Dillon Stadium

Dillon Stadium is a multipurpose facility in Hartford, Connecticut. It has been host to concerts and sporting events. It was formerly the home of the New England Nightmare of the Women's Football Alliance (WFA).[5] It is now the home of USL Championship club Hartford Athletic. The UConn Huskies men's and women's soccer teams played a majority of their 2019 matches at Dillon Stadium after starting their seasons at Al-Marzook Field in West Hartford, Connecticut.[6][7]

Dillon Stadium
HFDvPGH 2021-05-15 - Dillon Stadium (51181684581).jpg
Dillon Stadium in 2021
Location250 Huyshope Ave Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Coordinates41°45′14″N 72°39′40″W / 41.7538°N 72.6611°W / 41.7538; -72.6611Coordinates: 41°45′14″N 72°39′40″W / 41.7538°N 72.6611°W / 41.7538; -72.6611
OperatorCity of Hartford
CapacityFootball and Soccer:
9,600[2] (1935–2019)
5,500,[3] expandable to 10,000[4] (2019–)
Concerts:
20,000 (1935–2019)
10,000 (2019–)
Field size115 x 74 yards
SurfaceSeeded grass (1935–2018)
FieldTurf (2019–present)[1]
Construction
Opened1935 (1935)
Renovated2018–2019
Tenants
American football

Hartford Charter Oaks (ACFL/COFL) 1964–1968
Hartford Knights (ACFL/SFL) 1968–1973
Connecticut Crushers (NWFA/IWFL) 2001–2010
New England Nightmare (WFA) 2010–2012

Soccer
Hartford S.C. (ASL) 1964–1968
Connecticut Yankees (ASL) 1972–1978
Hartford Bicentennials (NASL) 1975–1976
Hartford Athletic (USLC) 2019–present
UConn Huskies (men's) (women's) (NCAA) 2019
AC Connecticut (USL2) 2021–present

SportsEdit

FootballEdit

Founded by football coach John Dillon, Dillon Stadium was the home of two minor league football teams in the 1960s and 70s: the Hartford Charter Oaks of the Atlantic Coast Football League and Continental Football League, owned by the Brewer family, and the Hartford Knights, also of the ACFL and Seaboard Football League. Dillon is now used primarily for high school football teams, including the Bulkeley Bulldogs, the Sport Medical Tigers, the Prince Tech Falcons, and the Capital Prep Trailblazers. Dillon also hosts the annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Game between Hartford Public Owls and the Weaver Beavers. Lights were added in 1964 to accommodate the Oaks. The stadium also hosted occasional club-level college football games hosted by the University of Hartford. The Hartford Colonials of the United Football League, in part because of a change of management at Rentschler Field, experienced significant delays in renewing their lease for the 2011 season and had backup plans to relocate to Dillon Stadium (or Willow Brook Park), although neither venue was believed to be ideal for the UFL.[8] The Colonials did sign a deal with Rentschler in June, but suspended operations on August 10, 2011; the league later folded it outright.

SoccerEdit

International matchesEdit

Date Teams Match Type Attendance Notes
September 9, 1973 United States   1–0   Bermuda International Friendly 4,200 [9]
June 21, 1975 Hartford Bicentennials   0–2   Poland Friendly 10,746 [10]
June 8, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials   0–2   Lazio Friendly 3,154 [11]
August 17, 2019 Hartford Athletic   5–1   Puerto Rico Friendly 4,685 [12]
October 26, 2019 Hartford Athletic   1–2   Portmore United F.C. Friendly [13]

Professional matchesEdit

Date Teams Match Type Attendance Notes
October 10, 2020 Hartford Athletic   0–1   Saint Louis FC USL Championship Quarterfinal 2,194 [14]

CollegeEdit

Date Teams Competition Attendance
September 8, 2019 Boston University Terriers 1–3 UConn Huskies Non-conference 328
September 15, 2019 Harvard Crimson 3–1 UConn Huskies Non-conference 567
September 17, 2019 Manhattan Jaspers 1–2 UConn Huskies Non-conference 1,221
September 20, 2019 Columbia Lions 3–2 UConn Huskies Non-conference 2,241
September 26, 2019 East Carolina Pirates 1–0 UConn Huskies Conference 457
September 26, 2019 Cincinnati Bearcats 1–0 UConn Huskies Conference 0
October 4, 2019 Memphis Tigers 1–0 UConn Huskies Conference 1,007
October 8, 2019 Providence Friars 2–1 UConn Huskies Non-conference 758
October 10, 2019 Houston Cougars 1–2 UConn Huskies Conference 216
October 13, 2019 Souther Methodist Mustangs 0–1 UConn Huskies Conference 2,109
October 20, 2019 Central Florida Knights 2–1 UConn Huskies Conference 1,625
October 31, 2019 Temple Owls 1–1 UConn Huskies Conference 561
November 5, 2019 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 3–6 UConn Huskies Conference 1,114

RugbyEdit

Date Teams Match Type Attendance Notes
June 19, 1982 England   59–0   United States 1982 England Tour 9,000 [15]

Proposed renovationEdit

Hartford City FC, a projected indoor soccer franchise that also hoped to compete in the outdoor North American Soccer League, announced plans to reconstruct Dillon Stadium to create a 15,000 seat soccer-only stadium for the 2017 season.

