History was made at Dillon Stadium as the Hartford Athletic hosted its first-ever playoff match.
Although the team lost to St. Louis FC, 1-0, those who were lucky enough to attend, ensured the home team had a home-field advantage.
It was the largest crowd of the season, nearly double that of any other match. Some fans waved flags while others stomped their feet in the aluminum bleachers creating an unmistakably raucous noise, enough to create an exciting playoff atmosphere.
“You hear the fans? It’s awesome man,” said Henry Jimenez of Hartford.
Dillon Stadium sold out, meaning nearly 2,200 people were in attendance.
“This is actually my first playoff game but I’m super excited,” said Angelica Kraska, who says she been to four games this year.
To make this a reality, many safety protocols were in place. Masks were mandatory and social distancing and traffic flow measures were also in place.
“Everyone is masked up. They’re cleaning down the handrails. Everyone’s being respectful, “said Joel Booker of South Windsor.
Some safety measures extended to the visiting team, from Missouri, as well.
“When they come in, they get put into their hotels. They are not to leave those hotels. So, they’re really bubbled,” explained Hartford Athletic Chairman Bruce Mandell.
The game ended with a loss but for those in attendance, it was definitely a victory. The ability to be together, cheering on the Hartford Athletic in the playoffs, in only its second year of existence.