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Updated: May 2, 2022 / The Power 50 for 2022

2022 Power 50: Cliff Rucker

A man with a beard in a dark navy suit jacket and light pink shirt Photo | Courtesy of Worcester Railers Hockey Club Clifford Rucker, owner of Worcester Railers Hockey Club, the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center, Off the Rails, The Palladium, The District Wood Fired Kitchen
Cliff Rucker Title Owner Companies Worcester Railers Hockey Club, the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center, Off the Rails, The Palladium, The District Wood Fired Kitchen Residences Danvers & Worcester College Tufts University Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here
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Cliff Rucker has invested so heavily in Worcester’s entertainment industry, he is single-handedly bringing more than a million people to the city each year.

The Railers attracted several thousand fans per game for its 36 games last season and has won the ECHL league’s community service award for three consecutive years. The Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center, which he help build for $18 million, brings in 500,000 annually. Rucker finds success in his vision for downtown Worcester; when he makes an investment, it promises to transform the surrounding block.

Over the last five years, he has invested heavily in the Railers’ neighboring music venues, essentially giving him the leading hand in Worcester’s music scene. He owns a significant stake in The Palladium, and in 2021 opened Off The Rails, a country-themed restaurant which includes a 500-person indoor concert venue, to complement the 10,000-person outdoor Palladium venue, which share the same parking lot.

Less than a mile south, Rucker’s vision for the Worcester Ice Center block is taking shape. He began a $500,000 renovation project on the beloved Compass Tavern bar, which is set to become a family-friendly eatery called The District Wood Fired Kitchen.

What sets the Central Mass. business community apart from the rest of the world? The Central Mass. business community cares!! I have always been struck by the vast number of business leaders here who put community focus above all else, and I believe that is what makes our business community special.

Spectator sport: Although I own a professional hockey team, I have never actually played hockey!

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the Worcester Railers attracted 1 million fans last year. In total, all of Cliff Rucker's ventures, which include but are not limited to the Railers, attract more than 1 million to the city. Additionally, a previous version of the story incorrectly said Off The Rails has a 10,000-person outdoor venue, when the 10,000-person outdoor venue is part of the Palladium and included in the shared parking lot with Off The Rails.

Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here

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