HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration, working in collaboration with Spectra Venue Management services, has reached an agreement with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC to play its home games this season at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
The club’s first home game in East Hartford will be held on Sunday, September 27, when it hosts Columbus Crew SC. Major League Soccer is in the process of finalizing travel protocols for the remainder of the regular season, and additional matches are anticipated to be announced soon.
“Pratt & Whitney Stadium is an ideal location for professional soccer, and I am excited that we’ve reached an agreement with Toronto FC to have the club play their home games here,” Governor Lamont said. “Our state is filled with thousands of MLS fans who no doubt will be excited by this news. I thank Toronto FC’s management team for working with my administration to finalize this agreement, and we look forward to having the Reds in Connecticut.”
“Our state has worked incredibly hard to get our economy moving during this pandemic, and seeing a professional sports franchise like Toronto FC select the Hartford region as its home sure is validation that our strategy has worked,” Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman said. “We are proud to be the temporary home for our newfound Canadian partner.”
“While we continue to work with government officials on our travel protocols, it is important to the club to have our own home away from home during this next phase,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said. “The State of Connecticut opened their arms for us and my compliments to David Lehman and Governor Lamont for their leadership here. Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field is a great venue. They’ve hosted a number of international games and we’re excited to play there.”
“We felt that it was important to have a surrogate home field that had similarities to BMO Field, in dimension, surface characteristics, and field quality,” Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis said. “Also, from a competitive standpoint, a priority was to have our own home field. While playing at BMO Field is always our preferred and ideal option, we think the East Hartford location is the best available option for this next phase.”
Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, the home to the University of Connecticut’s NCAA Division I football team, has hosted a number of United States Men’s and Women’s National team games through the years. The pitch is Kentucky Blue Grass with dimensions of 115 by 75 yards.