XL Center Could Be Renovated, Sold As Part Of Conn. Gambling Efforts
A deal between Connecticut and its two federally recognized Indian tribes "could lead to an extensive renovation of the XL Center," according to Christopher Keating of the HARTFORD COURANT. The proposal, which has been "discussed only in concept thus far," has come up as Gov. Ned Lamont has "sought to break a gambling stalemate over casino expansion in the state." Sources said that Lamont is "calling for Connecticut's two federally recognized Indian tribes to drop longstanding plans for an East Windsor casino in exchange for sports betting and other enticements." A source said that the state has "discussed selling the troubled XL Center" to the tribes, who would then "renovate and add gambling and other amenities to the arena." The "'global solution' that Lamont is pushing has been rejected so far" by the two tribes. The XL Center is operated by the Capital Region Development Authority, which has "failed in efforts to sell the arena and more recently has discussed asking the state" for $100M in improvements. If the tribes were to "take over the XL Center, it would be upgraded and continue to host NCAA basketball and minor league hockey." One "possible scenario would add sports betting, restaurants and gambling as well" (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/5).