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Dillon Stadium rebuild called ‘important’ to Hartford’s rebirth

HARTFORD -- The redesign and rebuild of Dillon Stadium in Hartford is being called an integral part of the city's rebirth.

Monday, during the ceremonial groundbreaking of the facility, which was originally constructed in 1935, city, state and Hartford Athletic owners said this venue will be unique.

"We’re also going to be able to have football here, rugby here, lacrosse here and community use," said Bruce Mandell, whose part of the ownership group for the United Soccer League franchise. "It's a very multi-use stadium and that’s the whole idea."

$10 million of the $14 million price tag to the facility, in the resurgent Coltsville section of the city, is being footed through neighborhood funds authorized by the state bond commission.

"We’ve looked at and strategized a series of investments in Hartford to bring it back and quite frankly it will help us bring the whole state back," said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Malloy said Connecticut was guilty of misspending transportation dollars to steer people away from cities to suburban development.

"And now that America wants to live in cities again we were caught flat-footed here in Connecticut," Malloy said. "I think part of my legacy will be investments made in those communities."

The Hartford Athletic ownership calls the new synthetic turf the best in the world, saying it doesn't heat up under your feet. And, it includes organic infill, including cork and coconuts, instead of rubber pellets.

"It’s one more step and making sure that we have a capital city that is strong, vibrant and alive with activity from arts and music and theater to culture and sports," said Mayor Luke Bronin.

Mandell said one community member very excited about the Dillon Stadium project, is donating 100 season tickets to be used by city children.

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