The original facility opened in 1975 as the Hartford Civic Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Exhibit Center. It is owned by the City of Hartford and operated by CRDA. Spectra, formerly Global-Sepctrum, is contracted with CRDA to oversee the venue operations including catering, event books and sales. The 16,000 seat arena is the off-campus home of the UCONN Huskies Men’s and Women’s National Championship basketball teams, the UCONN Men’s Hockey team and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. In addition to major sporting events, the arena continues to host world-renowned artists such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Michael Bublé, U2 and Justin Bieber.
The Connecticut State Legislature set aside $35 million dollars in funding for improvements to the XL Center which were completed in October of 2014 in time for the beginning of the Wolf Pack and University of Connecticut hockey seasons. Improvements include upgrades to the mechanical system, locker rooms and concourse as well as aesthetic improvements such as a new bar area inside the arena and luxury seating in the lower bowl. However, the improvements were just an interim effort designed to extend the life of the building for another five-to-eight years while a more permanent, long-term strategy becomes clear for the facility.
Hartford Arena Study
In October of 2014, CRDA retained SCI Architects (SCIA) to conduct a Hartford arena study focused on two areas:
- Construction feasibility
- Program development
SCIA presented the results of its study to the CRDA board of director on February 19, 2015. Below are the the report and the presentation:
Here are some frequently asked questions about the study.