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XL Center Renovation/Replacement Plans


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http://www.courant.com/business/hc-proposed-renovations-to-the-lx-center-20130904,0,3415934.photogallery

 

Looks OK as far as it goes, but isn't it a little putting lipstick on a pig?

 

Seems like that would reduce seating capacity quite a bit.

 

While on the subject, another place badly in need of spiffing up is GAMPEL. Any plans?

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Amen to that brother. Why a market the size of ours doesn't justify getting a new arena every 40 years or so is a mystery to me. It's served us well for a pretty long time and now it's time to get a n

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http://www.courant.com/business/hc-proposed-renovations-to-the-lx-center-20130904,0,3415934.photogallery

 

Looks OK as far as it goes, but isn't it a little putting lipstick on a pig?

 

Seems like that would reduce seating capacity quite a bit.

 

While on the subject, another place badly in need of spiffing up is GAMPEL. Any plans?

 

 

Someone recently posted about Gampel, it was either in this thread or somewhere else, but I mean this was within the last 30 days.

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This most recent statement by Malloy regarding bringing the NHL back to town clears up some confusion I've had on why it makes sense to invest $35 million into the obsolete XL Center instead of using it as a down payment on a new arena. It's great news that he is talking to two groups who both are interested in owning a franchise in Hartford. This will allow us to get the best deal out of the potential ownership groups. Renovating the XL Center so that it would be acceptable for the NHL for a few years is a great idea and justifiable. Spending that amount of money for no reason, i.e. to continue hosting UConn, concerts, etc. is not justifiable. Those shows and UConn would likely use the building regardless and the money would be better spent on the replacement. If the NHL is a real possibility and we have to be ready quickly, then I fully support Malloy's plan.

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  • 3 months later...

In the article it says the rennovations will be complete in October

 

For Hartford, this will be a marquee event following the completion of a $35 million upgrade of the XL Center, which will be completed in October, and an opportunity for the building to re-establish itself as a venue for major college basketball events.

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This is a great opportunity to showcase the progress that Hartford has made. 2016 would probably have been even better to that end, but you take these things when they come up. This will be days of national coverage though and Hartford just doesn't get that chance very often at all. I'm very excited about this, even though I wish UConn was in another conference. This could be one of the few positives in having UConn be in the AAC for the time being.

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Yeah its definately a good stage.

 

I am not sure how many travel for conference tournaments, I cant imagine the number to be very high, but its still likely to be a nice impact on the area as they indicated.  I mean the article says 3.5 million compared to 2.4 million for the womens big east. 

 

Womans big east absolutly brought good crowds to Hartford but it was not that big.   conventions have had a bigger impact, at least the bigger ones do.  I am expecting the tourney to feel like one of those bigger conventions.

 

I hope the rennovated XL center performs well, especially while on TV :)

 

from a city feel perspective, there will surely be more people living downtown, just not sure how many at that time.  Also I suspect many of the more visible projects (777 Main and 101 Pearl, Front Street, AI Engineers) will be visibly improved and well underway.  The new construction should also be a good look for all of the visitors. 

 

 

I think one of the best things that visitors will see is new retail tenents.

I dont think anyone can tell what will be open a year from now, but it stands to reason that there will be new places for visitors to eat and dink at.  The increasing downtown population will definately bring new places with it and they may choose to open before all the apartments are up an running.  so its certainly possible that there would be an improved retail scene downtown.  At the very least, we know that Front street will have a Teds, Nix, infinity hall and bears smokehouse in operation by that time, so that will be nice.

 

 

 

Edited by The Voice of Reason
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Yeah its definately a good stage.

 

I am not sure how many travel for conference tournaments, I cant imagine the number to be very high, but its still likely to be a nice impact on the area as they indicated.  I mean the article says 3.5 million compared to 2.4 million for the womens big east. 

 

Womans big east absolutly brought good crowds to Hartford but it was not that big.   conventions have had a bigger impact, at least the bigger ones do.  I am expecting the tourney to feel like one of those bigger conventions.

 

I hope the rennovated XL center performs well, especially while on TV :)

 

from a city feel perspective, there will surely be more people living downtown, just not sure how many at that time.  Also I suspect many of the more visible projects (777 Main and 101 Pearl, Front Street, AI Engineers) will be visibly improved and well underway.  The new construction should also be a good look for all of the visitors. 

 

 

I think one of the best things that visitors will see is new retail tenents.

I dont think anyone can tell what will be open a year from now, but it stands to reason that there will be new places for visitors to eat and dink at.  The increasing downtown population will definately bring new places with it and they may choose to open before all the apartments are up an running.  so its certainly possible that there would be an improved retail scene downtown.  At the very least, we know that Front street will have a Teds, Nix, infinity hall and bears smokehouse in operation by that time, so that will be nice.

