BRIDGEPORT: Baseball is officially out at Harbor Yard, as the City Council has approved a plan by the Mayor Joe Ganim to convert the stadium to a concert venue. The council had near unanimous approval with an 18-2 vote in favor.
The council’s vote doesn’t guarantee clear sailing for the project, however. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers the American League Hockey team that plays next door to the stadium’s facility at the Webster Bank Arena says it has an agreement with the city to run concerts as well, and see a conflict with the new concerts, and is threatening legal action.
Councilors have taken the threat seriously in their agreement that it won’t assume any costs if the project is blocked.
The Sound Tigers is already in a bitter dispute with the City over costs at the Arena.
One local source indicated that Howard Saffan the developer of the project and previous executive at the Arena may have a non-compete with the hockey club as well.
The conversion to the 6000, seat Harbor Yard Amphitheater is expected to be completed before the 2019 outdoor concert season requires a $15 million investment. The costs are too be split between the city and Harbor Yard Amphitheater LLC, at partnership of Live Nation and Sazffan’s Shelton based SportsCenter of Connecticut. Live Nation is not expected to provide direct capital for the conversion to a concert venue. The partnership is responsible for the upkeep of the stadium going forward,
Live Nation expects to attract a “minimum” of twenty events per outdoor season. The city is expected to earn $3 per ticket or $150,000 in rent.