Gov. Dannel Malloy announced a deal on Tuesday in which NBC Sports agreed to move NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Digital, VERSUS, and the Comcast Sports Management Group to Stamford, Connecticut. It will keep offices and some production in New York's Rockefeller Center.
The state of Connecticut is offering the mega-company a $20 million dollar loan at 1% interest and Governor Malloy expects the relocation to bring 450 new jobs to his state. In exchange, NBC Sports will have benefit of Connecticut's lower tax rates and the possibility of loan forgiveness if they create the expected 450 jobs by the end of five years.
This deal is part of Malloy's "First Five" initiative. The initiative offers considerable tax breaks to the first five companies to create 200 jobs in two years or who invest $25 million and create 200 jobs in five years. ESPN, Cigna, and TicketNetwork Inc. have already taken advantage of Malloy's offer. NBC Sports, however, is the first company to move to Connecticut for the special incentives.
Kevin Segalla, chief executive of the Connecticut Film Center, estimates that film producers use an average of 150 local businesses such as construction suppliers, electricians, and restaurants. His own company, which provides production and financial services for the film and TV industries, is likely to benefit from the move. At the same time, the move will cost New York City those 150 jobs.
NBC Sports is not the first television production to move to Stamford. The city also attracted World Wrestling Entertainment, "The Jerry Springer Show," "The Steve Wilkos Show" and Maury Povich's "Maury" in 2009. Segalla is excited to see more companies take advantage of Stamford's open space and convenient transportation: "We have a real cluster and it's growing."
The move will also allow room for NBC Sports Room to expand. According to Chairman Mark Lazarus, the company is creating a 32-acre site with numerous studios. "CEOs were tired of commuting. They wanted their headquarters in their backyards," says David Cadden, a business professor at Quinnipiac University.
Jack Condlin, president and CEO of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, sees the NBC Sports move to Stamford as the part of the natural growth of the city, which he believes is now the largest business center between New York City and Boston. "The more diverse uses you get in a city the better," he argued.
The Associated Press Contributed to this report.