|XL Center Shuttles|
|This multi-purpose convention center and arena is located downtown in Hartford, Connecticut. The City of Hartford owns it and Global Spectrum operates it. It has a seating capacity of 16,294, and is home to the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL Hockey) and Connecticut Huskies basketball.|
Amtrak features a really good AAA discount on fares both from and to New Haven. CT Transit operates all city buses in this area. Greyhound Bus Lines is a reasonable alternative for getting around downtown Hartford. Peter Pan Bus Lines is always running buses going out of Hartford heading to 85 different destinations across the Northeast.
About the XL Center
The Center received a new name in December of 2007, when its naming right were bought by XL Group insurance company on a 6-year agreement. It has ranked #28 among the largest college basketball arenas. It opened back in 1974 and was then known as the Hartford Civic Center. It was originally located next to the Civic Center Mall, that in 2004 was demolished. It consists of two actual facilities – The Exhibition Center and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The arena underwent an upgrade in September of 2010, adding a new center-hung scoreboard along with 4 Sony Jumbotrons that featured a new state-of-the-art sound system. A recent update for the spring of 2014, is that the Connecticut State Legislature voted to set aside a whopping $35 million to fund improvements to the Center, to be completed in time to start off the 2014-2015 seasons of both the Wolf Pack and the Uconn Men’s Hockey that kicks off in October.
This upgrade will be an overhaul of the locker rooms, mechanical system, new Jumbotrons, high definition video board, and many new aesthetic improvements like luxury seating and a new bar area inside. Part of that $35 million will go toward a study aimed at the long-term viability of the arena, which will translate into either additional major renovations, or into replacing the Center altogether.
Things to do in Hartford
Some of the local cultural venues & performing arts include The Bushnell Center, Connecticut Ballet, and Xfinity Theater (formerly known as Comcast theater). Local gardens and parks include Bushnell Park, Charter Oak Landing, and Colt Park and Dillon Stadium. There are also several museums in town, including Connecticut Science Center, Hartford History Center, Huegenot House, and the Mark Twain House and Museum. Hungry? There are exquisite restaurants and bistros in the surrounding areas like McKinnon’s Irish Pub, Trumbull Kitchen, Feng Asian Bistro, Asylum Street Pizza, Max Bilbo’s on Trumbull St., and The Russell to name a few.