Some college football teams play in stadiums that put fans so close to the action that the spectators feel like they can reach out and touch the players. These stadiums are intimate and are part of what has made college football special.
Other stadiums are ultra-modern edifices that feature the latest in facilities such as luxurious
suites and spacious locker rooms.
The home of University of Connecticut football, Rentschler Field, happens to be both. The stadium is the newest and most modern college football stadium in the country.
Rentschler Field, located in East Hartford, opened on Aug. 30, 2003, as the Huskies defeated Big Ten Conference member Indiana, 34-10.
UConn has now played 19 games in the facility over the past three seasons and has posted an impressive 15-4 record at Rentschler Field. The six home wins there in 2004 set a UConn
The Huskies played before sellouts crowds in all six of their home games in 2005 with the Syracuse game televised live nationally by ESPN and the South Florida game marked UConn’s
first appearance on ABC Television.
The 2004 football season at Rentschler Field saw the Huskies play before sold out crowds of 40,000 in six of seven games with two of those contests televised nationally before a primetime
UConn sold 24,000 season tickets for football at Rentschler Field for the 2004 season and finished the season ranked 26th in the nation - and first in the BIG EAST ‹ in attendance
based on percentage of capacity.
The facility is the result of incredible teamwork and dedication between the state's Office of Policy and Management, the town of East Hartford, United Technologies Corporation and the
assistance from numerous public and private sector organizations. The result of this cooperation gives the people of Connecticut the opportunity to view college football at its highest level in a world-class facility.
The natural grass playing surface of Rentschler Field is 26 feet below grade at the stadium, which features stadium seating, outdoor chairback seating, fully enclosed club seats
and luxury suites.
The tower at Rentschler Field includes levels for suites, club seating and media/game management facilities.
There are 38 suites in the stadium and more than 600 seats in the club area, which also includes a 12,000-square foot function area, which is used by club patrons on gameday and is available for meetings and social events the remainder of the year.
The outdoor seating area of Rentschler Field includes nearly 4,000 chairback seats with the rest being bleacher seating. Rentschler Field is unique in the fact that it has handicap accessible seating on the field level.
The media facilities are some of the most modern in the country with seating for 125 media members in the main press area. There are also separate booths for television and radio broadcasts. That level also includes booths for coaching staffs, security, public address
announcer, scoreboard operation and other gameday facilities.
The concourses at Rentschler Field provide generous, open and barrier-free circulation for entering and exiting the facility. The concourse also provides easy access to various concession and novelty stands and restrooms.
The new stadium features state-of-the-art facilities for members of the UConn football team, including an incredible locker room area.
The main UConn locker room is 3,750 square feet and has space for 125 players. There is also a coaches locker room, equipment area and medical training rooms.
There is also a spacious visiting team locker room area with similar amenities.
The audio and video facilities at Rentschler Field are some of the most advanced in the country. The sound system is de-centralized with approximately 300 digital-quality speakers providing the audio.
The west end of the stadium features a scoreboard that has a 24-foot by 32-foot video replay screen.
All parking for the stadium is located within the footprint of the stadium site - which makes it unique for a college football facility. In total, there are 10,600 parking spaces at the
Rentschler Field site.
Rentschler Field features lighting with four towers in each corner of the stadium and a bank of lights on top of the press box.
Rentschler Field is a facility built for Connecticut, by Connecticut. Through a concerted effort, the stadium project far outpaced the state's requirements to help small, women and minority-owned companies grow with ongoing economic development. This means contractors and individuals that may never before have been able to benefit from projects of this scale helped build their skills, their companies and their careers while they help build their community.
The various East Hartford area non-profit groups that staffed the concession stands on game days are able to generate approximately $65,000 on an annual basis through their work at the games.
Rentschler Field is also the home of the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame, which is located on the southwest concourse.
The stadium was developed by the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management. The facility was designed by the architectural firm Ellerbe Becket and the construction manager
was Hunt/Gilbane joint venture. The primary tenant at Rentschler Field, which is
managed by Madison Square Garden, is the UConn football program.
