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MadVlad

Visions for the Civic Center

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So, as of Monday, there were 3 submissions on how to run the Hartford Civic Center moving forward into the future. 2 seem like clunkers to me, one is a home run. Here is what is proposed:

Madison Square Garden: Currently runs the CIvic Center and the Wolf Pack, they basically want to keep the status quo, and why wouldn't they. This is basically their second NHL market in their resume', they aren't forced to fulfill their contractual obligations such as an NHL and an NBA preseason game each year, and they really don't have to put any work in. Clunker

Howard Baldwin/Global Spectrum: Howard used to own the Hartford Whalers, and brought them to the city and to their highest level of success. Global Spectrum will run the arena, they currently run other such as the Wachovia Center in Philly and the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. Howard wants to rebuild the hockey market, whatever that means, by renaming the team here the Hartford Whalers and they remain in the AHL. They try to get an NHL team later. All this despite the fact everyone knows the HCC needs replacement. I love Howard to death, but good luck with that idea not as bad, but clunker

Larry Gottesdiener/Northland/SMG: Larry G is downtown biggest poroperty owner, SMG will run the arena. Larry realizes that the HCC is obsolete and needs a new arena. WOuld like a minor league team only until he can procure an NHL team for the city. winner!!

A few asides: the city and Mayor want a team, and they have hired consultants to see if that can be done. They know the HCC is obsolete. The Connecticut Development Authority in their infinite wisdom aren't sure what to do yet, like theirs even a question.

Courant article

discuss

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I hope they choose Howard Baldwin. He brought the team here originally, and was trying to get in here from 1997. It's a solid move. With Larry who knows, maybe he'll keep the Wolf Pack which would be a huge mistake. But Baldwin is sure to have his own team and make it work.

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So, as of Monday, there were 3 submissions on how to run the Hartford Civic Center moving forward into the future. 2 seem like clunkers to me, one is a home run. Here is what is proposed:

Madison Square Garden: Currently runs the CIvic Center and the Wolf Pack, they basically want to keep the status quo, and why wouldn't they. This is basically their second NHL market in their resume', they aren't forced to fulfill their contractual obligations such as an NHL and an NBA preseason game each year, and they really don't have to put any work in. Clunker

Howard Baldwin/Global Spectrum: Howard used to own the Hartford Whalers, and brought them to the city and to their highest level of success. Global Spectrum will run the arena, they currently run other such as the Wachovia Center in Philly and the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. Howard wants to rebuild the hockey market, whatever that means, by renaming the team here the Hartford Whalers and they remain in the AHL. They try to get an NHL team later. All this despite the fact everyone knows the HCC needs replacement. I love Howard to death, but good luck with that idea not as bad, but clunker

Larry Gottesdiener/Northland/SMG: Larry G is downtown biggest poroperty owner, SMG will run the arena. Larry realizes that the HCC is obsolete and needs a new arena. WOuld like a minor league team only until he can procure an NHL team for the city. winner!!

A few asides: the city and Mayor want a team, and they have hired consultants to see if that can be done. They know the HCC is obsolete. The Connecticut Development Authority in their infinite wisdom aren't sure what to do yet, like theirs even a question.

Courant article

discuss

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Larry wouldn't keep the Wolf Pack, he'd bring in his own AHL team temporarily until he could get an NHL team. The problem with the Wolf Pack is it's a shill for the Rangers, which everyone hates. MSG wants the HCC to remain and Hartford to stay as is because that's the best scenario for THEM, despite it being the worst scenario for us. Larry has made no bones about bringing a team here, while Howard (and I reiterate, I love Howard Baldwin) has what I think is a really lame plan to "rebuild the market". The market doesn't need to be rebuilt, we need an NHL team....

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Gottesdeiner's plan wins hands down in my book. I don't think this is a complicated process....right now if get a sense that the public is more open to the idea of a new arena. Because of how much the shortcomings of the civic center have been exposed in the recent months, I think the public and legislature is more open to hearing about a new arena. To delay this process...which the CDA is successfully doing...is only going to hurt things. At least they have a bid from Larry G, and they should run with it, especially now while the state finances appear to be in good shape. To delay could lead to a missed opportunity.

I do not like the idea of building up an AHL team in this market....because that is not going to get this market excited about hockey. This area craves the best, and it won't settle. I'm sure Baldwin could run one of the most successful franchises in the AHL in terms of attendance, but I don't think that is an automatically going to prove that the market is ripe for an NHL franchise. If that was the case, then Manchester, NH and Hershey, PA would have had NHL teams long ago. What is going to be key is (a) a potential owner with money (Larry G), (b) the right demographics (which Hartford has), and a new building (Larry G's proposal is the quickest to that conclusion).

My two cents.

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I agree. I think Larry's proposal is hands down the best. This city and state need vision and Larry offers a new vision. What is Howard offering that Larry cannot right now? Larry is trying to deliver a new arena and an NHL or NBA team. Until the new arena is built, Larry can bring in an AHL team named the Whalers just as Howard can. That is not rocket science!

