMA. The first fight in New York since legalization took place on November 16, 2016, at Madison Square Garden, with Connor McGregor victorious over Eddie Alvarez.   

“It is an honor to be able to host such a monumental event in such an historic building as the Adirondack Bank Center,” said CEO of MVG Robert Esche. “On the heels of the AHL All-Star Classic, the UFC announcement adds immensely to the momentum building at our venue.”

“We are pleased that the UFC has decided to bring an event to Utica and the Mohawk Valley,” said Senator Joe Griffo. “The Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium is an exceptional venue for this event.”

This event will be the seventh event in New York State since its legalization, and the first time UFC has ever come to Utica. 

After heated back-and-forth exchanges that have lit up social media, bantamweight stars Jimmie Rivera and “Magic” Marlon Moraes will finally settle their score in the Octagon, with the showdown set to headline the UFC’s first visit to Utica, New York’s Adirondack Bank Center on June 1. Also in action on the UFC Fight Night card is New York lightweight standout Gregor Gillespie, who puts his unbeaten record on the line against knockout artist Vinc Pichel.

Also scheduled is Walt Harris vs. Daniel Spitz in the heavyweight division and Hector Sandoval vs. Jarred Brooks in the flyweight division. In a women’s flyweight bout, Sijara Eubanks will take on Lauren Murphy.

The UFC Fight Night in Utica is expected to be televised on Fox Sports 1. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, April 6. Ticket prices will be announced in the coming weeks. 

About UFC®
UFC® is a premium global sports brand and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. Acquired in 2016 by global sports, entertainment and fashion leader Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG), together with strategic partners Silver Lake Partners and KKR, UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas with a network of employees around the world. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe, while programming is broadcast in over 163 countries and territories to more than 1.1 billion TV households worldwide in 35 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. For more information, visit and follow UFC at, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram: @UFC.


On September 28, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo arrived at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome to make a pair of special announcements.

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. took to the podium first, and spoke to the correlation between Governor Cuomo and the Mohawk Valley’s revival.

“Without the Governor’s help, this continuation of the growth and buildout at the newly-named Adirondack Bank Center at The AUD, for the Comets, Utica College and all of their events, and for the rebirth in downtown Utica that has stimulated new growth, new opportunity, and new investment, would not have been possible,” Picente remarked.

Governor Cuomo took to the podium next to present Picente with a check for 10.55 million dollars to fund the West End Expansion Project, officially marking the project as fully-funded by the State; the construction endeavor at the newly-named Adirondack Bank Center is well on its way to add 26,000-square feet for women’s restrooms, office space, and, most visibly, suites and loge seating. The project will also include ADA-compliant renovations and a full sprinkler system, and will be completed in just a month’s time. Governor Cuomo spoke to the success of the Adirondack Bank Center, the Comets, and Utica College, and the impact that the facility and its tenants have had not only on the Utica area, but throughout the State of New York.

“For decades, the Utica AUD has been a great centerpiece for Utica,” Governor Cuomo proclaimed. “And for sports and for recreation, The AUD has been the place…so the decision was made to renovate the AUD, because you want to be competitive, creative, and you want people to continue to come.”

“Why renovate it?” Cuomo continued. “The Comets are doing extraordinarily well at The AUD, and we applaud Mr. Esche. But we want him to do even better – we want more economic activity. The theory is that if you make an investment, you will attract more business. Today, that theory proves correct.”

In conjunction with Governor Cuomo, Chris Nikolis, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development with the American Hockey League, proceeded to surprise the crowd by revealing that Utica is to host the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic, Presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino, on January 28 and 29, 2018. This will be the second time that Utica, and the newly-named Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, have hosted the two-day event, which brings in representatives from all 30 teams to face off in both a seven-part skills competition and a round-robin 3-on-3 all-star tournament, where the teams are divided up by its four conferences. The Comets and The AUD hosted the same event in 2015, which was a massive achievement, thanks in large part to the help of Turning Stone.

Nikolis spoke to both Utica’s successful sellout streak and their fan base, as well as the connection to the West End Expansion Project.

“I can attest to the fact that the Comets have transformed an area, built a loyal fan base, and been a great league partner since their inception,” Nikolis explained. “We had a truly great event here in 2015, and that blueprint will allow us to not only match 2015’s event, but far surpass it.”

AHL President Dave Andrews also expressed his support of awarding Utica and the Adirondack Bank Center with this milestone event.

“The American Hockey League is thrilled to be returning to the Mohawk Valley for our All-Star Classic,” said Andrews. “We owe great thanks to Robert Esche, the Comets organization, the State of New York and Turning Stone Resort Casino for offering their first-class facilities and accommodations once again so that we can showcase our brightest stars in front of capacity crowds and international television audiences.”

While the two announcements do not appear to overlap in black and white, they tie together seamlessly in their relation to the development and overall success of the Adirondack Bank Center. The decision of the AHL to return to Utica three years later for the All-Star Classic is a testament to the impact that the project has already had, even with a month left to go in the construction process. The suites and loge seating elevate the Adirondack Bank Center to the level of other AHL arenas, and even some NHL ones, by providing fans with an array of premium seating options and an improved overall fan experience.

“It’s a complete honor and privilege to have Adirondack Bank Center selected as the host city for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic,” Esche expressed. “The check presentation from The State also demonstrates their positive viewpoint on the Adirondack Bank Center and its ability to catalyze tourism in the Mohawk Valley.”

As the Comets prepare to enter their fifth anniversary season, the announcement of both the 10.55 million from the State of New York and the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic could not be a better joint representation of how far Utica has come in the past couple of years. These two pivotal moments in Utica’s history close out an exciting week – a week that also included the unveiling of The AUD’s first ever naming rights deal, officially adjusting the name of the venue to the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Thursday’s announcements are evidence of not only the national impact of AHL hockey in Utica, but also the power of the civic pride running rampant through the Comets fan base in the community. 

Comets: Thruway Throwdown Concludes Saturday

When the Comets make the short trip up the Thruway to Syracuse on Saturday, it will mark the end of the first chapter of Thruway Throwdown. What an exciting chapter it was. With the Galaxy Cup up for grabs, it’s Comets and Crunch for the final time this season. The two teams have battled each other through three meetings…