Dillon Stadium is a monument to the political corruption and ruling class capitalism crushing Connecticut.

Accountability in Public Service

We must demand accountability and integrity from public officials to end political corruption and restore public trust.

Build Community Wealth

Public projects must focus on building community ownership to achieve equitable, multigenerational prosperity.

Dismantling Racism

We must reconstruct our public institutions to more accurately reflect the demographics of the people they serve to ensure diverse and inclusive leadership.

THE STORY
Stadiums and their teams are an expression of a community’s values and cultural spirit.

The worst models exploit communities and feed oppressive power by allowing them to monopolize revenue streams and stand as the exclusive gatekeeper to a city’s biggest stage.

The best stadiums are designed to build multigenerational prosperity and civic pride for entire cities, states, and regions.
Saving Dillon exposes Hartford’s selfish ruling class as they shamelessly exploit the people of Hartford and deepen the socioeconomic divide of our region.

Dillon Stadium is an extraordinary story of Corruption, Cover-Up, and Exploitation.

In the Fall of 2017, the City of Hartford and the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) launched a public bid for plans to rebuild and manage Dillon Stadium, an anchor of Colt Park.

After discovering shady irregularities in their process, we made a formal complaint with our evidence. The State Contracting Standards Board (SCSB) then launched an independent investigation. After an 18 month long investigation, they published their final report confirming our suspicions calling the process “convoluted” and a “charade.”

Evidence proved the City of Hartford, CRDA, and Hartford Athletic secretly conspired to demolish the historic park to build a new private stadium with taxpayer’s money at least 7 months before the public bid was even announced. Their plan came with a $10,000,000 price tag and they devised a coordinated scheme to trick taxpayers into paying the bill.
The truth is Dillon Stadium was built as a reward for well-connected political allies.

Once we learned the entire plan was predetermined, we understood the public bidding process was a manufactured sham, public participation was a waste of everyone’s time, every statement from the City of Hartford or the State of Connecticut was dishonest, and every public dollar spent was stolen from working people.

Hartford Athletic is the product of premeditated fraud and exists as a gross vanity project of entitled capitalists and political corruption that should not represent our community and our values.

THE CORRUPTION
2018 TO PRESENT

Luke Bronin
City of Hartford

Mike Freimuth
State of Connecticut
Bruce Mandell
Hartford Athletic
THE COVER UP

“Attorney General’s Office Refuses to Investigate Dillon Stadium Deal But Questions Remain.”

“The evidence implies that the deal between CRDA and Bruce Mandell’s group was already set before the formal request for proposals was ever issued in September of 2017, that the project would be paid for using a bond from the state, and that the City of Hartford and CRDA were aware that the cost of the project would run beyond the $10 million estimate early on in the process.”
This is naked corruption and the theft of $10,000,000 of taxpayers money.

But Attorney General William Tong refuses to investigate.

This is a massive failure to protect taxpayer’s money and the trust in our government.

Is William Tong covering up a major scandal to protect his political allies and private donors?

William Tong
Attorney General

THE EXPLOITATION

Understanding Ruling Class Capitalism

“Dillon Stadium is part of Hartford’s long history of projects gone off the rails due to self-interest and political patronage.”
Civic Mind, December 2017 Hartford Courant
“Take A Closer Look At Dillon Stadium Plans”
Public Interest Advocacy
Hartford’s oppressive political and socioeconomic culture is the origin of Dillon Stadium’s continued failure and our state’s reputation of “Corrupticut.”

Dillon Stadium stands as a monument to ruling class oppression and the extraction of community wealth from our city.

LEGAL ADVOCACY
Dillon Stadium is an important cultural asset that should be recognized as a public park and school infrastructure.
The goal of all of our action is to return this public venue to the people of Hartford as a driver of multigenerational prosperity.
Hartford Sports Group must be removed as the manager of Dillon Stadium and a new plan for the non-profit operation of Dillon Stadium must be implemented for the purpose of providing equitable access to high quality facilities and programming and to build community wealth.

