Hartford City Council approved a state-bonded $10 million renovation of the historic Dillon Stadium Monday night.
“Let’s play soccer,” yelled Councilwoman rJo Winch when she cast her vote.
A new soccer team run by the Hartford Sports Group will become the primary tenant of the redeveloped facility in Colt Park.
“We’re going to have an amazing soccer team here in Hartford and the people are going to be proud of it,” said Bruce Mandell, the president of the Hartford Sports Group. “Dillon’s going to look great, Colt Park is going to look great, and I can’t wait to play soccer.”
Mandell’s hoping the overhaul will be completed by April 2019. That’s when the soccer team would join the United Soccer League.
Though supportive of redevelopment for the 80-year-old stadium, Winch and other council members cautioned that they hope to avoid the kinds of cost overruns that plagued Hartford's Dunkin’ Donuts Park project. Also, Winch would like Hartford residents and businesses involved.
“If they’re not there, we will come to the job -- we will shut it down,” Winch said. “We will walk out on the site because we have got to get to the place where we represent Hartford and Hartford residents. We have a lot of viable, local business that can do some of the work, so instead of them going outside of Hartford to hire, they have to be committed to hiring inside.”
The Capital Region Development Authority will manage the construction effort.