The XL Center, formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, is a multi-purpose arena and convention center. It was built by Kling & Associates with Harry Danos & Associates and opened in 1975.
City planners, together with private investors, originally built the Civic Center to compete with suburban attractions and encourage national conventions to come to Hartford. It has served as the premier entertainment venue in the Greater Hartford area, attracting big name performers and professional and semi-professional sports teams.
The arena has showcased numerous teams from different sports, including hockey, basketball, and arena football. The most notable was the Hartford Whalers, an NHL ice hockey team from 1975 to 1997. Currently, the XL Center is home to the Hartford Wolf Pack and the University of Connecticut's basketball and hockey teams. The arena also holds circuses, concerts, and other events.
In 1978, just three years after the Civic Center was completed, the roof collapsed. Although no one was hurt and the roof was rebuilt, the accident left its mark on the city and was seen as a symbol of Hartford’s struggle with renewal.
In 2010, renovations occurred improving the interior facilities and exterior facade. New owner Global Spectrum did an interior renovation to Veterans Coliseum in summer 2014—jumbo-trons were replaced with HD TVs, hockey specific locker rooms, and new fan club area—opened up to the concourse and retail area.