Hartford Athletic Owner, Foundation Contribute to Dillon Stadium Cost Overruns

Dillon Stadium renovation rendering

Hartford Athletic owner Bruce Mandell and a local foundation will contribute as much as $2.7 million for cost overruns in the renovation of Hartford’s Dillon Stadium

Dillon Stadium is in the midst of a renovation to accommodate the Athletic, a Division II USL expansion squad owned by Mandell’s Hartford Sports Group that will begin play in 2019. An April completion has been expected for the project, but issues with the site have led to some unforeseen challenges during the construction process, which is being overseen by the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). The cost estimate was initially $10 million, but it might end up coming in above $13 million.

To cover cost overruns, Mandell and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will provide as much $2.7 million for the project. More from the Hartford Courant:

Bruce Mandell, who owns the professional team that is set to play at Dillon, said he will pay up to $1.5 million to help cover cost overruns. The money won’t buy anything flashy – it is meant to keep the basic plans intact, he said.

He has also applied for a forgivable, $800,000 loan from the state Department of Economic and Community Development to fund construction expenses. The money is contingent on Mandell creating dozens of jobs.

The Hartford Foundation is also putting in $1.2 million to pay for the turf field, along with $500,000 for improvements to Colt Park.

CRDA had weighed trimming the seating capacity to 5,000, down from 6,000 as originally planned. Mandell said that with the extra money, the capacity will now likely be 5,500.

In the event that the project’s completion is delayed, the Athletic would play in East Hartford’s Rentschler Field to begin the season. The renovated Dillon Stadium will be used for more than professional soccer, as it is also set to host youth sports and a variety of other events.

The venerable facility was first constructed under the auspices of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, but its condition had fallen on hard times in the years leading up to the ongoing renovation project.

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