Recently debate has heated up regarding bringing a professional hockey or basketball team to Hartford, Connecticut.
Since the Hartford Whalers left the city in 1997, Hartford has been without a major professional franchise. Back in 1999 there was hope that the New England Patriots would move to the city, but that deal fell through. Personally, I think an NBA team in Hartford would thrive.
College basketball is huge in Connecticut with the success of both the UConn men’s and women’s programs. As a UConn law student, I know how hard it is to get tickets to these events. Just think of all the former Huskies playing in the NBA.
A few of the former Huskies in the NBA are Caron Butler of the Wizards, Rip Hamilton of the Pistons, Ray Allen of the Celtics, Emeka Okafor of the Bobcats, Ben Gordon of the Bulls, Charlie Villanueva of the Bucks, Rudy Gay of the Grizzlies, Josh Boone of the Nets, Marcus Williams of the Warriors, and Hilton Armstrong of the Hornets. That’s ten teams right there with former UConn players, not to mentioned future players like Hasheem Thabeet.
Each night one of these teams played in Hartford there would be a packed house. Add that to the big crowds to watch the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Tim Duncan and a NBA franchise in Hartford would thrive.
It appears that it is more likely that NHL will return to Hartford, which I do not think is a great idea. The Whalers proved that a hockey team will not thrive in the city. Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met to discuss the possibility of the NHL returning to Hartford, but talks have stalled due to Mayor Perez’s recent arrest. While for personal reasons, I think Hartford deserves a sports team. I am curious to hear from others what city you think most deserves a pro sports team.