ESPN opens new Digital Center that should employ 200 in CT

The new ESPN state-of-the-art Digital Center 2 building should create 200 jobs in the next three years, according to state officials.

On Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy joined ESPN executives and state and local officials in Bristol to celebrate the grand opening of the new facility at the sports cable-TV network and communications company.

The project was announced two years ago as part of the governor’s First Five economic development program. The new facility increases the company’s digital capabilities.

“ESPN is a leading employer in our state, and the company’s willingness to continue to expand and hire here demonstrates that Connecticut really is a great place to grow and invest,” Malloy said.

ESPN employs nearly 4,000 people in the state and is Bristol’s largest taxpayer.

Be home of ‘SportsCenter’

Digital Center 2 is a 194,000 square foot, multi-platform digital production facility that includes four studios, six production control rooms and 26 edit rooms. The facility will be the new home of ESPN’s flagship program “SportsCenter” beginning in June.

“ESPN appreciates the support of Governor Malloy and the state as we continue to grow in Connecticut,” said Ed Durso, ESPN executive vice president for administration.

Can earn state tax credits

In exchange for creating a minimum of 200 jobs by 2017 and making capital expenditures of at least $175 million in the facility, ESPN is eligible for up to $10 million in Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credits (URA).

The credits will be provided over a 10-year period.

The First Five program is designed to attract large-scale business development projects by combining state incentive and tax credit programs for the first five companies that create 200 new jobs within two years, or invest $25 million and create 200 new jobs within five years.

About ESPN

ESPN Inc. is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company that includes seven 24-hour domestic television networks as well as international TV networks, simulcast services, a magazine, and other entities.

ESPN is 80% owned by ABC Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. The Hearst Corp. holds a 20% interest in ESPN.