XL Center


XL Center

Infobox_Stadium
stadium_name =XL Center
nickname =The Mall, The Civic Center


location =One Civic Center Plaza
Hartford, Connecticut 06103
broke_ground =1970s
opened =January 9 1975
closed =1978-1980 (roof collapse, renovations)
current status =Open
former_names =Hartford Civic Center (1975-2007)
demolished =
owner=City of Hartford [ [http://www.ctcda.com/images/customer-files/HCC%20RFP%20final.pdf The Connecticut Development Authority- "Opportunities for The Hartford Civic Center", p36] ]
operator =Northland Investment Corporation/Anschutz Entertainment Group
construction_cost =
architect =
tenants=UConn Huskies (NCAA) (1980-Present)
Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) (1997-Present)
New England/Hartford Whalers (WHA/NHL) (1975-78, 1980-1997)
New England Blizzard (ABL) (1996-1998)
Connecticut Coyotes (AFL) (1995-1996)
New England Sea Wolves (AFL) (1999-2000)
Boston Celtics (NBA) (part-time, 1975-1995)
Hartford Hellions (MISL) (1980-1981)
seating_capacity = Basketball 16,294
Hockey 15,635

The XL Center, formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, is a sports and convention complex located in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, owned by the City of Hartford and operated by Northland Investment Corporation/Anschutz Entertainment Group under contract with the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA). The arena is ranked the 28th largest among college basketball arenas. Originally located adjacent to a shopping mall (Civic Center Mall, which was demolished in 2004), it was originally built in 1975 and consists of two facilities: the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Exhibition Center.

Recently, the CDA debated who will run the arena from 2007-08 through 2012-13. The applicants were:
*Former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin and arena manager Global Spectrum
*Northland Investment Corp. and arena manager Anschutz Entertainment Group
*Madison Square Garden

On March 21, 2007, the CDA selected the Northland/Anschutz Entertainment Group proposal. It was revealed that Northland will assume total responsibility for the building paying for any and all losses, and will keep any profits.

In December 2007, the arena's naming rights were sold to XL Capital insurance company.

The Veterans Memorial Coliseum

The Coliseum is the full-time home of the Hartford Wolf Pack AHL hockey team and part-time home of the University of Connecticut men's and women's basketball teams. It was the home of the New England Sea Wolves of the Arena Football League. It was also the home of the New England/Hartford Whalers of the WHA and NHL from 1975-1978 and 1980-1997 and the New England Blizzard of the ABL from 1996-1998, and hosted occasional Boston Celtics home games from 1975-1995. The arena seats 15,635 for ice hockey and 16,294 for basketball, 16,606 for center-stage concerts, 16,282 for end-stage concerts, and 8,239 for 3/4-end stage concerts, and contains 46 luxury suites and a 310-seat Coliseum Club, plus convert|25000|sqft|m2|-2 of arena floor space, enabling it to be used for trade shows and conventions in addition to concerts, circuses, ice shows, sporting events and other events.

As originally built in 1975, it seated 10,507 for hockey, and served as the home of the then-New England Whalers for three years. The roof collapsed during a heavy snowstorm in the early morning of January 18, 1978, causing serious damage to the seating bowl area. The building was heavily renovated and re-opened January 17, 1980.

In recent years, the arena has been upgraded with a new center-hung scoreboard with four Sony Jumbotrons and a state-of-the-art sound system. WrestleMania XI was held here, as were Survivor Series 1990, No Way Out 2000 and Vengeance 2004. The 1982 Big East Conference and 1988–1990 America East Conference men's basketball tournaments were also here. The Big East Conference women's basketball tournament is contracted to the coliseum through 2009, and it has hosted multiple NCAA women's basketball sub-regionals and regionals. The building was the host of the 1986 NHL All-Star Game. The XL Center has held many notable concerts including Van Halen, U2, Brooks & Dunn, Reba, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd (two shows on its A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour in 1987 substituting for the Boston Garden which the band chose not to play after their 1977 tour), Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Nicks & Phish. The Civic Center is the first stop on Bruce Springsteen's 2007 Magic tour, and it is also one of the few North American venues for the Genesis 2007 reunion tour. It has also been used politically as evidenced by Senator Barack Obama's rally that drew over 16,000 people to the arena on February 4, 2008, the day before the Connecticut Democratic Presidential Primary.

