State-Run Agency Unveils Proposal For XL Center Renovation
Connecticut's state-run Capital Region Development Authority unveiled a "downsized renovation proposal for Hartford’s XL Center to build support with a newly elected legislature and governor," according to Kenneth Gosselin of the HARTFORD COURANT. The CRDA "estimates the new proposal would cost" $100M. The vision is "far more modest" than the $250M transformation that "failed to gain traction in recent years among lawmakers beleaguered by a spiraling budget deficit despite strong support" from Gov. Dannel Malloy. The downsized proposal "most notably eliminates the costliest item -- a second concourse -- and focuses the change on the lower half of the 16,000-seat arena." Investments would be "more sharply targeted at improvements that would boost revenue and cut operating expenses," all with the goal of making a venue that now loses $1-2M a year "run in the black." CRDA Exec Dir Michael Freimuth said that he recognizes the reality that the arena today is "more of a 'college building' than a 'professional building.'" UConn was "consulted as the new proposal was developed" (HARTFORD COURANT, 12/7).