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Connecticut pro soccer team chooses Bradenton for training home

The area is now the Hartford Athletic's spring training home.

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  • | 2:24 p.m. December 6, 2022
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Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau struck up the new partnership during the World Cup match between the U.S. and Iran. (Courtesy photo)
Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau struck up the new partnership during the World Cup match between the U.S. and Iran. (Courtesy photo)
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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While soccer players and fans across the world have been celebrating the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has scored a new partnership with Connecticut’s professional soccer team, Hartford Athletic. 

During a World Cup watch party for the match between the U.S. and Iran on Nov. 29, the two entities announced that the Bradenton area would be the official spring training home for the Hartford Athletic in the coming year. 

The team will have access to train on BACVB’s 23 FIFA-regulation-sized soccer fields at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch. The campus also features a stadium that seats over 3,000 with scoreboards and a press box, according to a statement. 

Additionally, the team’s jersey sleeves will sport the visitors bureau logo on both home and away uniforms. The logo will also appear on marketing and advertising materials in the Hartford, Conn. area. 

Elliott Falcione, executive director of the BACVB, says in the release that the partnership strengthens the ties between the Hartford and Bradenton areas. Less than a year ago, Breeze Airways added a nonstop flight to Hartford through the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. 

“We’re thrilled to announce this new partnership with the Hartford Athletic,” Falcione says. “We think the athletes are going to enjoy training in the Bradenton Area during a perfect time of year and we feel in our hearts that they will come back for many years to come. 

“The fans are going to have new reasons to visit the Bradenton Area and they’ll discover the quick, easy ways to get here with more travel options than ever. And maybe best of all, we’re giving Bradenton Area residents a new way to connect with professional soccer that has become as popular in the U.S. as it is around the world.” 

The Athletic is positioned in the eastern conference of the USL Championship, which is the second-highest level in the country’s soccer league system.


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