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Connecticut proposes $250M renovation to create NHL-ready arena

Steve Babineau / Getty

Build it and they will come.

That seems to be the approach of Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy, who proposed that his state invests $250 million to renovate the XL Center - the former home of the Hartford Whalers - in an effort to return the NHL to the state capital.

Partial funding for the proposed project was included in Wednesday's state budget announcement. The project would add a second concourse to the XL Center and increase its seating capacity from the current number of 14,750.

Connecticut made headlines on Friday when Malloy and Hartford mayor Luke Bronin offered use of the city-owned facility to the New York Islanders after it was reported the Brooklyn club may need to vacate Barclays Center following the 2018-19 season.

The XL Center was home to the Whalers until 1997, when the NHL franchise uprooted for Raleigh and became the Carolina Hurricanes. The arena currently houses the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, the minor-league affiliate of the New York Rangers.

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