SBD/July 11, 2012/Franchises

AEG Takes Over Business, Marketing Duties For AHL Connecticut Whale

Two weeks after severing ties with Whalers Sports & Entertainment, the NHL Rangers “are turning the operation of their American Hockey League affiliate over to AEG Management CT,” according to Paul Doyle of the HARTFORD COURANT. AEG, which operates XL Center in downtown Hartford, will “run the business side of the Connecticut Whale for the 2012-13 season.” The company will “manage marketing, sponsorship, ticketing and group sales for the franchise that will continue to be owned by Madison Square Garden, Inc., the parent company of the Rangers.” The Whale's lease with the XL Center “expires after the 2013 season, and negotiations on a new lease have been ongoing.” But AEG's contract to run the building “also expires in August 2013, so the future of both the Rangers and AEG are unknown.” XL Center Senior VP & GM Chuck Steedman said, "Our intention is for AEG to stay in Hartford and for the team to stay in Hartford.” The Rangers' AHL affiliate has been in Hartford since ‘97, but the team “grew disenchanted with Howard Baldwin's WSE, which ran the club's business operation for two years.” Steedman said that the team “will continue to be known as the Connecticut Whale.” He also “anticipates employees from WSE joining his company” (HARTFORD COURANT, 7/10).
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