© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
Public Files Contact · ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hartford Sports Group Unofficially Selected To Fix Dillon Stadium

Frankie Graziano
Bruce Mandell pictured at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford after he found out about CRDA's recommendation Thursday.

The Hartford Sports Group is the preliminary pick to revamp Dillon Stadium, an 80 year-old facility in Hartford’s Colt Park.

But the recommendation from the Capital Region Development Authority on Thursday night came with a caveat: if the group wants to make it happen, it shouldn’t ask for $10 million in public funding—maybe cut it down to $7 million.

“We understand finances are difficult in the state and the city,” said Bruce Mandell, who runs the Hartford Sports Group. “But on the other hand, we want to make sure that we’re delivering a product to the fans that’s going to attract fans and make sense, so that’s the balance.”

Mandell is the president of a Newington-based direct mail company called Data-Mail. He formed HSG within the last two years with the intention of bringing a United Soccer League team to the capital.

His group is now looking for a $6.7 million ask, but that doesn’t include an artificial turf field included in the original proposal. That would likely cost an additional $1.5 million.

“We started out with a goal to have artificial turf so that we could have multi-use for it, the city could use it,” Mandell said.

Now it’s up to the city to make a formal pick. Mandell said if his group is to play there by 2019, he needs the city to make a decision within the next month. HSG is kicking in $7 million in private dollars—although much of it will be used to pay for entry into the league.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the recommendation was made on Wednesday. It was made on Thursday.

Frankie Graziano is the host of 'The Wheelhouse,' focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.