- Mayor Luke Bronin, City of Hartford
- United States of America
In October 2017, the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) issued a request for proposals on behalf of the City of Hartford to redevelop and manage Dillon Stadium. CRDA offered just one month to submit proposals; a "public" forum was held at the Convention Center with only six days notice -- limiting community participation and avoiding public scrutiny.
On December 1, CRDA recommended Mayor Luke Bronin accept Hartford Sports Group's proposal to renovate the stadium for use by a new semi-pro soccer team.
Hartford Sports Group, led by Bruce Mandell, envisions Dillon Stadium as a private enterprise designed for one user group: their soccer team. Mandell will invest his own money ONLY in building the USL team; he expects city and state taxpayers to pick up the $6 to 10.7 MILLION tab to upgrade the stadium to his specifications.
Dillon Stadium is an anchor of Colt Park and the Coltsville neighborhood; the Hartford community owns this property. It should be developed for use by city residents and the people of Greater Hartford before giving it away to a private venture. Despite its embarrassing state of disrepair, Dillon Stadium is still used by Hartford students and local residents -- they should have a say in its redesign.
Let's instead invest our resources in building a public park for everyone to use and build community wealth, not individual profit. We must build Dillon Stadium together so that it works for “we” first, not “me” first.
As a concerned citizen, I believe there needs to be more public debate about the future of Dillon Stadium. Dillon Stadium is a public park and important neighborhood asset; we should build it together with the community as the top priority.
Before accepting Hartford Sports Group's proposal, Hartford city officials should host meaningful public forums to get feedback from the community and determine the best outcomes for the people of Hartford.
The Demand Public Forum for Dillon Stadium Redevelopment petition to Mayor Luke Bronin, City of Hartford was written by Civic Mind and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.