UConn Not Likely To Manage Rentschler Field

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The Stadium at Rentschler Field at its opening in 2003. Photo by Tony Bacewicz/The Hartford Courant.

The Stadium at Rentschler Field at its opening in 2003. Photo by Tony Bacewicz/The Hartford Courant.

It’s looking more like XL Center and Rentschler Field will be managed by one company.

Michael W. Freimuth, the executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority, has told me that he will not recommend to the authority’s board that the University of Connecticut be chosen to manage the stadium in East Hartford.

UConn is the primary tenant at Rentschler Field. The school has been in active discussions with the CRDA over its interest in managing the stadium. It has been competing with three other bidders who have proposed managing both Rentschler and the XL Center.

Freimuth said he sees more cost-savings in one entity managing both venues. He also has a concern that private companies would have more contacts to bring in non-sports events than the university.

“It would not be my recommendation, but it is up to the board to make that decision,” Freimuth said.

For its part, UConn says it remains interested in managing Rentschler.

“Until and unless CRDA formally makes an award to someone else, we consider UConn to be still in contention and remain very interested in exploring the possibilities,”  UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz told me.

Read more about the XL Center and the future of the AHL in the venue in a story from today’s Courant by me and my colleague, Paul Doyle. Check out Paul’s blog, Whales Tales, for the latest on the local hockey scene.

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One thought on “UConn Not Likely To Manage Rentschler Field

  1. Linda

    Makes sense to have company like Comcast Global Spectrum (or AEG if they were not for sale) manage the RENT as opposed to a university. Still all the talk about an “AHL Team” being our dream or goal is distressing. Why not NHL? As Paul said in another post, “I don’t understand why our leaders (Governor, Friemuth, CRDA, even the Courant) are so afraid to openly try to get an NHL team. While we need a much improved XLC, we do not need a new arena – in the short run (eg 10-12 year). The Governor and Mayor should form an official committee who will constantly, consistently, and persuasivley keep selling Hartford as the best destination for NHL franchise in need of a home. Off the top of my head, why Connecticut is the best available market for NHL franchise: 1) Whalers annually remain at #8 in NHL memorabilia sales; 2)Hartford/New Haven (not including FField County) is 30th in size and top 5 in per capita income; 3) biggest market without a pro-sports team; 4) No other pro-sports team to compete with; 5) There are 37 youth hockey organizations with 10-12k kids playing hockey in Connecticut (not including western Mass); 6) There are 57 boys high school teams and 21 girls teams in Connecticut (not including western Mass or prep schools); 7) While imperfect, an improved XLC is in great location and has numerous businesses, restaurants, and bars in walking distance to offset the lack of wide concourses; 8) Boston is under 2 hours and NYC is 2.5 hours; 9) natural regional rivals within a car drive; 10) ESPN and NBCSports (NHL contract at the moment) are HQ’d in Connecticut. In sum, New England is hockey.
    What are our leaders afraid of? Bring it on!”

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