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tiscipa165

Howard's XL Center

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I think the renovations need to happen if the XL Center is going to be a viable entertainment option in the **ture. As it stands right now, it's old and decaying.

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Just keep in mind that they are right now building a much larger outdoor ice rink that will be open the end of this month and go to the end of Feb right in the middle of Bushnell park. I dont think this is a coincidence that someone is finding cash for this every year making it bigger and better and also Howard is pushing youth hockey and Amateur hockey while trying to bring back the NHL.

 

It is more of a hockey culture around here and it can be Hartford's hockey culture going forward with this.

 

Aetna being this involved and this committed means they are probably maybe in for the long haul. Which could include, **nding for a team, **nding for this project and/or partial ownership. I worked for Aetna for 12 years when they go public they go big or go home.

 

With all this excitement about Hartford getting some development and recognition I am still well aware that there is a large group of people who are now getting ready to stop this. People that are not interested in paying for it, people who do not want the NHL. All of this is just the pipe dream on paper. This may not even come close to happening. So that sting we had 14 years ago, it could come back. Sorry to be a debbie downer but if people of our state want hockey to be a central point in our state than we better step up, and show up when called. No and Not just attendance but any way we can to help. Volunteer, anything, if this doesnt work now it never will.

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Sorry, but I would rather spend more and have a new arena built than attempt to renovate the old XL Center. Also, why is it that it will now cost $105 million to renovate, when just a few months ago it was going to be $90 million, or less?

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I kind of like the idea of a renovated XL center more. I mean, if we could afford a brand new arena then go for it, but it's never going to happen anyway, besides I LOVE how the new XL center looked, and with updated electronics, restrooms, and tunnels it would be like a new stadium anyway.

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WOW, what a day, I haven't been this excited in a long time. I know there are still a TON of obstacles to all this and even if it does happen the NHL still may never come back, but just the fact we may have a newer cool place to go and do stuff and watch games (whoever they may be) is awesome. Lots of work to do by lots of people, and certainly not getting my hopes up too much, but now we all know that there has been work going on and a plan is out there. Cool stuff.

 

Now, as for who pays for it of course is a big issue. Whenever you say "raise taxes" or "tax payer's money" people go crazy and just immediately s*h*o*o*t it down, not even considering the good that paying for something may bring (new jobs, better entertainment, more people traveling to Hartford to spend money, new businesses, etc.) I recently had people complaining to me that their condo fees may go up and that the condo boards proposal of spending $1,000 a year on a neighborhood watch and another $600 on some landscaping improvements were "ridiculous" and a "waste of money." When I broke the news to them that this "waste of money" was going to cost them a whopping $2 per month (there are 66 condos) to make where they live a better place they just looked at me dumbfounded. All they heard was it was "going to cost them more money" and "raising the condo fee" and their heads popped off. I'm not saying I want to pay more taxes, I want to know how they plan on paying for it myself, but I hope everyone can keep an open mind for now and lets see how this all plays out, that is all I ask.

Edited by Guest

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For everyone concerned about spending taxpayer money to make this happen, rest *****ured, the majority can be completed with corporate sponsorship and private **nding. Here's our post on another thread which shows Hartford corporations are flush with cash right now looking for a sound investment:

 

"Milhousevh - 3. Who is going to **nd the $105 million?"

 

Although that $105M amount sounds like a ton of money, it really is not. Corporate sponsorship is the key and Howard is doing his magic to get some large corporations to back his plan. In looking at 2010 corporate earnings for some of the top corporations in the Hartford area, the profits are staggering:

 

2010 Net Profit:

Cigna - $1.3B

The Hartford - $1.7B

Aetna - $1.7B

United Technologies - $4.3B

United Healthcare - $4.6B

 

(source - Standard & Poor's)

 

That's a "B" as in "Buh", billions in profits and 2011 is soon to prove to be banner years for these companies and will surpase 2010 earnings. So, with a total net profit of $13.6 Billion of just 5 large corporations in the Hartfrod area, yeah, $105 million sounds small and is a rounding error in these 5 balance sheets. Can this be done? Absolutely! We're opening our wallets to go to the games and it's now time for Hartford area corporate sponsorship to step things up and do their part. Howard is trying, he's already gained commitment from Aetna for $500,000 for youth hockey programs and they are on board with the feasibility study, we are well on our way. There's money out there to do this and don't let anyone fool you otherwise. These are exciting times and we're seeing Hartford hockey history unfold right before our eyes! Go Whale!!!