In 2014, the city awarded a $12 million contract to Premier Sports Management to redevelop the stadium in hopes of attracting a professional soccer team. The company was unable to interest various soccer leagues and instead partnered with an outside investor seeking to build a larger stadium on the site with city funding.[16] However, the city ended the project in October 2015 over financial and legal concerns with the investment group, who were later found guilty of embezzling $1 million from the redevelopment fund.[17][18]

On February 17, 2018, the State Bond Commission approved $10 million in public funding. This would help the Hartford Sports Group establish a USL club in 2019.[19]

ConcertsEdit

On June 27, 1966, The Rolling Stones played in Dillon Stadium, supported by The McCoys (with their up-and-coming guitarist, Rick Derringer). Near the end of the Stones' performance, fans rushed the stage, so electricity to the amplifiers was cut. Mick Jagger threw his microphone stand out into the crowd, and the Stones then left the venue, as fans began breaking chairs. Police gathered the crowd towards the exits.

The Beach Boys performed there in 1972 and again in 1973.[20]

On July 16, 1972, the Grateful Dead played in Dillon Stadium and were joined on stage by Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley and Jai Johanny Johanson of the Allman Brothers. Their July 31, 1974, performance at the field was released as an album titled Dave's Picks Volume 2.[21]

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Gross Notes
June 27, 1966 The Rolling Stones The McCoys
The Standells
The Rolling Stones American Tour 1966 [22]
July 16, 1972 Grateful Dead Summer 1972 14,000 [23]
August 18, 1972 The Doors The Beach Boys
The Kinks
Phlorescent Leech & Eddie
14,000 [24]
September 25, 1972 Yes Close to the Edge Tour [25]
August 17, 1973 Santana Caravanserai Tour
July 31, 1974 Grateful Dead Summer 1974 20,000 [26]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Terzi, Tony (November 19, 2018). "Dillon Stadium rebuild called 'important' to Hartford's rebirth". WTIC-TV.
  2. ^ "Colt Park and Dillon Stadium".
  3. ^ McFarland, Shawn (November 19, 2018). "What's next for Dillon Stadium and Hartford Athletic? A turf field, players and more". Hartford Courant. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  4. ^ McFarland, Shawn. "Football, The Rolling Stones, elephants and soccer: A look at Dillon Stadium through the years". courant.com.
  5. ^ Menard, Vonda (April 5, 2013). "New England NightMare Football Season Opener". Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  6. ^ "2019 Men's Soccer Schedule". University of Connecticut Athletics. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  7. ^ "2019 Women's Soccer Schedule". University of Connecticut Athletics. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Doyle, Paul (June 9, 2011). "Hartford Colonials Announce 2011 Schedule; Still Seek Home Field Agreement". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  9. ^ "USA v Bermuda, 09 September 1973". 11v11.com. Association of Football Statisticians (AFS).
  10. ^ Morrison, Dave. "NASL Friendlies-Hartford Bicentennials". NASLjerseys.com.
  11. ^ Morrison, Dave. "Lazio Defeats Bicentennials, 2–0". NASLjerseys.com.
  12. ^ "PREVIEW: Athletic Welcome Puerto Rico National Team to Hartford". Hartford Athletic. August 16, 2019.
  13. ^ "Hartford Athletic To Host Portmore United FC of Jamaican National Premier League". Hartford Athletic. September 24, 2019.
  14. ^ "Hartford Athletic vs. Saint Louis FC - October 10, 2020". USLChampionship.com.
  15. ^ "England XV tour in Canada/United States of America 1982 1982". espnscrum. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  16. ^ Kauffman, Matthew; Carlesso, Jenna (February 23, 2018). "Mitchell Anderson Receives Six-Month Sentence in Dillon Stadium Fraud". Hartford Courant. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  17. ^ Goldman, Ben (May 9, 2018). "Hartford recovers $510,000 lost in Dillon Stadium deal". WTIC-TV. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  18. ^ Kauffman, Matthew; Carlesso, Jenna (December 6, 2017). "Ex-Dillon Stadium Developer James Duckett Gets 36 Months In Prison". Hartford Courant. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  19. ^ Carlesso, Jenna (November 30, 2017). "CRDA Backs Woodbridge Businessman For Dillon Stadium Renovation". Hartford Courant. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  20. ^ "Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT, USA Concert Setlists – setlist.fm". www.setlist.fm.
  21. ^ Leone, Mark. "Grateful Dead Set Lists". Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science.
  22. ^ "The Rolling Stones". rocktourdatabase.com. Venue: Dillon Stadium
  23. ^ Regan, Michael (July 17, 1972). "Heat Only Problem at 'Dead' Concert". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  24. ^ "The Doors – Hartford – Dillon Stadium 1972". MildEquator.com.
  25. ^ "Yes". rocktourdatabase.com. Venue: Dillon Stadium
  26. ^ "Dave's Picks Vol. 2". The Best Of Website. Retrieved August 3, 2020. From the Grateful Dead Website... The show in question is a three-set wonder from Hartford's Dillon Stadium during the heart of the Wall of Sound era, July 31, 1974, four days after the release of the Dead's fine Mars Hotel album. Dwarfed by the Wall's irregular columns of speakers on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon, the band thrilled the sold-out crowd of 20,000 with a far-ranging collection of tunes and jams that showed how far they'd come as musicians, songwriters and interpreters of others' songs in their decade together.

External linksEdit