Image courtesy XL Center

Image courtesy XL Center

Formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, and once home to fhe NHL’s Hartford Whalers, the XL Center is Connecticut’s main venue for sports and entertainment. It hosts the UConn Huskies women’s and men’s basketball teams, as well as the 2015 American Athletic Conference Tournament.

Musicians ranging from The Grateful Dead to Pavarotti to Usher have graced the stage, and there is fun for the family, as well. Ice skating spectaculars such as “Disney on Ice” can make for a magical day the whole family can enjoy. The XL Center has a little bit of something for everyone, including plenty of food options and shopping nearby. Here is a little more information so you can plan the perfect day.

Getting there

From the North:
Take I-91 to Exit 32B (Trumbull Street). Stay straight off the exit, and the center is six traffic lights down on the right.

From the East:
Take I-84 to Exit 50 (Main Street). At the third light, take a left onto Trumbull Street. When you get to the second light, the XL Center is on the right.

From the West:
Take I-84 to Exit 49 (Ann & High Street). Take a right off the exit onto High Street, then make a left at the first light onto Church St. The center is at the next intersection.

Parking options are plentiful, but be prepared to pay to park. There is a parking garage in the XL Center and another across the road on Church Street, plus two more a block down on Pearl Street. There also are two lots on Asylum Street and three on Ann Street.

(credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Tickets may be purchased at the XL Center or through Tickermaster. The Ticket office is located outside the Center, and the hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. No checks are accepted. Children younger than age two do not need tickets, yet must be sitting on someone’s lap. There is a Disabled Services Department to help provide tickets to accommodate patrons who need wheelchairs or have vision or hearing impairments. Call the ticket office at (860) 249-7528 for more details.


Seating varies depending on whether it is hockey, basketball, a general admission show or a concert with different stage placement. You can view the different layouts at . There is always a lower level and upper level, and, at times, floor seating. There are executive suites as well, which include 46 private rooms. For more information, call (860) 541-4720.

UConn vs. Maine, Dec. 6, 2013. (Courtesy Bob Stowell/UConn)

UConn vs. Maine, Dec. 6, 2013. (Courtesy Bob Stowell/UConn)


Comcast Coliseum Club and Bar:
With 45 Televisions and a 44-seat bar, this is a great place to treat yourself. It is also available for rent on non-event days.

Concession Stands:
Concession stands feature traditional fare such as pizza, hot dogs, beer, chips, soda and nachos, but also sundaes, wine, cookies, Italian sausage and mixed drinks to make sure there is something for everyone.

Abi-J Novelty Foods:
Sweet tooth? How about a little cotton candy? Sno-Cone? Or funnel cake? You may feel like you’re at a fair, but these treats are hard to turn down.

Everyone’s favorite ice cream shop with the little crunchies!

Delaware North Grill:
Chicken tenders and fries for the kids, plus beer and burgers for the big kids.

For a full menu listing, visit



The following Hotels are within walking distance to the XL Center:

Crown Plaza
50 Morgan St.
(860) 549-2400

Hartford Hilton
315 Trumbull St.
(860) 728-515

Holiday Inn Express
440 Asylum St.
(860) 246-990

Marriott Residence Inn
942 Main St.
(860) 524-5550

For other options in the area, visit

– Nicole Roberge