Gov. Ned Lamont proposes $55M investment in Hartford’s XL Center arena



Chin Diesel

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You mean recover that money never because even under the projections losses continue.
You must not be familiar with gov savings. Reducing losses from $2M to $500k is saving money, not results ng the amount of loss.
 
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I heard that is what happened when Gampel was built. Original plan was for a bigger arena. By the time they got through all the red tape they had to scale it back because the money allocated wouldn't buy as much. Not sure if this was true. Was told this by an engineering professor who I did some work with.
There was also a story that the politicos didn't want an arena on campus that would be large enough to justify pulling all games out of Hartford. Thus, make Gampel smaller and keep revenue flowing in Hartford too.
 
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You mean recover that money never because even under the projections losses continue.
Good point, but the real point is I imagine some of the bonding gets allocated back to pay various administration overhead at the quasi CRDA gov’t agency. In other words, this isn’t really primarily about the XL Center and UConn sports, it’s a pile of money that could be used to pay bloated salaries, bonuses, meals and entertainment for former political hacks without the disclosure requirements of state government. In short, it’s another example where corruption is legalized in CT.
 
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You’re right. We should do nothing and let the arena go to hell. You think a complete overhaul would pass the legislature? What do you propose ?
Sell the place outright and UConn cuts all ties.
 

CL82

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Good point, but the real point is I imagine some of the bonding gets allocated back to pay various administration overhead at the quasi CRDA gov’t agency. In other words, this isn’t really primarily about the XL Center and UConn sports, it’s a pile of money that could be used to pay bloated salaries, bonuses, meals and entertainment for former political hacks without the disclosure requirements of state government. In short, it’s another example where corruption is legalized in CT.
If you are pitching a $100M plan to bail you out from your own fiscal mismanagement, it's probably best if the projections you use at least give you a shot at turning profit. This one does not.
 

XLCenterFan

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I don't understand why people feel the need to make money off of everything. As a lifelong resident and tax-payer, I understand that not everything we spend money on as a society has to have a profit on the back end - this isn't a publicly traded company. As a tax-payer who loves attending events at the XL, I will gladly take the upgrades if it means I can attend more events and enjoy Lil' Heaven in the capital city. I understand that not EVERY venture can lose money. But in this instance, it is pointless to get upset with $500K-$2M in losses, especially in relation to the state's overall budget. Was anyone at the Memphis game? Who wants that to go away?
 
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I don't understand why people feel the need to make money off of everything. As a lifelong resident and tax-payer, I understand that not everything we spend money on as a society has to have a profit on the back end - this isn't a publicly traded company. As a tax-payer who loves attending events at the XL, I will gladly take the upgrades if it means I can attend more events and enjoy Lil' Heaven in the capital city. I understand that not EVERY venture can lose money. But in this instance, it is pointless to get upset with $500K-$2M in losses, especially in relation to the state's overall budget. Was anyone at the Memphis game? Who wants that to go away?
Yeah, I'll push here.

So you don't care if we lose money on a refurb of a really outdated arena so you can attend more events in Hartford. What are the non-UConn events you've been to at XL in the last 2 years?
 

XLCenterFan

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Yeah, I'll push here.

So you don't care if we lose money on a refurb of a really outdated arena so you can attend more events in Hartford. What are the non-UConn events you've been to at XL in the last 2 years?
Correct - only I don't see it as a "loss," since I use the arena.
Throughout my life, I've probably been to the HCC/XL about 300 times.

This is the past few years, not including men's hoops games, which I attend regularly:
3-5 Wolfpack games per year (since they've started).
1-2 UCONN hockey games per year (since they've started).
Brought nephews and nieces to some ice thing and monster trucks.
NCAA tourney last year.
Justin Timberlake show.
 
