Hartford’s XL Center May Be Bought and Renovated
Every few months, it seems there is some buzz in Hartford about renovating the XL Center in Hartford. It never really gains traction given the state's budget deficit. However, there may be some action soon.
The Courant reports that a Chicago-based equity firm will submit a bid to buy and renovate the arena into a state-of-the-art facility that would be "up to par with National Hockey League facilities."
The firm, Oak Street Real Estate Capital, had previously submitted a proposal to buy the building for $50 million, with the intention of doing "up to $250 million in renovations." Under the terms of the proposal, the state would pay Oak Street 7.5% of whatever the renovations ultimately cost, with annual increases of 2%, to "rent" the building back.
The XL Center currently houses the minor league Hartford Wolfpack hockey team as well as UConn Men's and Women's basketball and UConn hockey. The occasional concert plays there, but most conecrt tours now route to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods' more modern venues.
Of course, the underlying hope is that a updated facility might attract NHL hockey back to Hartford, which has lacked an NHL franchise since the much-beloved Whalers moved out of town in 1997.
If the bid were to be accepted, things would happen quickly. Oak Tree told the Courant that they would be ready to close on the sale within 30 days.
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