BRIDGEPORT: Torpedoes or lawsuits be dammed that is the plan of Bridgeport’s Mayor Joe Ganim, and concert amphitheater developers Howard Saffan and Live Nation.
The group revealed plans for the $15 million concert Harbor Yard Amphitheater, a conversion of The Ballpark at Harbor Yard [Bridgeport Bluefish ballpark] in the face of a dispute over the right to hold the concerts.
Ganim in reference to the disagreement with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey team which assert their management contract with the city gives them an exclusive right to manage concerts at the Webster Bank Arena and precludes another promoter to run concerts next door at the amphitheater. The New York Islanders, owners of the Sound Tigers have threatened to remove the team from the city if an agreement between the parties isn’t reached over issues between the team and the city.
Ganim offered, “It’s going to move forward as fast as it can regardless of any of the other stuff.”
According to the promoters the fair weather facility [spring through fall season], will host as many as 50-75 events from concerts  to community fairs and serve 250,000 event goers per year.
The amphitheater will accommodate 5,500 people and have a large tensile roof to cover the seating area. The current baseball field will be covered with concrete and the stage will be set in “centerfield.”
The city is expected to pick up half the project’s cost and says the project will support more than 1200 full and part-time jobs..
The facility's interior is being designed by Mingolello & Associates Architects LLC of Shelton and the tensile roof by FTL Design and Engineering of New Yorl, NY. In addition to the covered stadium seating their will be 21 luxury suites and three VIP lounges.
General admission tickets are expected to be approximately $65 for concerts, with the city receiving $3 per ticket or a $150,000 annually.
Opening of the facility is planned for the spring of 2019 and a groundbreaking this spring.