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CL82

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I don't understand why people feel the need to make money off of everything. As a lifelong resident and tax-payer, I understand that not everything we spend money on as a society has to have a profit on the back end - this isn't a publicly traded company. As a tax-payer who loves attending events at the XL, I will gladly take the upgrades if it means I can attend more events and enjoy Lil' Heaven in the capital city. I understand that not EVERY venture can lose money. But in this instance, it is pointless to get upset with $500K-$2M in losses, especially in relation to the state's overall budget. Was anyone at the Memphis game? Who wants that to go away?
The CDRA is asking for $100M of taxpayer money. That’s a lot of money for a state that is in considerable financial difficulty. Even after that investment the quasi public venture they are running will continue to lose money, notwithstanding the fact that they are having UConn’s athletic department subsidize the XL. I fully agree that not everything the state does needs to make money, but at some point, it does need to show some fiscal responsibility. Perhaps this request to put yet another multi-million dollars patch on a money losing aging facility is one of those times.
 

XLCenterFan

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The CDRA is asking for $100M of taxpayer money. That’s a lot of money for a state that is in considerable financial difficulty. Even after that investment the quasi public venture they are running will continue to lose money, notwithstanding the fact that they are having UConn’s athletic department subsidize the XL. I fully agree that not everything the state does needs to make money, but at some point, it does need to show some fiscal responsibility. Perhaps this request to put yet another multi-million dollars patch on a money losing aging facility is one of those times.
So there's 2 options to me: Spend the money to patch it up, or spend more money to rebuild it. I'm fine with either. I would prefer to have the XL there than to not have it there. Also, the state's finances are in better shape than they were a few years ago, and the rainy-day fund is massive (over $2.5 B).

There will probably be a public hearing on this at some point. We should all attend, or just fire off a copy of this message board and have them read it!
 
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Correct - only I don't see it as a "loss," since I use the arena.
Throughout my life, I've probably been to the HCC/XL about 300 times.

This is the past few years, not including men's hoops games, which I attend regularly:
3-5 Wolfpack games per year (since they've started).
1-2 UCONN hockey games per year (since they've started).
Brought nephews and nieces to some ice thing and monster trucks.
NCAA tourney last year.
Justin Timberlake show.
So, a broke state that's struggling with what to do to fix it (tolls, marijuana, sports gambling) should spend 55 million for monster truck shows and minor league hockey? The last Wolf Pack game I went to had 1,200 people there and they offered 1.00 hot dogs and 2.00 beers.
 
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Before they spend a dollar, they should evaluate what 100MM would get. I expected more from the Guv, a supposed businessman, but on this issue he is no different than little Danny. But start with an acknowledgement that Hartford does not need a 16K seat arena. How many events in the last decade have been a sell out there? How many have drawn more than 12k paying customers?

As an aside, the NHL is NEVER, EVER, EVER coming back. The NBA is NEVER, EVER, EVER coming. If you believe either is a possibility, then please put the pipe down and get some help.

Start with why do we need an arena in Hartford? You want to attract concerts, AHL, UConn and some specialty events, build a brand new ~10K arena CONDITIONED on Northland doing something, anything with the surrounding space. I know they think they'll be able to attract Tiffany there someday, but I would not do anything more to that arena without them committing to a broader use of the entire space, not 1/2.

Just please stop pouring money down the drain. The building is old and unintersting and no amount of lipstick is gonna make her look good. For crissakes, please stop spending millions in cosmetic upgrades. By the time you complete them, you'll have a nearly 50 year old building that is still 3rd rate and needs to suck off the UConn teet to show "respectable losses".

Are there any adults left in CT?
 

XLCenterFan

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So, a broke state that's struggling with what to do to fix it (tolls, marijuana, sports gambling) should spend 55 million for monster truck shows and minor league hockey? The last Wolf Pack game I went to had 1,200 people there and they offered 1.00 hot dogs and 2.00 beers.
The state budget is about $18B. $55M is about .03% precent of that.
I would prefer a new, smaller arena, not "upgrades." I have zero issues with spending my tax dollars on an arena I have used 300 times in my life and will continue to use. I think it is important to have a place such as the HCC/XL in our capital city. At the end of the day, people can vote with their feet and their dollars. You don't want the XL there? Don't go.

It looks like we will never agree on this, but that's fine. We agree that we love UCONN hoops, and we can concentrate on that.
 
