NBC Sports lured to Connecticut

Spurred by tax incentives, NBC Universal has announced plans to move much of its sports division to Stamford, Conn.

Construction to convert a former Clairol factory into offices and studios for NBC Sports is expected to begin in 2012, with completion targeted for 2013.

The new facility will likely be home to NBC Sports Network, currently known as Versus, as well as the network’s broadcast and digital sports operations.

While the project will include some new studios, the agreement stipulates that one of NBC Sports’ centerpiece programs, “Football Night in America,” will remain at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

NBC previously used Stamford as a hub of operations for its Olympics coverage.

This isn’t the first time an NBC operation was lured out of New York City through tax incentives. Executives elected to locate MSNBC in Secaucus, N.J. after the state offered up a slate of tax and other incentives. The network pulled out of its original headquarters in 2007, a move that required it to pay back some of those incentives.

Once the move is complete, Connecticut will play host to two major nationwide sports operations. Competitor ESPN is based in Bristol, Conn., about an hour north of Stamford.