We will continue to expose the political and financial corruption of the Bronin Administration and the Capital Region Development Authority.

Our track record
“There are serious issues surrounding the City of Hartford’s ability and commitment to execute a project of this magnitude….or if they possess the professional integrity to engage or partner with a private company without risking serious financial losses.”
Civic Mind, July 2014
2014 TO 2018
Mitch Anderson
Premier Sports Group

“With Soccer Dreams Shattered, Mitchell Anderson To Be Sentenced For Dillon Stadium Fraud.”

“History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.”
2014 to 2018
2018 to Present
SUPPORT

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THE FUTURE

A Stadium for Public Benefit

Dillon Stadium can be revitalized as a space for both public play and private enterprise, but the development must not be guided by selfish, capitalist ambitions, or political patronage.
We believe the process is just as important as the outcome. A deliberative, transparent community-driven development process can effectively serve to rebuild trust and confidence between the City of Hartford, its residents, and regional stakeholders

Fundamental to our plan is understanding the purpose of the project as Community Development rather than Economic Development. The difference between these two approaches is how we measure success.

In community development, public participation and community governance make democratic decisions about the venue with the goal of equitable distribution of wealth and power. Community development provides lasting, sustainable change driven by local residents.

The Wrong Way (Today)

• The venue is designed and operated privately for corporate profit.

• A single corporate enterprise monopolizes revenue and dictates the future of the venue.

• A public asset and community programming subsidizes an unsustainable team and its corporate losses.

• The stadium effectively exists as a private venue for one team.

The Right Way (Tomorrow)

• Dillon Stadium is recognized as a public park and school infrastructure.
• Civic Mind will grow Dillon Stadium as a non-profit organization and reinvest profits in stadium upgrades and community programming.
• All for-profit teams will be rent paying tenants with revenue sharing based on attendance.

• Dillon Stadium serves as a regional asset by providing equitable access to a high quality facility.

THE BOOK

Saving Dillon: A Fight Against The White Supremacy Culture Building American Sports Infrastructure

by Thomas Clynch
Foreword by Steven Hernández, Esq.

Saving Dillon: A Fight Against The White Supremacy Culture Building American Sports Infrastructure explains the socioeconomic conditions that allow for politically corrupt, financially reckless, and morally bankrupt stadium developments and their oppressive societal ramifications.

The book is based on Thomas Clynch’s tenacious public advocacy for the equitable redevelopment of Dillon Stadium, a historic public park in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. Saving Dillon chronicles the nefarious attempts to revive the community stadium with a critical analysis of the misguided motivations of aspiring politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, and selfish private interests.

Clynch provides a comprehensive case study of Dillon Stadium’s local consequences as the characteristics of white supremacy culture reveal themselves as the root cause of Hartford’s socioeconomic and cultural oppression. He then applies Hartford’s experience nationally to expose a systemic business model applied by ruling class capitalists to extract community wealth and exert powerful influence through America’s sports infrastructure.

Saving Dillon offers a transformative vision and clarity of purpose to reimagine our sports infrastructure in pursuit of cultural liberation, community wealth building, and a more equitable future for America.

Thomas Clynch

Founder

2021 David B. Walker Award
“…recognizing a tireless dedication to public service.”
Thomas founded Civic Mind in 2011 as the political and economic climate of the “Great Recession” created a market in demand of social impact through community organization, creativity, and collaboration.

His blend of social entrepreneurship and public interest advocacy has made him a recognized leader in community wealth building and socioeconomic justice in Connecticut.

University of Connecticut
Master of Public Administration, Fellows Program

University of Pennsylvania
School of Social Policy and Practice, Social Impact Strategy

Yale University
School of Public Health, Climate Change and Health

Stanford Social Innovation Review
Design Thinking for the Social Sector

Westfield State University
Bachelor of Science, Business Management

Vice Chairman
Connecticut Sustainable Business Council

Senior Public Policy Fellow
State of Connecticut’s Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity (CWCSEO)

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