New England’s Knowledge Corridor
The Market – Hartford is at the center of New England’s Knowledge Corridor region (Metro Hartford/ Springfield/ New Haven), the 2nd largest market in New England.
Hartford’s bi-state Knowledge Corridor market has a population of 2,927,681 in 164 communities spanning 4,413 square miles, currently making it the nation’s 19th largest market after Tampa-St. Petersburg.
Of the nation’s top 50 markets, Hartford’s is larger than 31, in descending order: Denver, Baltimore, St. Louis, Charlotte, Orlando, San Antonio, Portland, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Austin, Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis, San Jose, Nashville, Virginia Beach, Providence, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Raleigh, Richmond, Louisville, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Birmingham, and Buffalo.
Of the ten largest markets in Canada, only Toronto and Montreal are larger. Hartford’s market is thus larger than, in descending order, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Quebec, Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Kitchener. The Knowledge Corridor also has 2.1 million more residents than either of two Canadian markets often mentioned as excellent NHL expansion markets – Quebec City and Hamilton.
We define the Knowledge Corridor following the lead of the New England Knowledge Corridor Partnership, which defines it as the three counties around Springfield, three around Hartford, and New Haven County. But to these seven counties we add in twelve communities in the immediate Hartford Metro area which are in abutting counties, e.g.,Torrington in Litchfield County and Willimantic in Windham County, resulting in a population of just over 2.9 million people.
The Knowledge Corridor supports four Division One college hockey teams (UMass-Amherst, Yale, Quinnipiac & UConn), three of which have been in the Frozen Four national championship game in recent years. The region also supports two AHL hockey franchises, in Hartford and Springfield. Hartford’s Knowledge Corridor market is, by far, the nation’s largest market without a major pro sports team (NHL, MLS, NBA, MLB or NFL).
Hartford’s 400 year old bi-state Knowledge Corridor market, has a workforce of over 1.2 million, 215,000 college students in 41 colleges and universities (e.g., main campuses of UMass, UConn & Yale), and is home to many international and national corporations 6 (e.g., ESPN, Stanley Black & Decker, MassMutual, SS&C, The Hartford, UTC, Cigna, and Travelers).
In June of 2018, Hartford’s Knowledge Corridor commenced operations of the 62-mile “Hartford Line” commuter rail system from New Haven through Hartford to Springfield, with 17 daily round trip trains, expected to grow to 23 trains as demand increases. Previously, the Knowledge Corridor launched an 11 station, 9.3-mile dedicated bus rapid transit line into Hartford averaging over three million riders in each of its first three years of operations.
PREPARED BY: PETER R. DEMALLIE, URBAN PLANNER