Hartford’s XL Center Sportsbook and Sports Bar Experiencing Financial Losses

Posted on: January 30, 2024, 02:16h.

Last updated on: January 30, 2024, 02:16h.

A sportsbook and sports bar located at Hartford, Connecticut’s XL Center, has experienced difficulty generating profits. Opened in September, the Sports Book & Fanatics Sportsbook at the downtown arena shows signs of potential losses, potentially amounting to $750,000 by July 1, according to local news outlets. Challenges have been attributed mostly to the establishment’s recentness, as it appears that patrons visit the venue only when attending concert or sports events.

Hartford, Conn.’s XL Center
Hartford, Conn.’s XL Center, pictured above. Losses are seen at the center’s betting operation. (Image: XL Center)

Three months in, the new operations had already registered over $280,000 in loss by December, as reported by the Hartford Business Journal.

Developments have been overshadowed by the UConn basketball and hockey teams games occasionally hosted at the XL Center, especially during the nights when the UConn men’s basketball team plays. “You can’t get into the sportsbook on those nights,” emphasized Michael Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority, to Hearst Connecticut Media.

Many sports bettors in the state prefer the two tribal casinos such as FanDuel at the Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort and DraftKings at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino, as reported by Hearst Media. Furthermore, the athletic wager vendors of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation were switched to the Fanatics in December, affecting betting activity.

Although initial revenues have been lower than expected, monthly sales increased during the football season, signaling room for growth in the future. The placement of Fanatics signage in Connecticut as well as the XL Center and other locations is expected to aid in its recognition and in driving action.

Improvements are expected for the XL Center, including a potential $100 million renovation. Despite past reports of a higher price tag for a brand-new indoor arena in Hartford, officials believe that enhanced features and amenities will attract patrons.

No professional sports franchises have demonstrated interest in playing at the XL Center since the Whalers left as an NHL team in 1997, leaving notable absence. Meanwhile, UConn has not made decisions on plans to construct an on-campus football stadium for its football games, which are currently held at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut.

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