Hartford Business Journal

March 16, 2015

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G r e at e r H a r t f o r d ' s B u s i n e s s n e w s w w w. H a r t f o rd B u s i n e s s . c o m for more B2B news visit March 16, 2015 Volume 23, number 16 $3.00 subscribe online Friday, March 20th, 2015 8:00am – 1:00pm Hartford Hilton HartfordBusiness.com/MCS L e a r n i n n o v a t e C o L L a b o r a t e S a v e SUMMIT ANNUAL 's Index ■ Reporter's Notebook: PG. 5 ■ Week in Review: PG. 6 ■ The List: PGS. 10 ■ Deal Watch: PG. 12 ■ Nonprofit Profile: PG. 18 ■ Opinion & Commentary: PG. 20 Executive Transition Robert Soper is taking over as president of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority at a challenging time within the gaming industry. Find out how he plans to manage through choppy waters. PG. 3 FocuS: conStruction Ballpark Challenges With only one year to build Hartford's new minor league baseball stadium, Middletown-based Centerplan Cos. faces plenty of obstacles. But you might be surprised by what company CEO Robert Landino sees as the biggest challenge. PG. 8 UConn, XL Center wrangle over short-term lease talks By Matt Pilon mpilon@HartfordBusiness.com A s one of the XL Center's biggest tenants, UConn athletics is likely key to the Hartford arena's future. Much of the attention lately has focused on debating the long-term prospects of both in the Capital City, but behind the scenes there have been drawn-out contract negotiations related to UConn's short-term contractual commitment to Hartford. UConn and XL Center manager Capital Region Development Authority have struggled since last summer to come to terms on a new lease that would ensure UConn men's and women's basketball and men's hockey play in Hartford through 2019. "It's surprising how long this has taken and how long it has taken to get here," said Michael Freimuth, CRDA's executive director. "Every time we think we're close, something pops." The biggest issue in coming to terms on a new five-year lease has been determining how many games UConn athletics will play at the XL Center. The stakes are high for Hartford because UConn sporting events serve as the lifeblood for downtown entertainment, providing on a A Jan. 10 UConn men's basketball game against Cincinnati drew 15,564 fans to the XL Center, providing a major boost to downtown Hartford bars and restaurants. Continued on page 16 P H O T O | S T e v e S l a d e , U C O n n a T H l e T i C S Key CT biz leaders on hook for Back9 bets By Greg Bordonaro gbordonaro@HartfordBusiness.com P rominent Greater Hartford business, political, and athletic leaders collectively wagered millions of dollars on Back9Network, bets that are now in jeopardy as executives of the golf lifestyle media startup, which abruptly shuttered operations last month, make last-ditch attempts to salvage the business. While certain high-profile Back9 investors have already been made public — most notably UConn women's basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, NBA and UConn Continued on page 14 Back9Network shuttered its downtown Hartford Constitution Plaza studio last month. The company also has its headquarters in the nearby Phoenix Boat building (right). H B J P H O T O | M a T T P i l O n

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