Yes, that is an NFL stadium pictured in the Downtown North neighborhood of Hartford. Not the one New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft said he was bringing his team to in 1998, (that was over in Adriaen’s Landing) but rather a coliseum inspired football field to host the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Raiders or any team that wanted to move Connecticut’s capital city.
In a Face the State flashback that aired in October of 2011, we took you back to 1994, when The L.A. Rams were looking for a new home, and Hartford was very much in the running, along with St. Louis and Baltimore. St. Louis was the winner.
The talks with the Rams were serious, according to then Governor Lowell Weicker, who told the team a stadium would be built just north of I-84 in Hartford.
How serious? NFL great Walter Payton flew to Hartford to meet with Weicker about it, wowing everybody when he walked through the State Capitol. Sweetness would have been a part owner of the team along with author Tom Clancy, actor Tom Selleck and the legendary Paul Newman of Westport, who wanted the NFL in his home state.
The star studded group had also been interested in buying the Patriots and moving them here, but when that fell through in early 1994, they looked at the Rams, who were tired of Southern California.
Before you laugh, keep in mind Hartford is the biggest television market in the country without a major league sports team. The metro Hartford area has a desirable base of potential affluent fans, that made it attractive to team owners. Remember how quickly Patriots season tickets sold when that move was announced?
You can watch the entire flashback that aired on Face the State, in October of 2011 right here: http://www.wfsb.com/clip/12137531/when-the-los-angeles-rams-thought-about-moving-to-hartford
Categories: Connecticut history