UConn threatens to pull sports from XL Center

UConn budget fallout
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 5:25 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 5:46 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Proposed budget cuts could force the University of Connecticut to stop hosting athletic events at the XL Center in Hartford.

It all comes down to money.

UConn President Radenka Maric said Gov. Ned Lamont’s recently proposed budget would leave the school about $160 million short next year.

Maric estimated that it would force a $3,000 tuition increase per student.

“I have a lot of friends who couldn’t be here unless they were working a couple jobs or their parents made some sacrifices,” said Mason Holland, UConn Student Body President.

UConn’s student body president wants to stop the proposed cuts and tuition hike.

The university said that if the governor’s proposal passes, UConn will face budget challenges, and every non-academic expense including the allotment to play at the XL Center, would be up for negotiations.

“UConn’s leadership is aware that the funding they are talking about is one-time federal emergency Covid aid that was never intended to last forever, and that the state could not match this federal emergency aid in perpetuity.”

Gov. Ned Lamont

No changes have been finalized, but fans and local businesses are left considering what it would be like without UConn athletics in downtown Hartford.

“I think it hurts drastically, not only our business but others also. As far as revenue, of course it’s going to hurt. We have to depend on tips, that’s our livelihood,” said Tyriek Belin, employee at the Agave Grill.

“I think you’d see a lot less fanbase over here or in general. I personally wouldn’t drive to Mohegan or somewhere to see a game. I don’t know, I think they would definitely see a decrease in ticket sales,” added UConn alum Kellie Youmans.

Holland says UConn needs to be affordable for all students, especially those from Connecticut.

“These opportunities should be going to in state students, the fact that students will have to look outside UConn or look outside of Connecticut is disheartening,” said Holland.

“Some of the ideas are unpalatable, taking more out of state students because they pay higher tuition. But do we really want to sew that to make it even more difficult for CT families to send kids to UConn? Probably not,” said Sen. Derek Slap, West Hartford.

UConn students said they organized a walkout in response to the proposed budget cuts that has been scheduled for Feb. 15 at the state capitol.

The days of catching a Huskies game at the XL Center in downtown Hartford could be limited, and it all comes down to money.
Proposed budget cuts could force UConn to stop hosting athletic events at the XL Center.
Proposed budget cuts could force the University of Connecticut to stop hosting athletic events at the XL Center in Hartford.