SBD/February 5, 2013/Facilities

Authority Touts AHL Whale's Importance To XL Center, Hartford In Management Contract

Winning bidders for the XL Center also will be expected to market and run the Whale
Capital Region Development Authority Exec Dir Michael Freimuth said that hockey is “so critical to a stable and growing downtown” in Hartford that management of the XL Center “will only be put in the hands of a firm that maintains the sport” in the city, according to a front-page piece by Doyle & Gosselin of the HARTFORD COURANT. Freimuth, whose group oversees the arena, said, "We want and intend to maintain the (American Hockey League) in Hartford. Any contract will be conditioned on that.” His remarks are a “serious warning to the three entities bidding to manage Hartford's downtown arena, home to the Connecticut Whale.” Freimuth said that all “three bidders -- who expect to learn whether they have the contract later this week -- have been in contact with the company that manages the Connecticut Whale, as well as other hockey franchises.” The bidder chosen to run the XL Center “will be expected to market and run the hockey franchise.” The Whale's lease at the XL Center “expires this summer.” The CRDA will choose “between its current management -- AEG -- and two others: Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum as well as the Capital Region Sports and Entertainment Group, led by Bushnell Management Services.” Meanwhile, NHL Rangers execs" have considered alternative markets” for the club's AHL affiliate (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/5).
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Facilities, AHL, AEG

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