SBD/February 27, 2013/Franchises

AHL Whale To Remain In XL Center After MSG Co., Comcast Spectacor Reach Deal

Global Spectrum's challenge will be boosting the Whale's attendance
A deal to keep the AHL Connecticut Whale in the XL Center "through 2016, with a provision for two one-year extensions,“ was reached yesterday between MSG Co. and Comcast Spectacor, according to Paul Doyle of the HARTFORD COURANT. The Whale is an affiliate club of the NHL Rangers, and while the Rangers “own the team and cover expenses for salary, travel and uniforms,” Global Spectrum will “handle ticket sales, operation of premium suites, merchandise and marketing.” Capital Region Development Authority Exec Dir Michael Freimuth said that Global Spectrum will pay MSG $1.4M annually “as an affiliation fee, which will come from ticket sales and other sources of revenue.” A source said that the average AHL affiliation fee is “about $1 million a year.” The team's name is “expected to remain the same.” Doyle notes when Global Spectrum was “chosen by the CRDA to run the XL Center and Rentschler Field, retaining an AHL team in the arena was cited as a priority.” The challenge for Global Spectrum “will be boosting attendance, which has steadily declined.” The Whale this season with an average attendance of 4,359 per game “are 23rd in the 30-team AHL” (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/27).
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Franchises, AHL, New York Rangers

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