HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Friday announced that the State Bond Commission is expected to approve $1.8 million in state funds at its next meeting to finance the planning and design of capital improvements at the XL Center. In the last legislative session, the General Assembly authorized a total of $35 million for alterations and renovations at the downtown Hartford event venue.
“Hosting everything from concerts to conferences to major sporting events, the XL Center is an important regional economic driver, generating tax revenue, supporting the surrounding business district and creating jobs for residents,” said Governor Malloy. “This funding will go towards improvements to the XL Center that will ensure this venue will continue to thrive and serve as an asset for our capitol city and the state.”
Earlier this year, Global Spectrum was selected by the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) to take over management of the XL Center and the company conducted a comprehensive space and mechanical study to evaluate the condition of the building. The study identified repairs and upgrades that are needed to keep the facility both functional and competitive over the next 10 years. These projects will focus on improving visitors’ experience, boosting venue revenues and expanding the basic functionality of the building by renovating and replacing the electrical, mechanical and plumbing infrastructure and making concession, rest room and locker room, seating, security, technology, signage and lighting upgrades. Other improvements will include new club and luxury seating areas and a new concourse fan club area that extends into the arena bowl.
“Its age is showing and the study has given us a better understanding of what it will take to keep bringing quality bookings to the arena,” said CRDA Executive Director Michael Freimuth. “With other newer entertainment centers in the region, the upgrades being proposed will keep the XL Center viable and competitive.”
The $1.8 million was needed by December 31st to meet the project’s reconstruction timeline and undertake the necessary design and bid production processes. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2014, with a completion deadline set for October 2014, which coincides with the start of the 2014 season for the Hartford Wolf Pack and UCONN hockey teams.
The State Bond Commission is scheduled to vote on the item at its December 13th meeting at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.