Large college sports organization moving to CT

The headquarters of the country’s largest intercollegiate athletic conference, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), will move to Connecticut this summer.

The ECAC should bring 20 jobs when it relocates to the Matrix Corporate Center in Danbury from Massachusetts in July, with the help of incentives from the state of Connecticut.

The ECAC’s new headquarters has substantial technology infrastructure for video-conferencing and is accessible to major highways, airports and hotels that offer venues for conference meetings, such as awards dinners and other special events.

Looked at many locations

The ECAC had looked at various locations for its headquarters in southern New England, Westchester County, N.Y., and Bergen County, N.J. It is now located in Centerville, Mass., which is on Cape Cod.

“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.

State provides grant and loan

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Small Business Express program will provide $400,000 in assistance to the ECAC. This includes a $100,000 matching grant that requires the creation of five jobs, as well as a $300,000 loan — of which $200,000 is forgivable if 10 jobs are created within 18 months.

“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. Dannel P. Malloy said when announcing the ECAC agreement.

About the ECAC

Formed 75 years ago with 58 members, the Eastern College Athletic Conference now has more than 300 member schools in Divisions I, II and III, ranging in location from Maine to North Carolina, and west to Missouri.

During the 2013-14 academic year, the ECAC will host more than 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.