Go Larry!!!

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I hope they choose Howard Baldwin. He brought the team here originally, and was trying to get in here from 1997. It's a solid move. With Larry who knows, maybe he'll keep the Wolf Pack which would be a huge mistake. But Baldwin is sure to have his own team and make it work.

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If Northland builds a new arena, where will it be? 12-b has be suggested, but is that the only available site? HCC, for what it is, and when it does have events, brings good foot traffic into downtown, as we saw in the recent skate America 2006. If it is located at 12-b, people will drive there, park, get in, get out, drive away. It probably will not impact downtown all that much. I know Northland suggested replacing HCC with a mini Rockefeller Center apartment/condo/office mixed use complex, but doesn't that contingent upon H21 and the YMCA site are successful? What if they turn out to be duds? It's good that Northland is committed to Hartford, and is placing big bet on Hartford, but I never like to have too many eggs in one basket.

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If Northland builds a new arena, where will it be? 12-b has be suggested, but is that the only available site? HCC, for what it is, and when it does have events, brings good foot traffic into downtown, as we saw in the recent skate America 2006. If it is located at 12-b, people will drive there, park, get in, get out, drive away. It probably will not impact downtown all that much. I know Northland suggested replacing HCC with a mini Rockefeller Center apartment/condo/office mixed use complex, but doesn't that contingent upon H21 and the YMCA site are successful? What if they turn out to be duds? It's good that Northland is committed to Hartford, and is placing big bet on Hartford, but I never like to have too many eggs in one basket.

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I favor Northland and feel like the plan they have put forth is more viable as the Civic Center must be replaced, sooner rather than later. They more than likely are the only ones who are seriously considering managing the old HCC while they try to construct a new up to date Arena which would be the way I would go about it. To me the AHL is somewhat important, but not instrumental to Hartford proving it can be a major league market. What would speak volumes though is an NBA/NHL quality Arena being utilized and filled for UConn and NCAA tournaments that would be nationally televised. That's the way to go. The various deciding parties throughout the country would get a first hand view of the Hartford area's robust sports market.

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Tycoon:

I'd love to see a state of the art, 23,500+ seat arena and a few UConn hockey games in it. Frozen Four games? NCAA's semi-finals, UConn men's and women games. High school hockey finals -- exhibition indoor football, indoor lacrosse and arena soccer? Boston Celtic 'home' games.

JimS

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Me too. Except for the Celtic home games! I'll wait until we get our own team. But I agree that there will be endless possibilities once a new Arena is truly on the way.

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Tycoon:

I'd love to see an NBA team in Hartford (after the Whalers come back!!). I'd love to see the CT Sun play a few games there, too. The Hartford Blizzard (WNBA) against the Connecticut Sun? Wow...that would be interesting!! :) (the Hartford Blizzard owned by Foxwoods, too. :))

JimS

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People already park near 12B for Civic Center events anyway. I would not be worried about partons not venturing Downtown. For those who want to stay Downtown before or after an event, it will be the same general routine, except there will very likely be a retail/entertainment component built in conjunction with any new Arena which would obviously do well on event nights and could shift some of the emphasis away from the area near the current HCC.

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I am not so sure. People now park in 12-b and have to walk to downtown. I am not saying they all end up spending money in downtown, but it adds foot traffic to downtown, it adds vibrancy. If they park in 12-b, they have to want to come to downtown, and we all know how much majority of the people want to come to downtown. If there are retail/entertainment in and around the new arena in 12-b, unless they are well incorporated so they are part of downtown, then it's just an isolated island that in my opinion will not do well. Has anyone been to the Meadow? There is no retail/entertainment around the area because special events cannot sustain any business.

I don

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If (when) the HCC is replaced I think special thought needs to be given to asthetics, both inside (sight lines, obstructed views, etc.) and out (will it enhance the neighborhood, and size). The current building boom for new arenas has left very few "interesting" buildings.

I will never forget reading in 1997 in The Sporting News that the Hartford Civic Center had turned into arguably the loudest building in the league. Why? Buildings like Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden, Montreal Forum, and the Buffalo Aud were replaced by shiny new buildings that lacked the intimacy and atmosphere of their predecessors. I will say, I've been in at least 20 major league arenas and few can get going like the HCC. I remember being in the building for a playoff game with only 6500 other fans and as far as atmosphere you'd never know it was empty and even players commented on that. It's a huge advantage for a small market team when you consider all they have going against them financially in the sporting world.

In my opinion, we need to build something next generation instead of the standard lower bowl, club seats in prime areas (often sold but unfortunately empty), 2 story luxury boxes, and an upper deck that makes fans feel as if they're in a separate arena.

