Follow by Email

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hartford Civic, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford, CT

Howard Baldwin at Hartford Civic Center 1975
The Hartford Civic Center, an Aetna realty development project, opens 1975. Aetna joined with the city of Hartford to finance the Civic Center — one of the largest and most unique public-private projects of its kind. The company owned the retail half of the facility, while the city owned the coliseum. The Civic Center was one of the largest redevelopment projects in New England.

Capacity-16,606 for center-stage concerts, 16,282 for end-stage concerts, and 8,239 for 3/4-end stage concerts
 January 11, 1975- Hartford Whalers play their first hockey game at the new Hartford Civic Center before a sellout crowd of 10,507.
The XL Center, formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, is a sports and convention complex located in Hartford, Connecticut. The arena is ranked the 28th largest among college basketball arenas. Originally located adjacent to a shopping mall (Civic Center Mall, which was demolished in 2004), it was originally built in 1975 and consists of two facilities: the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Exhibition Center.
January 18, 1978 collapse

In the early morning of January 18, 1978, just hours after the University of Connecticut Men's Basketball team defeated the University of Massachusetts, the weight of snow from the day's heavy snowstorm caused the Civic Center roof to collapse.[4], causing serious damage to the seating bowl area.The Hartford Arena experienced the largest snowstorm of its five-year life. At 4:15 A.M. with a loud crack the center of the arena's roof plummeted the 83-feet to the floor of the arena throwing the corners into the air. Only six hours earlier, five thousand people had been in the arena watching a basketball game. There were no injuries.
"My old man worked on both iterations of the roof. He said they knew it was likely to fail, but to make the changes would've put it behind schedule even further, and cost too much. By waiting for it to fail, most of the repair cost was covered by insurance."(1)

The building was heavily renovated and re-opened January 17, 1980. The XL is almost 40 years old and is definitely showing it's age. Sure they changed the name to the XL Center and added a new scoreboard and a few other things but it's still basically the old Hartford Civic Center.
They rebuilt the place but it's not exactly MSG or TD North Boston. Although not a terrible place to watch a game it does have several major problems germane to it's age.
The seats are small. Extremely narrow, it would be hard to see how a very doughy or fleshy sort of person could even fit his or hers butt into one of these seats. I felt like my knees were in my face the whole time. Very little padding or comforts of any kind.

February 6, 1980 - After a two year absence, the Whalers return to the new Hartford Civic Center to defeat the Los Angeles Kings before a capacity crowd of 14,000.
Metallica performed here on March 17, 1989

Jerry played here on
5/28/77 Grateful Dead
5/10/80 Grateful Dead
3/14/81 Grateful Dead
4/17/82 Grateful Dead
4/18/82 Grateful Dead
10/14/83 Grateful Dead
10/15/83 Grateful Dead
10/14/84 Grateful Dead
10/15/84 Grateful Dead
4/3/86 Grateful Dead
4/4/86 Grateful Dead
3/26/87 Grateful Dead
3/27/87 Grateful Dead
9/5/89 Jerry Garcia Band
11/17/91 Jerry Garcia Band
11/8/93 Jerry Garcia Band

1.)^Nikki, 2011-01-31,


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hello. I am looking for permission to use your photos above of the Hartford Civic Center for a presentation I am doing. Please let me know.