STAMFORD, Conn. — Some 20 months ago, NBC Sports announced it would be moving to Stamford’s East Side into a nearly empty factory that used to be the home of Clairol. On Wednesday, it officially opened the NBC Sports International Broadcast Center.
“It doesn’t look like that anymore,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, said during the official grand opening ceremony at the former factory.
Although it still has a factory feel, the broadcast center does have state-of-the-art technology and has the capability to house current and future technological advances for all endeavors of NBC Sports, whether it is television or print, the chairman said. He added that everyone who has visited is jealous of the facility -- and that is something he hopes never changes.
One of the people impressed with the facility is Mayor Michael Pavia, who remembered seeing the initial plans for NBC Sports to spend $100 million in renovations on a “shell” of a factory. The company turned it into a communication and sports facility not seen anywhere else, and Pavia was surprised to see the corporation fulfill that promise in such a timely manner.
NBC Sports decided to come to Stamford as part of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s First Five Job Incentive Program, which offers companies tax incentives to move to the state and create jobs. During the ceremony, Malloy said he was happy that NBC Sports moved to the state because he and others wanted to invest in digital technology, a field they believe is growing.
“This is a competition we wanted to win and have won,” the governor said.
According to Malloy, NBC Sports has about 480 people in Stamford, although Lazarus estimated it to be around 600. Some people relocated for the jobs, and others are new additions, Lazarus said. The company will continue to hire people with each new venture, such as signing a deal to have the television rights to NASCAR, which it did this week, he said.
“You have lived up to our expectations, and quite frankly surpassed our expectations,” Malloy said.