Hartford Athletic Plays First-Ever Playoff Game

NBC Connecticut

Hartford Athletic is playing their first-ever playoff game against St. Louis FC.

"We're so proud of this team, so proud of what they've built and accomplished in such a short period of time," Mayor Luke Bronin said.

Dillon Stadium will be open to 40% capacity for tonight's game, according to Bronin.

"The state's requirements would have allowed it up to 50, but at the local level, we dropped that down to 40%," Bronin said.

"We're able to get up to 40% and I think it's going to sound like 140% tonight," Hartford Athletic Chairman Brue Mandell said.

Fire officials will be at the game to help enforce social distancing, Bronin said.

All attendees must wear masks and social distance within the stadium.

Mandell said he and the team are especially grateful for the support of fans during the changes put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"To our twelfth man, as they call it in soccer, our fans and our supporters, who've supported us through this really challenging time, for everybody here in the state of Connecticut and the city of Hartford, they've been incredible. And tonight, once again, we're gonna show that we can come together as a city and as a state and enjoy some fantastic professional soccer and get a win," Mandell said.

The Hartford Athletic chairman and Mayor Luke Bronin held a press conference earlier Saturday.

"Because of what they've done, I get to put on this Hartford Athletic 2020 playoff hat and celebrate everything they've built so far and cheer them on to a great victory, we hope, tonight," Bronin said.

"For an outdoor venue with those precautions in place, we feel comfortable about the measures we've taken together with the Hartford Athletic just as we have throughout this season here and we're looking forward to a great game on a beautiful night," Bronin continued.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m.

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