Although enough of the structure was complete for Hartford Athletic‘s debut Saturday, there is construction that has yet to finish in the Dillon Stadium renovation.
On Saturday, USL Championship’s Athletic–an expansion club backed by Bruce Mandell’s Hartford Sports Group–played its first game at a renovated Dillon Stadium. Delays in construction work forced Athletic to move initial home matches to UConn’s Rentschler Field, but the club arrived at Dillon Stadium on Saturday, despite the fact that the renovation is not entirely complete.
While enough of the project was completed that the city could issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for the debut match, construction crews continue to work at Dillon Stadium. Stadium lights still have to be installed, while crews have been working to get bathrooms near the main entrance up and running, and some other tasks–such as the installation of permanent air conditioning in the press box and landscaping–are also due for completion. More from the Hartford Courant:
Dillon now is open for games, but only during the day. Four new, 120-foot lighting poles won’t arrive until late August or early September, and they will take a couple of weeks to install. [Capital Region Development Authority executive director Michael W.] Freimuth said CRDA had hoped to use the existing stadium lighting system, but it couldn’t be upgraded to the standards required by modern television broadcasting. The new system, Freimuth said, required structural changes to anchor such tall lighting poles, delaying their design and installation….
Plumbing and water testing has not been completed in the restrooms near the main entrance. The restrooms may be open in time for this weekend’s game, but it is still not certain. The two sets of restrooms at the south side of the field are operating.
With temperatures reaching into the 90s, Freimuth said it is likely wide swaths of dirt won’t be seeded with grass until the fall. Until then, the areas may be covered with gravel, he said.
Portable air conditioning units just didn’t cut it in the press box on Saturday, and getting the permanent system connected is a top priority, [CRDA’s director of construction services Robert] Saint said. Getting power to the elevator that leads to the deck outside the press box also is high on the list, he said.
Athletic drew a sellout crowd of 5,500 fans to Saturday’s opener, which resulted in a 2-1 win over Indy Eleven.
Dillon Stadium rendering courtesy Hartford Athletic.