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>>A $100 million renovation of Hartford’s XL Center arena would dramatically cut annual operating losses at the 16,000-seat venue but not boost revenues enough to attract private investors to the project, a new study shows.

In a 179-page report, Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, a Texas-based consultant, said the renovation would likely cut annual losses of $2 million to $3 million to about $500,000.

However, “it is not anticipated that private financing will be a viable source of project funding,” CSL said in its report to the board of directors of the Capital Region Development Authority Thursday.<<

Alternate access link here<<
So like a 50 year payback. So dumb.
 
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I don’t get how you can spend $100 million and justify it by saying we will lose $500k, instead of $2 million.

just spend $250 mil on a new arena. Smh.
Can you build one for $250M now? Fiserv forum in Milwaukee cost $524M and they pretty much had a clear lot to build it on.
 
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does Hartford even need an arena considering there's decent arenas at Storrs, Mohegan and Bridgeport?
 
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If you are pitching a $100M plan to bail you out from your own fiscal mismanagement, it's probably best if the projections you use at least give you a shot at turning profit. This one does not.
I agree, but again their goal, in my opinion, is to foremost fund their bloated quasi agency non-disclosed salaries and bonuses by allocating funds back to cover that overhead. This proposal is just another vehicle to do that.
The CRDA, to my knowledge, has never turned money back to the State as “profits”, unlike any soundly run enterprise. That is not a goal of theirs either at XL or the Rent. They contract hire third parties to actually do the work - something the state or university could easily do without this expensive middle man.
 
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I have zero issues with spending my tax dollars on an arena I have used 300 times in my life and will continue to use.
That 300 times figure you keep leaning on is ancient history. It makes no sense to wax poetically about times when you may have seen U2 there on the Joshua Tree tour in 1987. I was there that night and it's been a lonnnnnng time since things like that took place there.

Funnel the money to the area near the Yard Goats now before that park becomes an outdated relic.
 
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100 million? The seating and set up inside doesn't change? About 2/3 of the upper level seats are not great and wouldn't a new arena address that?
 
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Anytime someone uses a derivative nickname for a politician I immediately stop listening to them. I know it's the internet, but you don't HAVE to act like a child.
 
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So, a broke state that's struggling with what to do to fix it (tolls, marijuana, sports gambling) should spend 55 million for monster truck shows and minor league hockey? The last Wolf Pack game I went to had 1,200 people there and they offered 1.00 hot dogs and 2.00 beers.
The state isn't broke. It just has tremendously high pension obligations because it was underfunded for 30 years.

That constrains what you can do because that pension eats up a bigger slice of the pie.

As far as bonding, with no tolls for infrastructure, I find it highly unlikely we will even get $100 million for XL and no chance at $250 for a new building.

I am for a total rebuild to try and make the thing solvent. I also don't trust CRDA to execute on the plan. The casinos have really taken away a lot of events, and they manage their properties better.
 
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I will say I went to a concert at the XL Center a few months ago and it was awesome. I never would have expected a show at the dump center to be good but it was incredible.
It's OK to be honest. The XL is better for shows than any other arena around, including Mohegan and B'port.
 

CL82

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What bugs me the most about the XL is how attempts to support it hurt UConn.
  • Gampel was built small (8,500) so that it wouldn't complete with the Civic Center (and the New Haven Coliseum).
  • We are under building the hockey arena, in part because of XL.
  • Our Athletic Department subsidizes the XL by paying high leases while giving up parking and concession revenue. This makes the AD's financials look worse and the CDRA's financials look better. Think about that. XL is hemorrhaging money after UConn subsidizes it.
Now the CDRA is asking for an additional $100M in improvements even though their own (notoriously optimistic) projections do not predict that it will show a profit after them. At some point you have stop dragging Bernie around because he's never coming back to life.
 

XLCenterFan

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At some point you have stop dragging Bernie around because he's never coming back to life.
This is hilarious. I initially thought it was a Bernie Sanders dig though. Took me a minute to realize what you meant, and I lol'd.
 

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