Deal keeps the Whale at XL Center for at least 3 more years - CBS 5 - KPHO

Deal keeps the Whale at XL Center for at least 3 more years

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The Whale will be staying in Connecticut and will continue to play their games at the XL Center in Hartford after a multi-year deal was reached Tuesday.

According to the governor's office, the deal was reached between Global Spectrum and Madison Square Garden to keep the American Hockey League team in Hartford.

Madison Square Garden will continue to run the Whale, while Global Spectrum will take over day-to-day operations of the XL Center from the group that also owns the Bushnell.

The Whalers will play at the XL Center for 2013 to 2016 seasons and there is a provision in the contract that could extend it for two more years.

"The XL Center is an excellent home for Whale Hockey and we are pleased that, thanks to the hard work of the Global Spectrum and Madison Square Garden teams, it will remain that way into the future," said Suzanne Hopgood, who is the chairwoman for the CRDA Board of Directors. "Professional hockey plays an important role in larger regional revitalization efforts."

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said keeping the Whale is "critical" and will help increase "vibrancy that we've generated over the last two years."

"The overall economic impact of professional hockey on the city and the region is significant and cannot be undervalued and I'm thrilled that MSG has committed to remain in Hartford for at least the next three years," he said.

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