At the Connecticut Whale‘s post-season press conference held at the Hilton Hotel in Hartford Wednesday afternoon, Whalers Sports and Entertainment (WSE) Chairman and CEO Howard Baldwin stated that while his organization was ready for a provision to tax sports and entertainment tickets in the new state budget signed into law by Governor Dan Malloy, he knows that it won’t accomplish what it sets out to do and certainly won’t help grow his business.
“(President, COO) Howard, (Baldwin) Jr and (Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development) Bob (Ohrablo) were on the ball and factored (the tax increase) into our thinking (on ticket prices) for next year.” Baldwin Sr. said. “So it will affect us. However, it would have been a lot better not to have that in there. That was the one thing back in the 70’s that Frank Russo and the corporate community got eliminated because it is a great deterrent to bringing entertainment and sports to the marketplace.
“I would strenuously say that it was unfortunate that particular amendment (passed). But they did. We were ready for it. But I don’t think it’s going to have the effect that they hope it will have. In fact I know it won’t, because that’s the reason we eliminated it in the 70’s”
WSE, in their first year of operation saw ticket sales, without the tax, increase for the first time in several years. The re-branding from the Hartford Wolf Pack to the Connecticut Whale helped spark interest in the team. The organziation is looking to rebuild the marketplace and eventually entice the NHL to put a major league team back into the Connecticut capitol that has been without one going on 15 years now.
You can hear the question and watch his response below.
For the entire press conference video, click here.