HARTFORD, Conn. – The proposed renovation of Hartford’s Dillon Stadium took another step forward on Friday when the State Bond Commission approved $10 million in public funding for the project which would see the Hartford Sports Group establish a USL club in the city for the 2019 season.
The news was welcomed by HSG leader and local businessman Bruce Mandell, whose group is currently in discussions with the city on the project which would modernize the venue in the Coltsville neighborhood of the city.
“The vote by the State Bond Commission in favor of the release of $10 million in previously approved funds to help pay for the renovation of Dillon Stadium and improvements to Colt Park in Hartford is an important step forward in the continued revitalization of the Coltsville neighborhood,” said Mandell in a statement. “We are grateful for the confidence the Capital Region Development Authority has placed in us as we continue working to bring a USL franchise to Dillon Stadium for the 2019 season. The Hartford Sports Group is committed to the City and future of Coltsville.”
HSG had previously been selected to open talks with city officials regarding the renovation of the stadium last November after a presentation to the Capital Region Development Authority. The lands for Dillon Stadium were a part of the original Colt family gift donated to the City of Hartford with the stadium dedicated in 1935. The venue reached great heights in the 1960s and 1970s before falling into disrepair. The renovation project is aimed to restore not only the stadium but also aid in the continued revitalization of Colt Park and the surrounding area.
“The stadium is in a great state of disrepair, bordering on dangerous, so either we appropriate money to put it in good shape, or we appropriate money to take it down,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy at the bond commission meeting Friday, adding that without the subsidy the stadium would have to be torn down.