The Whale will continue to play at the XL Center in Hartford through at least the 2016 American Hockey League season.
Global Spectrum, the management team for the XL Center, and Madison Square Garden have reached a deal, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Michael Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority, announced on Tuesday.
“I applaud Mike’s team at CRDA, Global Spectrum, and Madison Square Garden for their efforts to ensure Hartford remains home to professional hockey,” Malloy said in a statement. “Hartford is a city of tremendous potential—deals like this one will bring more people downtown, help spur additional economic activity, and reinvigorate our capital city. Three more years—and maybe more—of Whale hockey is great news for Connecticut fans, this one included.”
The contract calls for the team to play at the XL Center for the 2013-2016 seasons, and includes a provision that could extend the term for an additional two years. The final contract with the AHL will be subject to approval by CRDA’s Board of Directors at their March 21 meeting.
“The ability to secure a professional hockey team for Hartford was a major consideration in selecting Global Spectrum as the management team for the XL Center,” Michael Freimuth, Executive Director of CRDA, said. “The Whale is a great team and having Global at the helm means marketing opportunities that will bring more commerce and economic growth to Hartford. I thank MSG and Global for working so diligently to get this done.”
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has been a champion on preserving AHL hockey in Hartford.