Connecticut governor wants to upgrade Hartford arena for NHL

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is proposing the state spend $250 million to renovate the XL Center, Hartford's downtown sports arena.

Malloy's office told the Hartford Courant that the governor will include $125 million for the first two years of the project in the state budget he will unveil on Wednesday.

The renovation plans call for upgrading seating capacity in the arena from 16,000 to about 19,000 and adding a second concourse.

The facility serves as an off-campus home to UConn basketball and hockey and the home arena of the American Hockey League's Hartford Wolf Pack.

Malloy's office and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin last week sent a letter to the New York Islanders, asking the NHL team to consider moving to Connecticut's capital city.

The state has been without an NHL franchise since the Hartford Whalers left for North Carolina in 1997.