HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Toronto FC has announced plans to move at least its next home game to Connecticut for the upcoming phase of the Major League Soccer season.
Toronto will host the Columbus Crew on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 40,000-seat Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
Major League Soccer is in the process of finalizing travel protocols for the remainder of the regular season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and additional matches in East Hartford are anticipated to be announced soon, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont's office said Friday.
“Pratt & Whitney Stadium is an ideal location for professional soccer, and I am excited that we’ve reached an agreement with Toronto FC to have the club play their home games here,” Lamont said. “Our state is filled with thousands of MLS fans who no doubt will be excited by this news."
The stadium, which serves as home for the University of Connecticut's football team, has hosted numerous international soccer matches, many involving the U.S. men's and women's national teams. It also served last year as a temporary home for Hartford Athletic of the USL Championship while that team's stadium was under construction.
“While we continue to work with government officials on our travel protocols, it is important to the club to have our own home away from home during this next phase,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said in a statement.
While travel between the U.S. and Canada has been restricted during the pandemic, travel within the United States also remains an issue. Ohio is currently on Connecticut's travel advisory list, which requires visitors from that state to spend 14 days in quarantine.
Lamont's office said the Columbus team is not expected to be subject to that quarantine because they plan to stay in the state for less than 24 hours.
It said there are no plans to allow fans at the game.