Local business leaders and lawmakers discuss plans to renovate the XL Center

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HARTFORD — Local business leaders and lawmakers came together to discuss the XL Center for the first time since the governor officially proposed upgrading the 40 year old venue.

The Capitol Region Development Authority has proposed a $250 million renovation plan. They met Thursday to discuss the ongoing efforts to improve the facility. The CRDA argues that the 40-year-old building can’t meet the needs of guests and performing acts.

The executive director said they are at a crossroads and face either overhaul or demolition.

Critics argue that the state just doesn’t have the money for a complete overhaul, pointing to that $1.7 billion budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.

Due to funding that was already approved in the last budget, work is already underway to improve the ice system along with two new Zambonis. The XL Center will shut down for the summer, to replace the ice.