HARTFORD, Conn — The Hartford Athletic are kicking off their season with fans in the stands. It’s the first professional game in Capitol city with a crowd since the summer.
It just feels really good to get a sense of normal," said Chris May.
The banging of the drums, lines at the concessions, and fans in the stands. A sense of normalcy for some that haven’t been felt in a long time.
"It’s just amazing that you can come out to a game, have a couple of beers, watch some quality. It’s very nice," said Steve Flynn.
For May, the return to Dillon Stadium also comes with a first. It’s his daughter Clara’s first soccer game. The team scarves wrapped around their necks picked out by her.
"I’m excited and I think I’ll really like it," said Clara May.
The Hartford Athletic welcomed a 50% capacity crowd into their friendly with the New England Revolution. It’s the largest capacity crowd they have had since the pandemic began.
"We are thrilled to be coming back this year," said Athletic CEO Jim Burda. "I’m really hoping with that level of confidence that we can do it safely for our fans."
The team is increasing cleaning, sanitation, and upping security to enforce protocols at the games. They had no incidents of COVID-19 traced back to the stadium last season and hope to build on that success this year.
"I think the city and state are ready as are we," said Bruda.
The 50% capacity crowd is only temporary. On the Athletic's game on May 29th, they will welcome a full capacity crowd for the first time since the pandemic began.
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