Gov. Malloy: Headquarters of the Largest Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the Country Relocating to Connecticut
ECAC Moving From Massachusetts to Danbury Will Create Up to 20 Jobs
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has finalized a deal that will bring the headquarters of the country's largest intercollegiate athletic conference, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), from Massachusetts to Danbury, Connecticut. Under the terms of the agreement, the ECAC will bring upwards of 20 jobs to Danbury by July 2014 when it relocates.
"In addition to the direct jobs this deal is creating for residents, the state and the ECAC will work closely to explore the possibility of bringing more conference events-and the jobs and economic activity that come along with them-to our state," said Governor Malloy. "The ECAC's decision to relocate here is another sign that the steps we are taking to attract new business, investment and job creation to make Connecticut more competitive are paying off. We're thrilled that the conference is making this long-term commitment to Connecticut and are looking forward to a great partnership."
DECD will support the relocation with a total of $400,000 in assistance from the Small Business Express program. The ECAC will receive a $100,000 matching grant that requires the creation of 5 jobs, as well as a $300,000 loan, $200,000 of which is forgivable if 10 jobs are created within 18 months. The ECAC's new headquarters is equipped with a strong technology infrastructure to videoconference and connect with member institutions digitally and is also easily accessible to major highways, airports, and hotels that offer venues for conference meetings, such as awards dinners and other special events.
"Relocating the ECAC headquarters to The Matrix Corporate Center in Northern Fairfield County, Connecticut will better enable us to service our entire membership at the highest levels," said ECAC Commissioner Kevin McGinniss.
The ECAC's decision to relocate stems from an extensive study, conducted by the conference's Board of Directors and the Inter-Collegiate Athletic Consulting, that determined that the organization's existing office structure, its associated costs, and its location do not allow the ECAC and its staff to serve the 312 member institutions spanning 12 states at the highest levels. According to the ECAC, the move to the Matrix Corporate Center in Danbury strategically positions the ECAC headquarters and its staff in a centralized location, accessible to its entire membership, which will allow for more frequent engagement with all constituents. The ECAC also completed a comparative evaluation of multiple geographic locations and commercial properties, finally zeroing in on Southern New England, Westchester County New York, and Bergen County, New Jersey before selecting the final location at the Matrix Corporate Center in Danbury, Connecticut.
"Both our business and sports communities are anxious to welcome the ECAC," said Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton. "The ECAC has a terrific reputation and they will be undoubtedly embraced by our City."
The proceeds from the sale of the ECAC's long-time headquarters at the Bushnell Center in Centerville, Massachusetts will be added to the ECAC Endowment Fund. The ECAC Endowment Fund is administered by the ECAC Board of Directors and its Finance Committee in accordance with the established ECAC Endowment Investment and Spending Policies in support of the overall mission of the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
About the ECAC
In the 75 years since its inception, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has emerged as the nation's largest Conference. The ECAC has grown considerably from its charter membership of 58, currently boasting over 300 member schools in Divisions I, II and III, ranging in location from Maine to North Carolina, and westerly to Missouri. In the 2013-14 academic year, the ECAC will host over 100 championships in 37 men's and women's sports as the sponsors of over 5,800 varsity teams and 111,000 male and female athletes. The ECAC was founded in 1938 as the Central Office for Eastern Intercollegiate Athletics. One of the most significant events in ECAC history occurred in 1983 with the consolidation of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW) into the ECAC infrastructure. With the addition of women's sports, the ECAC doubled its number of championships and greatly increased its member base.
Through the years the ECAC has exerted leadership not only at the regional level, but at the national level as well. The mission of the ECAC is to initiate, stimulate and improve intercollegiate athletics programs for student-athletes, and to promote and develop educational leadership, athletics excellence and athletics participation. The Conference, led by Commissioner Kevin McGinniss, plays an integral role in national collegiate athletics policy and legislation and continues today to address many of the same issues affecting college athletics in the past while striving to lead this industry in the 21st century.