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Well today had a little more to it than I thought. I knew Howard would be speaking but did not realize the amount of information that would come out. This is great news and shows us a lot of things.

 

1.) Howard did not give the AHL reigns to his son for no reason...he was and is real busy with these plans. You have to think that video presentation and the whole day took lots of prep time.

2.) We have a number (105 million) and an announced plan finally. This is now more than just increase attendance for the CT Whale. However, one of the best ways to tell the state that hockey still has a heartbeat in the capital city is to show some impressive numbers attendance wise this season. Also the NHL will like to see good numbers obviously.

3.) Governor Malloy has invested a lot of money in the states "First Five" program which gives companies major tax credits to bring in jobs. ESPN, NBC Sports, CIGNA, and Ticketnetwork are companies that have taken advantage so far. Howard's plan will bring in just as many jobs as some of these companies promised. Also, Aetna and Fox Sports could be two companies to benefit and may make new jobs part of the deal if the state buys in.

4.) The issue is front page news and is (for the first time I've seen in awhile) more than just about the Whalers. This will get everyone's attention and should make for some interesting discussion/news down the line.

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Toward the end of the video posted on the WhalerNation site the $105 million is described as a "pre-design" cost. What is that? Don't they have an "acutal design cost"? Don't they have an "actual design"? Or do they just have fancy drawings. And good luck staring construction next year on a building you do not own or even the known consent of the current owners.

 

Judging by the comments on the Courant's stories the reaction is decidedly mixed. Only one commenter brought up Pittsburgh and Iowa. It is incredible that none of our "reporters" have done the same. But that is not really unexpected.

 

By the way what is this "New England Sports and Entertainment"? When did this come up?

 

I would like to see the actual presentation. I wonder if there will be some video posted somewhere. I did not see any news reports so I don't know how much the stations covered this.

 

In any event judging by the drawings the plan is to shoehorn some luxury boxes and remove some regular seats. At least that is what it looks like. If that is the case then those seats that are left will really cost a ton relatively speaking. I hope there is some analysis of possible ticket prices but that may be too soon. Of course it won't matter if this is not done and there is no reason to believe this will be done for a variety of reasons.

 

All in all this is so far less than what it appears. But I didn't expect it to be otherwise.

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The City of Hartford takes over the Coliseum 6/30/13. The Atrium part will be much more difficult of course, because that's owned and run by Northland, who seem to be perfectly content (at least right at this moment) with letting it be completely empty.

 

Not sure what the Pittsburgh and Iowa situations have to do with this...those were 20 and 15 years ago, respectively. Plus, Howard wouldn't own the NHL team, should that happen...he doesn't have the money for it, we all know that already.

 

I would also like to see the actual presentation...and I'd like to see more drawings of the inside, not just one picture from what looks to be around section 124. I stress that if you take too many seats out and lower the capacity by too much, they'll make the building too small for the ultimate goal.

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Once again I have to say to the usual nay sayers (you know who you are)....at least he's trying to do something. Ofcourse, some of you punching awayat your keyboards have all the answers. How stupid of Howard not to seek your advice. I don't have all the answers so I am not arrorgant enough to pretend I do but this I know. Howard is trying to build up the market and has done a good job so far. The XL center no matter what needs to be renovated. Not only for the possible return of the NHL but for all other events and to bring in new events. We always need to invest in our city and this is one way of doing it...the renovation to the Xl is inevitable, it needs to happen...NHL or not. It really gets old to read the same old posts on Baldwin...lets face it ,to some of you no matter what he does it will not be right or good enough.....

 

....and judging by the m*****ive amounts of empty seats at last nights Dallas and Columbus games...2017 is not that crazy

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MarkH2919 wrote :

 

> Not sure what the Pittsburgh and Iowa situations have to do with

> this...those were 20 and 15 years ago, respectively.

 

Iowa was just two years ago - 2009.

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Can understand some people's concerns about taxpayer money to help **nd this arena, especially in this economy, but the long term payoff makes it more than worthwhile. Time to pony up, have some vision and take some risks for the sake of the state's **ture. Downtown Hartford's been a ghost town for some time and this plan would go a long way to help revitalize it. Renovated XL, new restaurants & entertainment venues, UConn hoops and CT Whale hockey....and once more private investors get involved people will come back to the area and the possibility of the NHL back in Hartford would be more than just a pipe dream.

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I share Vince's concerns regarding the drawings. It does appear they are shoehorning the luxury boxes into the lower bowl and some in the upper area on the sides. This would remove prime seats. It also doesn't solve one of the biggest problems with the XL Center: the concourse level is too narrow. They would seem to need to blow out the walls to expand the building. We need more information.

