DANBURY, Conn. -- The country's largest intercollegiate athletic conference will have a new home in Danbury next month, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday.
The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference will bring upward of 20 jobs to Danbury when it relocates from Massachusetts. The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development finalized the deal with the ECAC, which will move into The Matrix Corporate Center.
“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,” Gov. Malloy said. “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.”
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 five 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, Conn., 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 a study 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 strategically positions its headquarters and staff in a centralized location, accessible to its entire membership, will allow for more frequent engagement with all constituents.
The ECAC also considered locations in Southern New England, Westchester County, N.Y., and Bergen County, N.J., before selecting the Matrix, the former corporate home of Union Carbide.
“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 longtime headquarters at the Bushnell Center in Centerville, Mass., 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 75 years, the Eastern College Athletic Conference has grown 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.