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. It holds 40,000 people and can be expanded. 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.

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 stadium hosts major concerts (such as Bruce Springsteen, the first artist to play the stadium, in 2003, The Rolling Stones in 2005 and The Police in 2007), 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 Anschutz Entertainment Group, which replaced Madison Square Garden, L.P. as operators for the 2007 season.


Hartford Colonials

The Hartford Colonials are a United Football League team that play their home games at Rentschler Field. During their (2010 UFL season), the Colonials played all four home games at Rentschler. Attendance at Colonials games averaged a consistent 15,000 people, third place in the five-team league behind Omaha and Sacramento. Because of a much-delayed rent payment, Rentschler Field has not renewed its agreement with the UFL for 2011, which could force the team to move to another stadium in the area such as Willow Brook Park or Dillon Stadium.


Whalers Hockey Fest

From February 11â20, 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, and the second edition of the American Hockey League Outdoor Classic between the host Connecticut Whale and the Providence Bruins.


 

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