Connecticut Gov. Looking At Ways To Revitalize Aging XL Center
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he is willing to consider a broad range of “public-private partnerships” to revitalize the aging, 44-year-old XL Center arena, according to Kenneth Gosselin of the HARTFORD COURANT. One option could include "partnering with the two Native American operators of Connecticut’s two casinos, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun." A partnership involving the XL Center and the tribes could be "part of a larger agreement that could pave the way for sports betting and other internet gambling, an issue that has been at an impasse for months." State House Majority Leader Matt Ritter said that he has "not been contacted by the tribes about purchasing the XL Center." He added, "The XL Center main business is still going to be the XL Center. It’s going to be UConn basketball and hockey games, that’s the main goal." Ritter said the legislature is "expected to approve additional funding -- to be paid for through the sale of state bonds -- for repairs and upgrades to the arena that would make the venue more attractive for a potential partner." Gosselin notes the funding could be up to $30M in the current FY and up to another $30M in the next FY. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said that he has "long pushed for a modernization of the XL Center to keep it competitive with newer arenas." Bronin: "Sports betting, in particular, may present us with some opportunities to get that done" (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/5).