Exhibition center

The Exhibition Center consists of a convert|68855|sqft|m2|0|sing=on exhibit hall, a convert|16080|sqft|m2|0|sing=on assembly hall that can divide into two meeting rooms, plus seven meeting rooms totaling convert|7390|sqft|m2|0 and two lobbies totaling convert|6100|sqft|m2|-1. It is used for trade shows, conventions, banquets, meetings and other events.

The surrounding shopping mall was torn down in 2004 and was replaced by street-level retail shops and a 36-story residential tower that opened in 2006.On December 18, 2007, an announcement was made that the Hartford Civic Center will undergo a name change. Effective immediately, the arena will now be known as the XL Center, thanks to a 6-year naming rights agreement with the XL Insurance company. [ [http://www.hartfordwolfpack.com/press_20071218.php ] ]

Possible new arena

With the XL Center approaching its 30th birthday leaders in Hartford have been considering whether it should be replaced with a new facility. In 2006 developer Lawrence Gottesdiener discussed buying the Pittsburgh Penguins and moving them to a new Hartford arena, but that effort did not materialize. [cite news |authorlink=Associated Press |author=Associated Press |title=Developer wants to buy Penguins for possible move to Hartford. |url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/04/07/developer_wants_to_buy_penguins_for_possible_move_to_hartford_1144431071/ |work=The Boston Globe |publisher=The New York Times Company |date=2006-04-07 |accessdate=2007-02-14] Since that time, Mayor Eddie Pérez and House Speaker James Amann have continued to investigate the feasibility of a new downtown arena [cite press release |title=CITY OF HARTFORD SEEKS CONSULTANT TO ADVISE ON FEASIBILITY OF DEVELOPING NEW DOWNTOWN ARENA |publisher=City of Hartford, Connecticut |date=2006-08-30 |url=http://www.hartford.gov/News/PR082906numbertwo.htm |accessdate=2007-02-14] , with Mayor Perez making statements to tear down the XL Center and replace it with the new arena as recently as March 10, 2008. The current lease for the XL Center runs until 2013. After that, the facility must be turned over to the city of Hartford. By that point, the city wants to decide whether the building can be refurbished or if it has enough financial support to build a new arena. Mayor Eddie Perez met with the newly formed task force of city business leaders to determine the benefits of building a new arena."In order to consider the new arena, we have to find out where the corporate support is for a new arena and that's the charge I gave the task force," Perez said. "My hope is that by late September of this year, they can give me an idea where the corporate support would be and how we can go about organizing that support. "The mayor said that he feels the city needs a new arena to attract more events and possibly a professional sports franchise. "For a region to survive, you need a dynamic urban center and entertainment is part of a dynamic urban center," said Oz Griebel of the Metro Hartford Alliance. "If you're going to offer entertainment venues, whether they be basketball games, hockey games, rodeos, concerts, you have to have a venue that people are going to want to come to." Perez said he thinks a new arena could bring about 1,500 new jobs to the city. However, talks of a new arena haven been dying since August 1, 2007 when Gottesdiener did not produce the winning bid to buy the Nashville Predators and move the team to Hartford.

References

External links

* [http://www.hartfordciviccenter.com/ XL Center]
* [http://www.eng.uab.edu/cee/faculty/ndelatte/case_studies_project/Hartford%20Civic%20Center/hartford.htm Description of roof construction and causes of collapse]

succession box
title = Home of the New England / Hartford Whalers
years = 1974 – 1978
1980 – 1997
before = Boston Garden
Springfield Civic Center
after = Springfield Civic Center
Greensboro Coliseum
succession box
title = Home of the New England Sea Wolves
years = 1999 – 2000
before = Madison Square Garden
after = Air Canada Centre
succession box
title = Host of WrestleMania XI
years = 1995
before = Madison Square Garden
after = Arrowhead Pond
succession box
title = Host of NHL All-Star Game
years = 1986
before = Olympic Saddledome
after = St. Louis Arena


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