Dodd Stadium is film backdrop

Rell275.jpg (Meaghan Davis)

By Connecticut Defenders | October 10, 2006 3:13 PM

NORWICH, Conn. -- Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell highlighted a list of state and local officials and representatives from ESPN and Bronx Productions as part of a joint ESPN/Connecticut Defenders press conference at Dodd Stadium today.

The press conference was held as a showcase for the state's new tax credits bill which went into effect July 1, 2006. Productions in the television and film industry receive a 30 percent tax credit for money spent in-state on goods, service and labor. Currently, filming is taking place at Dodd Stadium for the ESPN movie "The Bronx is Burning."

"We want to build an industry here, one that provides steady work; one that brings with it a host of other businesses that will take up permanent residence here; and an industry that can diversify and grow Connecticut's job base," Rell said. "Connecticut is ideally situated to draw on the talent and resources of New York, while offering a fresh set of locations and a generous tax incentive. We are home to some of the country's most well known writers, directors, producers and talent. The film industry makes sense for Connecticut."

On behalf of president and managing partner Lou DiBella, the Defenders also welcomed additional honored guests, including James A. Amann, Connecticut speaker of the house; Ron Semiao, senior vice president, programming for ESPN Original Entertainment; and Bill Johnson, producer of "The Bronx is Burning." Also on hand, from the state Finance Committee, were Sen. Eileen Daily and Rep. Cameron Staples; Edith Prague, Sen. for the 19th District; Melissa Olson, state rep., 46th Assembly District; Jack Malone, state rep., 47th Assembly District; Edwin Durso, executive vice president, administration at ESPN; and Jonathan Mahler, author of the book, "Ladies and Gentleman, the Bronx is Burning," on which the movie is based.

The press conference marked the fourth time Governor Rell has visited Dodd Stadium since 2004. Her first appearance was March 1, 2004, during a press conference to announce the "Welcome Home the Troops" from Iraq date. She was present for the welcoming on July 18. She was again at Dodd Stadium June 14, 2005, for the "Save Our Sub Base" rally.

Dodd Stadium will be used to simulate Major League fields, but especially Yankee Stadium. Other scenes have already been shot locally in New London and Waterford. The book is based on the summer of 1977 in New York City and the events of that year, including the Son of Sam serial killings, the mayoral race between Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo, and the pennant race and World Series championship for the New York Yankees.

The Defenders and City of Norwich reached an agreement with Bronx Productions, Inc. on Sept. 14 for temporary license of Dodd Stadium. The film is a co-production of ESPN Original Entertainment and Tollin/Robbins Productions and is slated to air in July 2007.

The Connecticut Defenders are the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and a member of the 12-team Eastern League and will host the 2007 Eastern League All-Star Game on July 11 at Dodd Stadium. Fans can purchase new team merchandise, individual game tickets, group outings, corporate picnics and skyboxes by visiting our website at or by calling (860) 887-7962.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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