Thursday, February 7, 2013

On Hartford and Glens Falls 2/7

The company that manages the Glens Falls Civic Center has also won the right to manage a Hartford, Conn., venue home to the Connecticut Whale, according to multiple published reports in Connecticut.

The authority charged with selecting the XL Center's manager selected the Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum to run the venue, but the deal is contingent upon the company negotiating a lease with an American Hockey League team by March 1, CBS Connecticut and the Hartford Courant reported.

Global Spectrum also manages the Glens Falls Civic Center, which the City of Glens Falls owns, and scores of other private entertainment venues in the United States and around the globe.

The New York Rangers-affiliated Whale had been discussed in the American Hockey League and local rumor mills as a possible replacement tenant for the Civic Center once the Adirondack Phantoms depart for a new arena in Allentown, Pa., scheduled to open in time for the 2014-15 season.

The Phantoms have expressed their interest to play a fifth season at the Civic Center for the 2013-14 season, while construction on the Allentown arena is completed, but the team's owners have also said they will move the team after this season if Glens Falls secures another hockey tenant by April 1.

The Whale's lease is up at the end of this season, and March 1 is now reportedly a critical date in Hartford.

In his state of the league address during the AHL All-Star Classic last month, AHL President David Andrews said it would be in the best interests of both the league and Hartford to see the Rangers and Whale remain in Hartford. He said the Rangers were "exploring other options" at the time, but part of that was because the team didn't know who would be running the building. That has been answered.

The Hartford Courant quotes the Captial Region Development Authority's executive director, Michael Freimuth, as saying two other teams would like be in Hartford, but that can not happen unless the Rangers say they are going to leave town. And CBS Connecticut, citing "authority officials," reported Global Spectrum has already discussed keeping the Whale at the XL Center. 

Andrews also said in his state of the league address that he thinks Glens Falls could support a new AHL team once the Phantoms leave, and will work with the city to help attract a new club. While the Civic Center works as an AHL building -- Andrews said that in his address -- it opened in 1979.

For its history and atmosphere, there are certainly parts of the facility that could use a face-lift. 

The Hartford Courant reported the Global Spectrum deal also includes $2.75 million in capital improvements to the XL Center, and outlined a plan that could see that figure rise to $20 million.


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