Come 2013, the NBC Sports Group will be saying hello to Stamford, Conn. and, for the most part, goodbye to 30 Rock.
The group will consolidate personnel and existing space from four locations -- two separate offices in the Connecticut city, NBC's longtime home in 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan and the Comcast Center in Philadelphia -- to a new 32-acre campus in Stamford.
The site, which can accommodate 500 employees, will be home to NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Digital, the NBC Sports Network (rebranded from Versus on Jan. 2), and the Comcast Sports Management Group, whose executive leadership team oversee 11 regional sports networks. The RSNs will continue to operate out of their respective locations, with Golf Channel remaining in Orlando.
A new studio for National Hockey League programming that is part of the group's 10-year, $2 billion rights deal with the puck circuit is expected to begin operations in September 2012, in time for next season. Some 450 NBC Sports Group workers will begin occupying the new space in January 2013.
The ad sales team, staying in close proximity to Madison Avenue, will remain at Rockefeller Center. The group will also retain some presence and office space in 30 Rock, which also will continue as the studio home for NBC's Football Night in America fare.
The move is tied to Connecticut's "First Five" economic development program, which offers tax breaks and will provide NBC Sports Group, which will become the fourth company involved with the initiative, with a $20 million loan as part of the relocation. The first three First Five companies -- Cigna, TicketNetwork, and ESPN - were announced over the summer.
Located on the site of a former Clairol factory, the campus will bring NBC Sports Group personnel together from throughout the northeast. In Stamford, NBC Olympics already runs a digital office, while Versus operates a studio.
"This new campus is about bringing people together to maximize production, creativity and efficient teamwork. We are creating one 32-acre unique location that allows us to build numerous state-of-the-art studios, house more than 450 employees, and prepare for anticipated future growth," said NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus in a statement. "However, this initiative would not have been possible without the financial support of Governor [Dannel] Malloy's First Five program and the local support provided by Mayor [Michael] Pavia, who we look forward to working with for many years to come."
The state-of-the-art studio for NHL Network will house most of the service's personnel and create additional jobs in the Nutmeg state.
"This collaboration with the NBC Sports Group, including the construction of our new NHL Network studio in Stamford, will give our fans unprecedented year-round access to the game," stated NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. "NBC has been a great partner and has played a significant role in our strong growth over the past five years. We look forward to building on our relationship."