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Danbury Sports Dome Eagerly Awaited, Opens

The Danbury Sports Dome is open for business, offering fields for soccer, lacrosse, softball, track, pole vaulting, football and other sports.

The Danbury Sports Dome has an area set aside for wrestling, one of the Danbury High School's premier sports.
The Danbury Sports Dome has an area set aside for wrestling, one of the Danbury High School's premier sports.
Sports teams were expecting to play at the Danbury Sports Dome in the 2012-2013 winter season but construction issues and red tape pushed back that opening about eight months.

"We played last winter in Trumbull. We're so looking forward to avoiding that drive," said Tracy Mitchell-Brown of Danbury's Western Connecticut Youth Sports. The organization is setting up a seven-on-seven tackle football program for the winter at the Danbury Sports Dome, and is hoping to expand that to soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, flag football and track as the year progresses. "We're trying to schedule it for an off-time, when the kids don't have other things to do."

Danbury's Western Connecticut Youth Sports will hold registration for the football program in September, but expects to offer demonstration games at the Dome's official Grand Opening in mid-August.

Beast Training Wrestling Club is looking forward to helping Danbury High School wrestlers and wrestlers from other towns ramp up their game.

"There's always a need for another level of off-season training," said Fred Mills, a former Danbury High School wrestling coach, who said the Danbury Sports Dome is providing something Danbury needed. "I've been coaching for 13 years, and the whole state of Connecticut, the coaches, say we've gotten so much better in the last 10 years."

Mills said better wrestling is taking place in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. The Danbury facility puts the club's wrestlers in a position to compete in those states.

"We do beat most teams in Connecticut," Mills said. "Competing in Pennsylvania is an opportunity for us to eat some humble pie."

Andy Acocella, manager of the Rockets, a fast-pitch girls softball team, said the Dome is needed for the Danbury area. 

"The dome is so big, we have the ability to play two full-sized games at the same time," Acocella said. "The area has needed a facility like this for a long time."

Kirk Bamford, director of the Danbury Sports Dome, said the Dome will hold its grand opening to introduce the community to the dome sometime in mid-August. The dome is located at 25 Shelter Rock Lane. It is too large to miss. Bamford is a soccer coach and a manager at sports facilities in Westchester County. He grew up in Manchester, England, and is a fan of the Manchester City team, not the better marketed Manchester United.

"We're going to do pole vaulting camps," said Marty Ogden of The Academy Camps of Brookfield. He said Bamford and the Dome staff are working with the Academy Camps to create an indoor pole vaulting training and practice area. "They're remodeling part of the facility for us."

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