Report: UConn basketball could be headed for Bridgeport


Warde Manuel (AP)

Warde Manuel (AP)

UConn basketball is in the preliminary stages of negotiations with Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena and the Mohegan Sun Arena, according to a report from The Courant’s John Altavilla.

Charlie Dowd, the Vice President of Operations at WBA, declined comment. A source told Hearst Connecticut that talks between the two parties were “ongoing.”

Another source indicated that nothing is imminent.  There has not even been discussion between UConn and the WBA regarding potential dates.

In years past, UConn was locked into an agreement with the XL Center that prohibited it from playing home games at other venues (besides Gampel Pavilion, of course). That contract expires in August, however.

It makes sense for both sides, as I wrote in March.

During an interview for that story, UConn athletic director Warde Manuel expressed interest in moving some games to different locations across the state.

“The two main places we’re going to play basketball are Gampel and XL,” Manuel said. “I don’t want any of our season ticket holders at either location to think we’re moving massive amounts of games anywhere. But where we can, and if it makes sense for us to take games to our fans in different parts of our state, then we’ll do it. But we have to work out all the details prior to solidifying it and making any announcements.”

“You don’t build customers sitting at your desk and sending emails,” Manuel added. “It’s got to be an outreach effort that touches our fans where they are, and if we can put games in certain places around the state, then I’d love to do it.”