 

Also, hopefully UConn wins it all and that will guarantee that there are large, local crowds pretty much every day of the tournament. Getting CT people coming to Hartford for entertainment purposes multiple times in one week in and of itself would be great for the city.

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There are twelve teams in the tourney next year but it's a long trip for many of the fans. Memphis which is more centrally located did quite well this year.

 

Kevin Kane is president and CEO of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re in a sold out situation. The hotels are filled from one end to another and it’s about $15 million to the local economy. We are very blessed and fortunate that Memphis was chosen,” Kane said.

 

That is more that Hartford can expect but there will be thousands who need hotel rooms.

Edited by beerbeer
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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, here is a good write up on the future of the arena.

http://www.courant.com/sports/hc-jacobs-column-0505-20140504,0,6236120.column

 

from what I read, the process is intelligent and therefore I am supportive of what they are doing right now.

 

I guess as they are putting money into the building as a Bandaid, they are looking under every single possible stone to determine if there is a chance to reconfigure the building to be a modern state of the art replacement...

 

The article kind of indicated that the lean is towards building new right now, but they know that no matter what the tax payers and legislature will demand a full understanding of all options, so they are looking at the step one first.

 

I like that, and as a tax payer, I appreciate it.

 

Once they get some info there they can compare it to a new building and see what makes the most sense for the city/state/taxpayers.. and most importantly UConn as they are the biggest tenant.

 

several times in the write up, keeping Uconn happy is key.

 

the write up also mentions 2 realistic location from that study in 2006

Church street and N of I-84

 

they are not even looking at the options really there yet until they answer question #1

so that’s cool.

 

also the answer there is going to be in hand by end of 2014... this is sooner than I expected

so It seems to me that there is a real change that 2015 will contain some frank discussions on what a future arena would look like.  where it would be, and how much it would cost.

 

For my money I would like to see a new building but I suppose that all depends on what they find because i don’t want to be blinded by ignorance.

 

some of the options in the article are interesting but do not really sound "big league"  again maybe it is my ignorance, but at least they are looking at this as an economic development and they will be taking revenue as a key driver.

 

 

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OK, here is a good write up on the future of the arena.

http://www.courant.com/sports/hc-jacobs-column-0505-20140504,0,6236120.column

 

from what I read, the process is intelligent and therefore I am supportive of what they are doing right now.

 

I guess as they are putting money into the building as a Bandaid, they are looking under every single possible stone to determine if there is a chance to reconfigure the building to be a modern state of the art replacement...

 

The article kind of indicated that the lean is towards building new right now, but they know that no matter what the tax payers and legislature will demand a full understanding of all options, so they are looking at the step one first.

 

I like that, and as a tax payer, I appreciate it.

 

Once they get some info there they can compare it to a new building and see what makes the most sense for the city/state/taxpayers.. and most importantly UConn as they are the biggest tenant.

 

several times in the write up, keeping Uconn happy is key.

 

the write up also mentions 2 realistic location from that study in 2006

Church street and N of I-84

 

they are not even looking at the options really there yet until they answer question #1

so that’s cool.

 

also the answer there is going to be in hand by end of 2014... this is sooner than I expected

so It seems to me that there is a real change that 2015 will contain some frank discussions on what a future arena would look like.  where it would be, and how much it would cost.

 

For my money I would like to see a new building but I suppose that all depends on what they find because i don’t want to be blinded by ignorance.

 

some of the options in the article are interesting but do not really sound "big league"  again maybe it is my ignorance, but at least they are looking at this as an economic development and they will be taking revenue as a key driver.

 

 


OK, here is a good write up on the future of the arena.

http://www.courant.com/sports/hc-jacobs-column-0505-20140504,0,6236120.column

 

from what I read, the process is intelligent and therefore I am supportive of what they are doing right now.

 

I guess as they are putting money into the building as a Bandaid, they are looking under every single possible stone to determine if there is a chance to reconfigure the building to be a modern state of the art replacement...

 

The article kind of indicated that the lean is towards building new right now, but they know that no matter what the tax payers and legislature will demand a full understanding of all options, so they are looking at the step one first.

 

I like that, and as a tax payer, I appreciate it.

 

Once they get some info there they can compare it to a new building and see what makes the most sense for the city/state/taxpayers.. and most importantly UConn as they are the biggest tenant.

 

several times in the write up, keeping Uconn happy is key.

 

the write up also mentions 2 realistic location from that study in 2006

Church street and N of I-84

 

they are not even looking at the options really there yet until they answer question #1

so that’s cool.

 

also the answer there is going to be in hand by end of 2014... this is sooner than I expected

so It seems to me that there is a real change that 2015 will contain some frank discussions on what a future arena would look like.  where it would be, and how much it would cost.