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I think they do address the concourses, it is mentioned in the video that the Restrooms, locker rooms, facilities, basement infrastructure and more is inadequate. I dont think they mention that in their prime pitch video and then not have an answer or ignore it. There must be some demolition to this work. I am sure they met at some point with the NHL to say What would be needed to make the XL an NHL ready arena. If they didnt then that was not a good idea, I like the plan but only want to see it renovated once, AND make sure that roof is on tight and secure. lol

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LOL......some of you are hilarous. I love reading how Howard should basically be running this and any other **ture plans by you first. Ofcourse your entitled to know and see the plans before anyone else. yes, it unbelievably important that we know why it went from $90 mill to $105 mill. .....that $15 million must be accounted for :roll: .......I knew the minute I heard of this breakfast some of you were already practicing what you were going to write. I knew after the video that Vermin had a 2 1/2" erection just waiting to post something.......

 

......A new arena is not going to happen...period. The economy is in shambles ( thanks GWB) and if Howard can *****ure that the XL can meet NHL standards and at the same time can bring in other events then I'm all for it. I am also adult enough to be patient and I understand that Howard doesn't have to run the plans by me right now or anytime soon. I also understand that this renovation won't happen unless it meets NHL standards. I have a feeling Baldwin understands those standards and wouldn't move ahead without knowing them. I also understand this whole thing won't be totally tax payer **nded but I am willing to pay my fair share. I also understand that a shiny, new , 18,000 seat arena guarantees nothing....having a totally renovated 15,000 seat arena would be just fine for me and that size aena works for Winnipeg and the NHL doesn't it. ....it doesn't take much to be reasonable and patient does it....its called being an adult.

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My bad about Iowa, thought it was longer ago.

 

"The XL center no matter what needs to be renovated. Not only for the possible return of the NHL but for all other events and to bring in new events. We always need to invest in our city and this is one way of doing it...the renovation to the Xl is inevitable, it needs to happen...NHL or not. "

 

Puckhead is right on the nose here. All you need for evidence is to watch that video on Whalernation.tv. If the city of Hartford, and in turn the State of Connecticut want a top notch entertainment facility for sports, concerts, whatever...the XL must be renovated. If this fails, then it's the New Haven Coliseum part II.

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I agree what Puckhead said needs to be on a banner somewhere.

 

And dont be fooled by people that say that entertainment value does not come back to the city. When the Whalers left the estimated loss of revenue to the downtown area was estimated to be 75 million dollars. Imagine that number now with this plan in place.

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>>>Not sure what the Pittsburgh and Iowa situations have to do with this...those were 20 and 15 years ago, respectively.<<<

As stated by someone else Iowa went bad in 2009. The Penguins filed bankruptcy in 1998. This matters because it shows that Baldwin's last two forays into hockey ended in bankruptcy. Yes it does matter. But to many of you it is just a bump in the road and to the media it never happened. There still needs to be a discussion about this. If we had any competent journalists maybe that can happen.

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I want to believe it can get done, but somehow, I don't believe it will ever happen. When they moved the skyboxes in the Madison Square Garden Renovation of 1991, it cost $200 million. The total renovation of Madison Square Garden today is costing close to 1 Billion dollars. How will Howard Baldwin, Aetna, The State of Connecticut, and The City of Hartford make this happen for $105 Million? I don't see it! Why not ask the Indians for help? If not, they'll be the one building a new 20,000 seat arena at the casino. All the dreams of the night life, concerts, UCONN hoops, and the NHL coming back to Hartford will never happen. The old civic center (XL) will be a thing of the past, just like the old New Haven Coliseum. Great memories!

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I'm not sure why the concourse has to be widened and the bathroom facilities have to be enlarged, considering the Whale are only doing an average of 3000 to 4000 fans per game, what do they need all of this space and all of these luxury boxes for ??? Now, I could see if this was the year 2001 or 2002, and the WolfPack were still here and we had 10,000 to 12,000 fans going to the games, as the WolfPack did in 2001, then these plans of enlarging certain parts of the arena and adding luxury boxes would make sense, however, when your Whale attendance is drawing the same amount of people as high school football games in the town of Bristol, then I do not see the need for Hollywood Howard's wild pipe dreams which come with a $105 million dollar price tag.

 

I also find it deeply amusing that just last season, Baldwin cancelled his plan for a Bobblehead giveaway night. If he couldn't come up with a few $ grand for some plastic bobbleheads, how in earth is he going to pay off this $ 105 million dollar renovation?

