Rentschler Field (stadium)

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Rentschler Field
The Rent
Rentschler Field logo.jpg
Rentschler Field.jpg
Location 615 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118
Coordinates 41°45′35″N 72°37′8″W / 41.75972°N 72.61889°W / 41.75972; -72.61889Coordinates: 41°45′35″N 72°37′8″W / 41.75972°N 72.61889°W / 41.75972; -72.61889
Owner State of Connecticut
Operator Global Spectrum[1]
Capacity 42,704 (with temp seating)
Record attendance 42,704 (UConn vs. Michigan, September 21, 2013)[2]
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction
Broke ground October 21, 2000[3]
Opened August 30, 2003
Construction cost $91.2 million
($117 million in 2014 dollars[4])
Architect Ellerbe Becket
Structural engineer BVH Integrated Services[5]
Services engineer Diversified Technology Consultants[6]
General contractor Hunt-Gilbane Joint Venture[7]
Tenants
Connecticut Huskies football (NCAA) (2003-present)
Hartford Colonials (UFL) (2010)
USMNT (CONCACAF) (2014)

Rentschler Field is a stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut. It is primarily used for football, and is the home field of the University of Connecticut Huskies. Starting in the fall of 2010, it became home to the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League. The stadium, which opened in 2003, was the first stadium used primarily by an NCAA Division I-A (now FBS) team to open in the 21st century. The total stadium capcity is 40,642 consisting of 38,110 permanent seats with an additional 2,532 standing room capacity in the scoreboard plaza. [8] Connecticut played on campus at Memorial Stadium in Storrs, before 2003.

Rentschler Field was originally the name of the company airfield for Pratt & Whitney that formerly occupied the site. The airfield, which began operations in 1931, was named after Frederick Brant Rentschler, who founded the aircraft arm of Pratt & Whitney and later founded its current parent company, United Technologies. It was originally used for test flights and maintenance operations, and later for corporate aviation. The 75-acre (30 ha) site was decommissioned as an airport in the 1990s, and donated to the state of Connecticut by United Technologies in 1999. The company's contributions were not restricted to the airfield; it also allows the use of 100 acres (40 ha) of its corporate campus in East Hartford for game-day parking.

UConn has a lease agreement with the State of Connecticut that allows the UConn the right to use Rentschler Field for home football games, or any other event, with a minimum of 10 events per year. UConn makes payments to the state Office of Policy and Management for use of the stadium. It pays $170,000 per game, which doesn't include state revenues for parking and concessions.[9]

History[edit]

The New England Patriots considered moving to Connecticut and sharing a stadium with the UConn football team, in the mid-1990s. The new stadium was supposed to be built on the Connecticut Convention Center site in downtown Hartford. However, when the Patriots completed the deal for Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, the Hartford stadium plan was scaled down and the location was moved to East Hartford. The current capacity of 40,000 was designed with structure in place to expand to a 50,000-seat stadium or more, with limited rehabilitation.

The stadium hosts major concerts (such as Bruce Springsteen, the first artist to play the stadium, in 2003, The Rolling Stones in 2005, The Police in 2007, Eminem in 2010, and international soccer and rugby union matches. In addition, the Bollywood movie Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna used the field as the location of the soccer game in the opening scene of the movie. It is owned by the state of Connecticut and is operated by Bushnell Management Services, who took over the stadium in 2011.[10] Madison Square Garden, L.P. operated the stadium until 2006, and Anschutz Entertainment Group operated the stadium from 2007 through 2010. In 2012, the State exercised a provision in their contract with Bushnell Management Services ending their contract 2 years early and putting it out to bid with the XL Center.[11] In February 2013, Global Spectrum of Philadelphia, was chosen to take over both the XL Center and Rentschler Field[12] with Ovations Food Services taking over all food and beverage operations.

On September 21, 2013, UConn hosted the Michigan Wolverines and had a record attendance of 42,704. Over 2,000 temporary seats were added to the venue on either side of the scoreboard to accommodate the 5,000 visiting seating allotment that UConn agreed to give Michigan.[citation needed] The Huskies lost 24-21 to the Wolverines that game.

On August 14, 2014, it was announced that Rentschler Field would host the United States Men's National Soccer Team's first international home game after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, on October 10th against Ecuador.[13] This will also be Landon Donovan's last game for the National Team.

Hartford Colonials[edit]

The Hartford Colonials were a United Football League team that played their home games at Rentschler Field. During their (2010 UFL season), the Colonials played all four home games at Rentschler, after having played one there the previous season while they were known as the New York Sentinels. Attendance at Colonials games averaged a consistent 15,000 people, third place in the five-team league behind Omaha and Sacramento. The UFL suspended the Colonials franchise in 2011, in part because of the high rent the stadium charged; the franchise was officially terminated when the team's former owner (Bill Mayer) was named as the new owner of a different franchise.

Whalers Hockey Fest[edit]

From February 11–20, 2011, the stadium hosted the Whalers Hockey Fest 2011. A hockey rink was constructed on the field much like is done for the annual NHL Winter Classic. Events included a Hartford Whalers Alumni vs. Boston Bruins Alumni game, a double-header featuring both UConn men's and women's hockey teams, a Hockey Legends team faced off against the Mystery, Alaska Hollywood team,[14] and the second edition of the American Hockey League Outdoor Classic between the host Connecticut Whale and the Providence Bruins. Over 15,000 fans came out to watch the so-called "Whale Bowl", while over 1,700 attended the UConn men's game.

2008
2008
Rentschler Field scoreboard in 2010

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doyle, Paul (July 17, 2013). "Global Spectrum Pleased With Its First Event At Rentschler". Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ UConn Football Game notes vs. Buffalo (pg. 6) UConnHuskies.com
  3. ^ Associated Press (October 21, 2000). "Ground Broken on UConn Stadium". Record-Journal (Meriden, CT). Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "Rentschler Field Division I Football Stadium". BVH Integrated Services. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Rentschler Stadium". Diversified Technology Consultants. Archived from the original on September 5, 2004. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ Sedlak, Melissa (September 1, 2003). "Sales Records Fall at UConn Stadium". SportsBusiness Journal. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rentschler Stadium Parking Request for Qualifications". Global Spectrum LP. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ Sturdivant, Matthew (August 30, 2012). "Rentschler Field Operating at a Loss; Officials Hope for More Events". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Doyle, Paul (June 22, 2011). "Hartford Colonials Calling Rentschler Home Again". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ Jacobs, Jeff (February 3, 2013). "Secrecy On XL Center, Rentschler Plans Isn't Helping Matters". Hartford Courant. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  12. ^ Gosselin, Kenneth R. (February 7, 2013). "Philadelphia Group Picked To Run XL Center, Rentschler Field". Hartford Courant. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/us-to-face-ecuador-on-oct-10-in-connecticut/2014/08/14/7e363672-23f8-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_story.html
  14. ^ http://www.salon.com/wires/sports/06/02/D9G3C6TO0_hkn_hartford_hockey/index.html

External links[edit]