EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - When the University of Connecticut football team opens its season on Thursday, Sept. 3 against Villanova, the teams will play in a stadium with a fresh new name: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.
Pratt & Whitney President Paul Adams and UConn President Susan Herbst announced the name change on Thursday, during a groundbreaking ceremony for Pratt & Whitney’s new 425,000-square-foot global headquarters and engineering building on the company’s East Hartford, Conn. campus, within sight of the stadium. Pratt & Whitney is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (UTC).
"Pratt & Whitney is proud of its long-standing and successful partnership with the state's flagship university," Adams said. "We consider UConn an ideal partner to ensure we have a strong pipeline of talented professionals to join our ranks in the future. There's no better time to rename the stadium than as part of Pratt & Whitney's 90th anniversary celebration, especially as we begin to construct our new headquarters and engineering building that will sit just a few hundred yards from Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field."
As part of the stadium agreement, UTC will contribute 10 acres of land to the state of Connecticut for additional stadium parking. UTC also will provide an easement for the use of an additional 15 acres adjacent to existing stadium parking, further expanding the parking available to UConn fans. In return, UTC’s stadium naming rights will be extended through 2030. Since its opening, the stadium has been known simply as Rentschler Field.
Herbst welcomed the announcement as the next step in the long-standing partnership between UConn, Pratt & Whitney, and UTC, saying: “We are extremely proud that our team will compete in a stadium named for a global company that is both at the leading edge of innovation and committed to supporting the education of the next generation of scientists and engineers.
“Pratt & Whitney and UTC have been strong supporters of UConn for decades. Their support has made us a better university and has helped us better prepare our graduates to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace,” Herbst added.
UTC originally received stadium naming rights through 2018 as part of a 2000 agreement that provided the state with 75 acres to build the stadium, which opened in 2003. The land had previously served Pratt & Whitney as part of Rentschler Field airport from 1933 to 1999. With today's announcement, UTC has transferred more than 150 acres of the former Rentschler Field airport to the state for the stadium and associated parking.
The University of Connecticut football team is the primary tenant of Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. The stadium is owned by the State of Connecticut, with the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management overseeing operations. Spectra Inc. manages the stadium.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries.