Dillon Stadium

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Dillon Stadium
Location Hartford, CT 06106
Coordinates 41°45′14″N 72°39′40″W / 41.7538°N 72.6611°W / 41.7538; -72.6611Coordinates: 41°45′14″N 72°39′40″W / 41.7538°N 72.6611°W / 41.7538; -72.6611
Operator City of Hartford
Capacity 9,600
Surface Seeded grass
Tenants
Hartford Bicentennials
(NASL) 1975–76
New England Nightmare
(WFA) 2010-2012

Dillon Stadium is a multipurpose facility in Hartford, Connecticut, with a capacity of 9,600. It has been host to concerts and sporting events. It is currently the home of the New England Nightmare of the Women's Football Alliance (WFA).[1]

Sports[edit]

Founded by football coach John Dillon, Dillon Stadium was the home of two minor league football teams in the 1960s and 70s: the Hartford Charter Oaks of the Atlantic Coast Football League and Continental Football League, owned by the Brewer family, and the Hartford Knights, also of the ACFL. Dillon is now used primarily for high school football teams, including the Bulkeley Bulldogs, the Sport Medical Tigers, the Prince Tech Falcons, and the Capitol Prep Trailblazers. Dillon also hosts the annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Game between Hartford Public Owls and the Weaver Beavers. Lights were added in 1964 to accommodate the Oaks. The stadium also hosted occasional club-level college football games hosted by the University of Hartford.

In 1975, the Hartford Bicentennials soccer team joined the North American Soccer League and played their home matches at Dillon Stadium. After two seasons in Hartford (and drawing less than 4,000 fans a game), the club moved to the Yale Bowl in New Haven in 1977.

The Hartford Colonials of the United Football League, in part because of a change of management at Rentschler Field, experienced significant delays in renewing their lease for the 2011 season and had backup plans to relocate to Dillon Stadium (or Willow Brook Park), although neither venue was believed to be ideal for the UFL.[2] The Colonials did sign a deal with Rentschler in June, but suspended operations on August 10, 2011; the league later folded it outright.

Hartford City FC, a projected indoor soccer franchise that also hoped to compete in the outdoor North American Soccer League, announced plans to reconstruct Dillon Stadium to create a 15,000 seat soccer-only stadium for the 2017 season. However, the city ended the project in October 2015 over financial and legal concerns with the club's ownership group.

Concerts[edit]

On June 27, 1966, The Rolling Stones played in Dillon Stadium, supported by The McCoys (with their up-and-coming guitarist, Rick Derringer). Near the end of the Stones' performance, fans rushed the stage, so electricity to the amplifiers was cut. Mick Jagger threw his microphone stand out into the crowd and the Stones then left the venue, as fans began breaking chairs. Police gathered the crowd towards the exits.

The Beach Boys performed there in 1972 and again in 1973.[3]

On July 16, 1972, the Grateful Dead played in Dillon Stadium and were joined on stage by Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley and Jai Johanny Johanson of the Allman Brothers. Their July 31, 1974 performance at the field was released as an album titled Dave's Picks Volume 2. [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Menard, Vonda. "New England NightMare Football Season Opener". The Courant. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ Doyle, Paul (2011-06-09). Hartford Colonials Announce 2011 Schedule; Still Seek Home Field Agreement. Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Grateful Dead Set Lists

External links[edit]