BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Joe Ganim built the Ballpark at Harbor Yard and brought the Bluefish baseball team to Bridgeport during his first administration.
Twenty years later, the returned mayor and his staff have decided it is time to begin a new era at the venue. Baseball is out, live concerts are in.
Developer Howard Saffan on Monday night revealed — and the mayor’s office later confirmed — that his and concert promoter Live Nation’s competing proposal to turn the 20-year-old Harbor Yard ballpark into a warm-weather amphitheater was selected by City Hall over a new contract with the Bluefish.
Saffan contacted Hearst Connecticut Media soon after Hearst published an online story earlier Monday suggesting Ganim had chosen the amphitheater over baseball.
“This is going to be a great project for the city,” Saffan said in a brief phone interview.
He promised 29 concerts annually in a season running from May to October, and eventually hoped to include other events, from beer festivals to graduations. The amphitheater will open in spring 2019, Saffan said.
What that will mean for the neighboring Webster Bank Arena, an indoor music, sports and entertainment venue, remains to be seen. Saffan, of Weston, is certainly familiar with Harbor Yard and the arena — he was president of the Sound Tigers, who play hockey in the arena, from 2005 until 2015.
In the statement released by the city, Live Nation’s Jim Koplik said Harbor Yard will be “a great boutique amphitheater.”
Saffan said he and Live Nation will pay for $15 million worth of…
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