 

WolfPack fans must stick together, the resistance is working, the Whale's attendance numbers this year are beyond terrible, Baldwin is beyond desperate right now after seeing the attendance numbers trickle in and this $105 million dollar mad-dash photoshopped plan is just a publicity stunt to draw some free publicity, they say that in the end when Bernie Madoff knew that the gig was up - he started making some big wild claims and cooked up big plans also, I guess that is how the mind of a charlatan works.

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Puckhead63 wrote :

> LOL......some of you are hilarous. I love reading how Howard should

> basically be running this and any other **ture plans by you first. Ofcourse

> your entitled to know and see the plans before anyone else. yes, it

> unbelievably important that we know why it went from $90 mill to $105 mill.

> I also understand this whole thing won't be

> totally tax payer **nded but I am willing to pay my fair share. I also

> understand that a shiny, new , 18,000 seat arena guarantees

> nothing....having a totally renovated 15,000 seat arena would be just fine

> for me and that size aena works for Winnipeg and the NHL doesn't it.

> ....it doesn't take much to be reasonable and patient does it....its called

> being an adult.

 

Puckhead, you are hilarious. I'll bet that if a Republican plan that was supposed to cost $90 million suddenly became a $105 million dollar plan, you would want to know why that happened. You understand that this won't be totally tax payer **nded? How much will be taxpayer **nded? I, as a taxpayer, would be interested. **rthermore, as a taxpayer, I would rather bite the bullet and pay for a modern arena instead of putting lipstick on the pig that is the XL Center. While you are correct in noting that Winnipeg has an arena that seats under 16,000, you fail to mention that they have a billionaire owner, a new arena, and extremely high ticket prices. If the Whalers have an arena with the XL's seating capacity, or less due to renovations, Hartford would probably have the highest ticket prices in the NHL.

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Isnt the average attendance of the whale higher than when the wolfpack was around?

 

 

WolfpackFan1998 wrote :

> I'm not sure why the concourse has to be widened and the bathroom

> facilities have to be enlarged, considering the Whale are only doing an

> average of 3000 to 4000 fans per game, what do they need all of this space

> and all of these luxury boxes for ??? Now, I could see if this was the

> year 2001 or 2002, and the WolfPack were still here and we had 10,000 to

> 12,000 fans going to the games, as the WolfPack did in 2001, then these

> plans of enlarging certain parts of the arena and adding luxury boxes would

> make sense, however, when your Whale attendance is drawing the same amount

> of people as high school football games in the town of Bristol, then I do

> not see the need for Hollywood Howard's wild pipe dreams which come with a

> $105 million dollar price tag.

>

> I also find it deeply amusing that just last season, Baldwin cancelled his

> plan for a Bobblehead giveaway night. If he couldn't come up with a few $

> grand for some plastic bobbleheads, how in earth is he going to pay off

> this $ 105 million dollar renovation?

>

> WolfPack fans must stick together, the resistance is working, the Whale's

> attendance numbers this year are beyond terrible, Baldwin is beyond

> desperate right now after seeing the attendance numbers trickle in and this

> $105 million dollar mad-dash photoshopped plan is just a publicity stunt to

> draw some free publicity, they say that in the end when Bernie Madoff knew

> that the gig was up - he started making some big wild claims and cooked up

> big plans also, I guess that is how the mind of a charlatan works.

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@ WolfpackFan1998,

 

Alright first off, we need these renovations for the **ture, with the NHL back or not. Also the Whale's attendance will get better, we have not played that much home games this year. However the ones we did play were mostly a Friday night game. We all know that early in the season, attendance won't be that great. Once its get closer to the holidays the attendance should start to go up.

 

Also just to correct your information about the 2001-2002 season, the Wolf Pack did NOT have 10,000 to 12,000 fans going to games. The average for that year was 6,714. Here is the source where i found this information at, and i believe that this information is correct. :arrow:http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/att_graph.php?tmi=6046

 

**rthermore, how do you even know that Baldwin had a bobblehead night canceled? Last year in total we had 8 giveaway nights.

 

To conclude..., it's just plain stupid for Wolf Pack fans to boycott not going to games. If you are a true fan, just show up!

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Wolfpack fan you must be the dumbest person I have ever seen. The wolfpack never had an average attendance 7221 and that was the first season they were here. And the years u just mentioned were 7000 and then 6500. The attendance then went down into the ****hole and was on the verge of failing. You need help and get out of your little fantasy dream that you are having.

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