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Three Firms Seek To Run Rentschler

April 20, 2007
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer

Three sports and entertainment firms - including the partnership that will take over the operation of the Hartford Civic Center this summer - have told the state they would like to run Rentschler Field should the current management agreement come to an early end, the state said Thursday.

The management of Rentschler Field - the East Hartford stadium where the University of Connecticut plays football - was put into play this month when the future management of the Civic Center changed hands.

Last month, the Connecticut Development Authority decided to boot Madison Square Garden as its Civic Center manager and to invite a partnership between Northland Investment Corp. and AEG/Worldwide to take over. That change will happen this summer.

Northland, headed by developer Lawrence R. Gottesdiener, is downtown's largest landlord.

That change also triggered a clause in another contract MSG has with the state, allowing either party to terminate the Rentschler deal should the Civic Center contract be terminated.

That hasn't happened yet, the state said Thursday. But it could, and that's why the state went out to the marketplace to see who else might be interested in managing Rentschler Field.

In addition to Northland/AEG, SMG and Global Spectrum - both of Philadelphia - submitted responses to the state by Thursday's deadline.

In a recent unsuccessful bid for the Civic Center, Global Spectrum formed a partnership with former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin. SMG was Northland's first partner before it had to back out and AEG took its place.

Spokesmen for Northland/AEG and Global Spectrum confirmed their interest but would not comment further.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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