In addition to UConn football, the stadium also played host to a pair of Bruce Springsteen concerts on Sept. 16 and 18, 2003 and a concert by the Rolling Stones on August 26, 2005.
It also serves as the home of the annual Governors' Cup High School All-Star game between Connecticut and Rhode Island.
International rugby matches have been played at Rentschler Field the past two summers and the facility is becoming a mainstay in soccer. An exhibition soccer game between the British teams of Liverpool and Glasgow Celtic was played on July 26, 2004; an exhibition women's soccer match between the United States and China on Aug. 1, 2004; and a men's World Cup qualifying match between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago was played on Aug. 17, 2005.
Rentschler Field is an important part of the broad economic development program that is now under way in the Hartford area. That strategy includes the Adriaen’s Landing Development, an expansion of Bradley International Airport, riverfront development in both Hartford and East Hartford and a revitalization project of the Hartford Civic Center ‹ the off-campus home of UConn men's and women's basketball. The new stadium adds to an array of top-shelf amenities located in the Hartford area.
UConn received the Governor’s Leadership Award in December of 2003 for its efforts in the first year of play at Rentschler Field. The annual award is given to an individual or group that had done an outstanding job in bringing together a wide spectrum of people and resources to bear on a significant development issue in Connecticut. UConn was cited for working hard to assure that Rentschler Field was a significant economic resource for the greater Hartford region and a point of pride for the high quality of life in the area that business leaders seek.
The 75-acre site for the stadium was donated by United Technologies and sits on a former airfield - Rentschler Field - which opened in 1931 and saw the likes of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. In addition to the donation of the land for the stadium, UTC is allowing another 100 acres of its land to be used for gameday parking.
There is a display on the history of the site as an airfield in the stadium.
The “original” Rentschler Field was dedicated on May 24, 1931. The company air field served as a base for experimental flight tests of airplanes, engines and propellers and was also used for servicing and overhauling engines. In later years the airfield was used for general aviation for United Aircraft Corporation ‹ now United Technologies Corporation. The field was de-commissioned as an active airport in the 1990s.
* Owner: State of Connecticut
* Economic Development: Connecticut Capital Economic Development Authority (CCEDA)
* Architects: Ellerbe Becket
* Construction Manager: Hunt/Gilbane Joint Venture
* Facility Manager: Madison Square Garden
* Primary Tenant: University of Connecticut Athletics (football)
* Budget: $91.2 million
* Stadium Footprint: 8.5 Acres
* Stadium Building: 595,596 square feet, including field and seats
* Seats: Approximately 40,000
* Total Site: 75 acres
* Site History: Pratt & Whitney airfield, named for Pratt & Whitney founder Frederick Rentschler and donated to the State of Connecticut by UTC in 1999.
* Location: Rentschler Field is located in East Hartford, CT and is served by several major routes, including Interstate 84, Interstate 384, Interstate 91, State Route 15, State Route 2, State Route 502 (Silver Lane) and State Route 517/US Route 5 (Main Street).
* Inaugural event: UConn vs. Indiana University football game, Saturday, August 30, 2003
* Construction completion: Summer 2003
* Upper and lower bowl foundations: Summer 2001
* Site improvements and utility construction: Spring/Summer 2001
* Bowl excavation: Spring 2001
* Stadium pre-load: Winter 2000-01
* Site excavation preparation: October 2000
* Airfield runway removal: October 2000
* Ceremonial Groundbreaking: October 20, 2000
* Environmental Impact Evaluation approved by OPM: September 18, 2000
* Environmental Impact Evaluation completed: August 12, 2000
* CT State Legislature approves Public Act 00-140 as Senate Bill 640, as amended by Senate Amendment A, setting Rentschler Field project into motion: May 2, 2000
Rentschler Field is centrally located in East Hartford, Connecticut off of Silver Lane. It is easily accessible from major highways I-84 and I-91.