Bridgeport amphitheater gets new name ahead of reopening
The Harbor Yard Amphitheater in Bridgeport is no longer - the venue now has a new name ahead of its reopening.
For 20 years, it was known as the Ballpark at Harbor Yard - home to the Bridgeport Bluefish. But in 2017, the team made its final out, and the city announced plans to turn the stadium into a state-of-the-art amphitheater for concerts.
Live Nation signed on to book and promote events at the Harbor Yard Amphitheater. But typical construction delays and then the pandemic put things on hold - until Tuesday.
Project leaders announced the venue will now be called the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater, with the health system signing on as the title sponsor.
"Let's do it loudly and clearly - welcome, welcome, welcome to the city of Bridgeport," says Mayor Joe Ganim.
"This is a moment for hope. It's a moment for promise," says Jeffrey Flaks, Hartford HealthCare's president and CEO.
The news seemed to symbolize a shift in the fight against a virus that's stopped live music in its tracks, so it almost seemed fitting who got the naming rights.
"It's especially important to us because our business is essentially closed and Hartford HealthCare is helping open us up," says Jimmy Koplick, the president of Live Nation Connecticut and Upstate New York.
The hope is when that happens, it'll help revitalize downtown - something Hartford HeathCare is committed to.
"This is about strengthening the economic vitality in our region, and in a short period of time we're going to see concerts, graduations, health expos, community festivals and people coming back together in our community," says Flaks.
The theater is set to open on May 15, with 10 college graduations lined up.
As for when concerts will start, that's all subject to the governor and the state's COVID-19 restrictions - but venue officials are hoping for June.