XL Center Considers ‘Party Perch’ In Lower Bowl

by Categorized: Downtown Hartford, Hartford Redevelopment Date:

At Hartford’s XL Center, it’s easy enough to get food and drinks if you’re up in a skybox: They are right there.

But the average ticketholder in the bowl faces the trek to the concession booths in the concourse and the juggling act on the way back.

The XL Center is decked out in all pink between Baylor and UConn earlier this year. Photo by John Woike/jwoike@courant.com.

The XL Center is decked out in all pink between Baylor and UConn earlier this year. Photo by John Woike/jwoike@courant.com.

Now, some of the concessions could be coming inside the arena.

A plan under consideration would replace two sections of seating in the lower bowl with an “everyman’s bar” giving general admission event-goers a taste of the perks of premium seating. The bar would be a place to meet and spend time with friends who may be seated elsewhere, without having to miss any of the event. It would be for standing only, accommodating about 100.

“This is how we can put excitement into an older building,” Michael W. Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority, said Friday. “This is how we can go to where the new buildings are going, and put a modern edge on it.”

In New Orleans, where the concept has been tried, the area is called the “Party Perch.”

“It gives people another place besides their seat,” Chris Lawrence, the XL’s general manager, said. “You can watch the game like you’re in a sports bar, but you’re out in the bowl.”

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