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Hartford Athletic hires Powell to lead business operations

BY Joe Cooper

8/7/2018
PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Donovan Powell has been named the chief operating officer for the Hartford Athletic.
Hartford Athletic, the Capital City's new pro soccer team, has tapped Donovan Powell to oversee the club's daily business operations.

The Athletic on Monday announced Powell as the club's chief operating officer reporting to Hartford Sports Group (HSG) CEO and Chairman Bruce Mandell, which leads the investor group that also includes Joseph Calafiore Jr. and Scott Schooley.

Powell recently served as general manager of sports properties for Detroit City FC, part of the lower-tier National Premier Soccer League. He was the club's first full-time employee leading their business operations.

Under his leadership, the club's average game attendance rose by more than 200 percent to 6,000 fans a game last year, the Athletic said.

Powell says he sees similar opportunity for growth in Hartford, where a major renovation at historic Dillon Stadium will begin soon.

"I'm excited to be joining Hartford Athletic as we build the club from the ground up," he said. "There is so much potential in the Hartford market, and I see a lot of similarities to the success we saw in Detroit."

Powell earned a master's degree from Drexel University in sports management and a bachelor's from Bowling Green State University in philosophy. He served in the U.S. Marines on active duty in Iraq from 2002 to 2006.

Powell is among a growing staff of more than a half dozen Athletic employees that is expected to reach up to 24 by November, team officials have said.

HSG plans to hire a head coach and technical director in the coming weeks. The two roles may serve under one position, the team has said.

The club has secured more than 1,000 season ticket commitments at the soon-to-be 6,000-seat Dillon Stadium, which will undergo a major renovation overseen by the Capital Region Development Authority. The stadium overhaul will be financed by $10 million from the state Bond Commission for an artificial turf field and other upgrades to nearby Colt Park.