In Hartford, Kenneth Gosselin reported the Connecticut State Bond Commission on Friday backed $31.2M for upgrades at the "aging XL Center, with construction expected to begin in late spring." The funding is part of a $35M package "approved by the state legislature" last year. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said that it "makes sense to make short-term improvements now because the state does not have any immediate plans for constructing a new arena" (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/1).
CLOCK IS TICKING: In Pittsburgh, Mark Belko notes the Penguins "may not make an October deadline for the start of their proposed office, residential and commercial development at the former Civic Arena site." While the Penguins "have not requested an extension" of the deadline, team COO Travis Williams said that meeting it "could be tough given ongoing negotiations with Hill District leaders and the city." The Penguins "won the rights to develop the 28-acre arena site in the 2007 deal with local and state political leaders to build the Consol Energy Center." Under that agreement, they "must begin work on the first parcel by Oct. 31 or possibly lose the rights to it" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/3).
HELP WANTED: In DC, Jonathan O'Connell noted MLS DC United "launched a new Web site Thursday night aimed at building support for the team's plan to build" a soccer-specific stadium on Buzzard Point in Southwest DC. The web site -- unitedc.org -- encourages visitors "to write an e-mail" to DC Mayor Vincent Gray and members of the city council "asking that they support Gray's plan to acquire and provide the land and infrastructure" for the stadium (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/28).