 

For my money I would like to see a new building but I suppose that all depends on what they find because i don’t want to be blinded by ignorance.

 

some of the options in the article are interesting but do not really sound "big league"  again maybe it is my ignorance, but at least they are looking at this as an economic development and they will be taking revenue as a key driver.

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://touch.courant.com/#section/2225/article/p2p-80263241/

 

Some on other boards thought this was for possible XL Center expansion - does anyone have any inside info?

 

 

...the city would instead sell just one parking facility — the Church Street garage — to the Capital Region Development Authority. Suzanne Hopgood, the chair of CRDA, said the sale of the Church Street garage allows officials to tie the XL Center and the garage together, meaning the XL Center could factor the price of parking into ticket sales for some events.

Edited by Theophrastus Bombastus
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no inside info, just gonna drop logic

 

The church street garage was included in the areana study back several years.  it is city owned and it is very much out of date.

 

the comments I have read in the past was that the garage will need replacing because its crumbling and expensive repairs are not I guess going to be enough in the near future.

 

 

that being said, the Arena does have an advantage if it controls a larger parking arena

 

most importantly, if the city does sell its parking assets to the pension fund to cover shortages, there is no real need for an authority and money can be saved there.  the church street garage is not worth too much when you consider the disrepair

so, the pension fund likely was not interested in the property, or valued it much lower than the city wanted.

 

so what do ya do?  take the crap price or instead give it to the CRDA so that it can be a better asset.

 

additional logic dictates that whenever something is done with the arena.. be it tear down or rebuild or relocate or whatever, the garage will meet a simular fate.

 

one idea that was floated was building a massive air rights garage over top I-84

 

 

So to answer your question.

 

Yes, it serves to help the area survive just a little longer and also serves to make redeveloping the entire superblock MUCH easier.

this is especially true when you consider the CRDA making comments that indicated a lean towards a new building.

 

Think of it this way

we build a new arena North do -84 build some big Garage over the highway that helps tie it to the city and stuff while providing parking for much of downtown and even the meadows

 

 

then what do you do with a huge old arena and a rotting garage?

 

well when you are CRDA, you carve it up and line up developers.

having it be a larger site make it an easier sell.

Heck, a site this large in a city center is actually pretty marketable.

its supremely marketable when the city has made the kinds of progress Hartford will have made by the time we build a new arena

it is even more so when the CRDA ponies up mig time money to the firm that redevelops the site.

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://www.theday.com/article/20140609/SPORT01/306099950

 

Wow. Can I get an Amen? LOL

 

I think the baseball stadium is a worthy plan to broach development in the NoDo area. However, I agree 100% with Mike D. on this one. New XL Center plans should be in the execution phase already. What the hell are we really waiting for? Hartford needs an arena to last it for the next 30 years. That is an inescapable fact.

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  • 1 month later...
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That video was very encouraging.

 

I as I was watching it I had the thought.... hmmm 35 million is a lot of money... so I guess it makes sense.  

 

mind you much of the updates are in system improvements but still when you sepnd 35 mill you will see some improvements. :)

 

Looking forward to getting to a few games this fall.

 

 

In a related note, the HBJ did part 3 of the summer series of the rise of Hartford talking a little about what the city will be like in 10 years

This week was Arena week

first link is to the summer series in general

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20140811/PRINTEDITION/308089967/1043

 

more detailed article about the stadium decision.

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20140811/PRINTEDITION/308089960

 

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  • 1 month later...

It has always been the plan to build an on campus hockey venue.  The only reason they are in Hartford is because their current home, Frietas Ice Rink, does not meet the minimum's for their new league, Hockey East.

 

I suspect that they will still play some of their bigger games and perhaps a tournament in the city.

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In the long run this makes sense for hockey. College hockey doesn't belong playing all of its games in a 16,000 seat arena. Hopefully they will build a following in the city over the next couple of seasons though and will schedule some marquee matchups in Hartford in the future. I think this is what's best for UConn if they want to be a hocky power. A 5,000 or 6,000 seat dedicated hockey arena on campus.

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  • 2 months later...

http://touch.courant.com/#section/2224/article/p2p-82374229/

 

spot on Jacobs... spot on.

 

 

 

I sam very interested in the CRDA report and what the result will be for Hartford.  I am also sincerely hoping that the downtown improvements underway now will ve evident enough to allow people to be more open to the big idea, the thinking big concept of a replacement arena.

 

Hartford can and will be a mid major city.  its already economically much larger than its peers, it just needs the continued assistance of the demographic shift back to the cities...

 

if the next 4 years pan out the way they look like they might.... the city should continue to develop during the next down cycle....

and thats critical...

 

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