Professional soccer is coming to Connecticut year-round, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have learned.
Professional Sports Management Group is bringing professional soccer to the state and Hartford City FC will play both indoors and outdoors.
Mitch Anderson and the management team said Hartford City FC will play year-round.
The larger goal is to bring a high level professional team to the capital city. The ownership group is vying for an expansion franchise in the North American Soccer League, which is one step below Major League Soccer. The NASL's marquee franchise is the New York Cosmos and has teams in markets such as Miami, Minneapolis and Tampa.
"Connecticut deserves professional soccer. we've known it for years," Anderson said.
The team has signed a deal to play in the Major Arena Soccer League indoors at the XL Center starting in November.
"With diverse international community in the Hartford area, professional soccer here will be highly supported," team owner James Duckett said.
About a dozen indoor soccer games will be coming to Hartford to complement professional and college hockey, as well as UConn basketball games in downtown Hartford.
"We feel that in the indoor is a good montior and benchmark for us to start," Anderson said.
Connecticut's team would begin play in 2017 in a brand new 15,000-seat soccer outdoor venue in the South End of the city.
"It's a great opportunity for us to build something that the City of Hartford and State of Connecticut will be proud of," Anderson said.
There is a request for proposal to demolish Dillon Stadium in the Coltsville section of the city, with plans to build a state-of-the-art soccer stadium for a high-level pro team starting likely in 2017.
Duckett believes Hartford is the ideal place for pro soccer, but said the team has an opportunity to give back to the city, as well.
"I have a vision of creating something for the kids, creating something for the comminuty and bringing hartford back to life again," Duckett said.
Duckett and Anderson said they're planning to fund the construction with private money. The group has plans to host several international matches every year, as well, with an eye toward bringing in teams that will resonate with the various ethnic communities in and around Hartford.