The Best of Women’s Ice Hockey in Utica The Best of Women's Ice Hockey in Utica

The 10 best women’s ice hockey teams from around the country made their way to Central New York for the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championships hosted at the Adirondack Bank Center. This event was a culmination of 2 years of effort with staff at the Mohawk Valley Garden and the US Hockey Federation. Event employee Sam Schwartz, who tracks live betting statistics, says that hosting the event in Utica was the perfect decision.

“Utica is a hockey City and a lot of people support their hockey here, so to promote that and tell the world that this is where we are having the best women in the world play is just great for the game and it’s only going to help out Utica and and promote the game here and around the area even more”

Here at the Adirondack Bank Center, it is more than just bringing the best women’s hockey players to Utica. It’s also about spreading the love for the game. Today was kids morning during the Germany and China game, seeing kids from multiple elementary schools from around the area packing the arena. Sam mentions that while it does get loud, it is all about sharing the love of the game.

“For the kids I think it’s great, there’s plenty of people since there were all sorts of school buses there I can’t tell you how many school districts were at the game today and you got to believe that there were plenty of people who have never who have never been to a hockey game before it only takes one spark of being at a great event because of your school that you say “Hey, I like that sport”. That’s how you make someone fall in love with the game”

The event broke a record in Utica as a USA group stage game with Canada was the highest attended match in Adirondack Bank Center history. For a city that loves hockey like Utica, that’s no surprise. Reporting from the Adirondack Bank Center, Arnav Pokhrel, NCC News

Utica, N.Y. (NCC News) — It is not very often that the Central New York area gets to host a worldwide event, and even less likely for the event to move 40 miles east of Syracuse to the smaller town of Utica, New York. However, when it was announced in the fall of 2023 that the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Hockey Championships were going to be held at the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, it threw the city of 65,000 residents into overdrive.

The Adirondack Bank Center is home to the Utica Comets, an AHL hockey team, as well as Utica City FC of the Major Arena Soccer League. In combination with the brand-new Utica University Nexus Center next door, the IIHF felt that it was a perfect time to bring the world championship stage back to New York. The last time that the IIHF Women’s World Championships were held in the state was back in 1994 at Lake Placid.

As the World Championships began last week, the entire hockey world took a step back and focused in on the small city that is known as the “Gateway to the Adirondacks”. For event employee Sam Schwartz, who runs the live betting statistics for all bettors worldwide, Utica was a perfect place.

“Utica is a hockey city,” said Schwartz. “A lot of people support their hockey here, so to promote that, and tell the world that this is where we are having the best women in the world play, is just great for the game.”

It isn’t just about bringing in the best hockey in the world—Utica has also emphasized growing the sport locally. During the China vs. Germany group stage game, local elementary students were allowed to enter free of charge during a school day, leading to an enthusiastic crowd for the 11 a.m. puck drop. Schwartz says that while focusing on work with such a loud crowd behind him was stressful at times, it was also a “good problem” because he knew his love for the game was being shared with many faces new to the game.

The event has already broken a record, as the USA vs. Canada group stage match on April 8 was the highest-attended sporting event in Adirondack Bank Center history. The IIHF reported that 4,017 people attended the match, which is a number much higher than the building’s listed seat total of 3,860.

The event concludes with gold and bronze medal matches on Sunday, April 15, before returning to regularly scheduled games and practices for local teams.


Related Articles