XL Center History
This is just one of those staples in Hartford Connecticut that is always in the middle of one
big game or show, giving you plenty of reasons to put down the remote and head out to see what everyone is buzzing about.
Since 1975, the XL Center in Hartford has been one of the top venues for the biggest names in entertainment like Taylor Swift,
Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen, and that's just to name the tip of the iceberg. The XL Center is also home
to two of the most successful college basketball teams in the history of the sport, as the men's and women's basketball programs
at the University of Connecticut have won more than 10 national championships collectively and play part-time at the XL Center.
named the Hartford Civic Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Exhibition Center, the XL Center opened on January 9, 1975
when Glen Campbell and Johnny Mathis christened the arena on consecutive nights. The Hartford Civic Center Veterans Memorial
Coliseum and Exhibition Center was also built to be the home of the New England Whalers (later the Hartford Whalers) of the
National Hockey League. After some unfortunate events, the venue reopened on February 6, 1980 and was once again the sports
and entertainment capital of the state of Connecticut, with Whalers games and top concerts by stars like The Beach Boys, The
Grateful Dead and Diana Ross thrilling locals. Though the Hartford Whalers moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1997, becoming
the Carolina Hurricanes, hockey is still played at the XL Center and routinely draws huge crowds whenever it is.
Center History Events Hosted
The XL Center has been the site of some of the biggest moments in college basketball as
well as hosting the hottest names in music and entertainment. Three-time National Champion University of Connecticut Huskies
Men's Basketball and seven time National Champion Women's Basketball UConn Huskies have thrilled the local community and national
audience with their incredible play throughout the years. Other sporting events that have taken place at the XL Center include
the 1986 NHL All-Star Game, which featured such legends as Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Denis
Savard, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey and Mike Bossy.
Throughout the years, the XL Center has also hosted some of the biggest
names in entertainment. One of the most famous concert events performed at the XL Center happened in 1977, when The Grateful
Dead recorded their famous live album To Terrapin: Hartford '77 in the arena. Other past stars to perform in the XL Center
include Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen and U2. Currently, big name acts like Pearl
Jam, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, and Lady Gaga all made a stop at the XL Center during their sold-out tours.
Did you know that the Big East Women's Basketball Tournament has the highest attendance of all the women's tournaments
in the NCAA?
2013 marked the 10th year in a row that this packed tournament was hosted at the XL Center in Hartford,
though in 2014 it moved to Allstate Arena in Illinois for a little bit of variety.
XL Center Experience
a capacity of over 15,000 fans, the XL Center is the premier sports and entertainment venue in Connecticut, but you're not
going to learn that sitting at home wondering what the atmosphere of the big show is like. Once you're there watching a highly
anticipated event along with the rest of your fellow fans, you'll definitely be glad that you're not sitting anywhere else,
as the live experience is a completely different thing that you can't conjure up from home – particularly when it comes
to the XL Center in Hartford.