While very few teams ever have trouble selling tickets for a winner there is a strong undercurrent blaming attendance issues for underperforming teams, in part to these new character-less arenas. Yes, the amenities can be nice revenue generators, but if not done correctly, are no cure-all for the overall health of teams in mid-sized and small markets.

I would also not underestimate the impact HDTV will have on sports viewing in the next decade. I swear with my big screen HDTV I'm getting more out of games than I would by sitting in a $35 seat in section 300, Row ZZ, seat 21 and I can see myself not making a trip to the TD Banknorth Garden this season because of that.

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For those of you who keep saying the current HCC is decrepid, falling apart, an eyesore, etc.

You're wrong. The current building could have a good lifespan for years to come. It's in fine condition. The reason you want a new arena is because the greedy owners of the NHL and NBA all want a building filled with luxury suites etc.

However, if you're a real sports fan, you'd prefer the current HCC to any new arena in the country. Go try and enjoy yourself at a Bruins or Celtics game today in their building, just try it, it's nearly impossible. The HCC puts you right on top of the action.

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I am not so sure. People now park in 12-b and have to walk to downtown. I am not saying they all end up spending money in downtown, but it adds foot traffic to downtown, it adds vibrancy. If they park in 12-b, they have to want to come to downtown, and we all know how much majority of the people want to come to downtown.

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See, all we needed was Mikel to tell us that all the experts and consultants that have been testifying that the HCC is obsolete. People that know what they are talking about don't know what they are talking about, I guess....

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For those of you who keep saying the current HCC is decrepid, falling apart, an eyesore, etc.

You're wrong. The current building could have a good lifespan for years to come. It's in fine condition. The reason you want a new arena is because the greedy owners of the NHL and NBA all want a building filled with luxury suites etc.

However, if you're a real sports fan, you'd prefer the current HCC to any new arena in the country. Go try and enjoy yourself at a Bruins or Celtics game today in their building, just try it, it's nearly impossible. The HCC puts you right on top of the action.

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So, as of Monday, there were 3 submissions on how to run the Hartford Civic Center moving forward into the future. 2 seem like clunkers to me, one is a home run. Here is what is proposed:

Madison Square Garden: Currently runs the CIvic Center and the Wolf Pack, they basically want to keep the status quo, and why wouldn't they. This is basically their second NHL market in their resume', they aren't forced to fulfill their contractual obligations such as an NHL and an NBA preseason game each year, and they really don't have to put any work in. Clunker

Howard Baldwin/Global Spectrum: Howard used to own the Hartford Whalers, and brought them to the city and to their highest level of success. Global Spectrum will run the arena, they currently run other such as the Wachovia Center in Philly and the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. Howard wants to rebuild the hockey market, whatever that means, by renaming the team here the Hartford Whalers and they remain in the AHL. They try to get an NHL team later. All this despite the fact everyone knows the HCC needs replacement. I love Howard to death, but good luck with that idea not as bad, but clunker

Larry Gottesdiener/Northland/SMG: Larry G is downtown biggest poroperty owner, SMG will run the arena. Larry realizes that the HCC is obsolete and needs a new arena. WOuld like a minor league team only until he can procure an NHL team for the city. winner!!

A few asides: the city and Mayor want a team, and they have hired consultants to see if that can be done. They know the HCC is obsolete. The Connecticut Development Authority in their infinite wisdom aren't sure what to do yet, like theirs even a question.

Courant article

discuss

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A recent report said the HCC will have a catastropic failure in the near future. Not that the building will fall down. But a plumping or heating emergency so complete it will cost millions and may not be fixable at all.

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If MSG does leave, and 10 years down the line, Howard Baldwin is perfectly happy running his little AHL franchise at the now 40-year-old HCC, are we going to be okay with that setup because "Hey, at least we kicked MSG out?"

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Yes, we will be ok with no MSG, not with no NHL or arena.

It also says they need to have a preseason NHL and NBA game each year, how's that working out?

It is absurd, because that is exactly what MSG is trying to do, run the Rangers and get their fans in 2 full-fledged NHL markets. Not working to well, is it?

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The contract called for NHL/NBA games at the start of the contract, but MSG was not required to continue them if the games were underperforming at the gate. Based on what those first few games drew, the attendance quotas probably didn't kick in.

Facts aside, do you honestly think the state is going to let MSG tell them who can play in THEIR ..i.e...the state's/city's....building? Would you honestly equate a chance preseason game with an entire franchise looking to relocate to the market? The MSG argument is such red herring and the tragedy of it is that it's got so many people set on achieving the WRONG goal.

How can you sit here with a straight face and say that MSG, a multi-billion dollar company with intrests in cable television networks, major leage sports franchises, and real estate, has spent more than five minutes thinking about how they can coopt the Hartford market into Rangers fans? If as you say, there dastardly plan is not working too well, then why are they trying to stay? Maybe it's because they are more interested in facility management, which is more profitable to them than developing Rangers fans in a market where several cable systems don't even carry the cable network that carries Rangers games.

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