Webster Bank Arena

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Webster Bank Arena
Bridgeport Arena
Harbor Yard Arena.PNG
2011 logo
Full name Webster Bank Arena
Former names Arena at Harbor Yard (2001–2011)
Location 600 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Coordinates 41°10′24″N 73°11′13″W / 41.17320°N 73.1870°W / 41.17320; -73.1870Coordinates: 41°10′24″N 73°11′13″W / 41.17320°N 73.1870°W / 41.17320; -73.1870
Broke ground October 19, 1999 (1999-10-19)
Opened October 10, 2001 (2001-10-10)
Owner City of Bridgeport
Operator Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Centerplate
Surface Multi-surface
Construction cost $56,278,684
($75 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect BBB Architects, Ltd.
Kasper Group Inc.
Structural engineer BVH Integrated Services, Inc.[2]
General contractor CR Klewin, Inc.[3]
Capacity Concerts: 10,000
Basketball: up to 9,000
Hockey: 8,525[4]
Public transit access Bridgeport station
Website www.websterbankarena.com
Tenants
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) (2001–present)
Fairfield Stags (MAAC) (2001–present)
Sacred Heart hockey (some games) (2010–present)

The Webster Bank Arena (formerly The Arena at Harbor Yard) is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena at 600 Main Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut, built alongside The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. The Arena opened on October 10, 2001 and is managed by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Centerplate. Webster Bank entered into a 10-year $3.5 million agreement with the City of Bridgeport for naming rights of the Arena on January 6, 2011.[5]

The Arena houses 33 executive suites, 1,300 club seats, 3 large hospitality suites, along with a wide concourses with ample guest amenities to bring all guests up close, and also a recently added Sony Jumbotron serving as a scoreboard which stands 30x16 ft., with six-millimeter pixels, and offers a Sony HD system to increase visibility.[6] In addition, the Webster Bank Arena offers Luxury boxes to corporate sponsors, which presently include; Mercedes-Benz of Bridgeport.[7]

The very first event at the Arena was a Bridgeport Sound Tigers game on October 10, 2001. The first act to come to the Arena was the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, opening at the venue on October 24, 2001 and the 1,000th event held at the Arena was a Fairfield Stags men's basketball game on January 30, 2010.[8]

The Arena attracts half a million visitors each year for a wide variety of exciting events, including concerts by world-famous musicians, entertainment spectaculars, professional sports, World Wrestling Entertainment events, special events, trade shows, conventions and more.

The Arena is home to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League and the Fairfield Stags men's and women's college basketball teams of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).[9]

College sports[edit]

Fairfield Stags basketball[edit]

Fairfield Stags basketball setup

The Arena at Harbor Yard is home to the Fairfield Stags men's and women's college basketball teams representing Fairfield University. Fairfield is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) where the Stags annually compete against perennial MAAC powers including the Iona Gaels, the 1995 and 2004 NCAA Tournament Cinderella Manhattan Jaspers, the Niagara Purple Eagles, and the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournament Cinderella Siena Saints. The Arena was the site of the men's two postseason appearances in the National Invitation Tournament. During the first round of the 2003 National Invitation Tournament, the Stags, led by the nation's blocked shots leader Deng Gai and Nick Delfico played the Boston College Eagles featuring future NBA players Troy Bell and Craig Smith. And during the second round of the 2011 National Invitation Tournament, the Stags, led by head coach Ed Cooley and Derek Needham played the Kent State Golden Flashes. In recent years, Fairfield has brought several perennial national college basketball powers to the Arena including the Georgetown Hoyas, Providence Friars and St. Joseph's Hawks.

Connecticut 6 Classic[edit]

The Arena at Harbor Yard hosted the inaugural Connecticut 6 Classic, a men's college basketball tripleheader featuring Connecticut six mid-major teams, on November 13, 2009.[10][11] The Sacred Heart Pioneers defeated the Yale Bulldogs 92–86 in the tip-off game of the night. The Fairfield Stags defeated the Central Connecticut Blue Devils 67–58 in game two, and the night concluded with the Quinnipiac Bobcats defeating the Hartford Hawks 85–74.[12]

MAAC basketball tournaments[edit]

2011 MAAC Tournament

The Arena and Fairfield University along with the City of Bridgeport and the Fairfield County Sports Commission have hosted the MAAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships two times. The MAAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships features all twenty of the league's teams competing for an automatic berth in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship and the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship.[13] In 2007, The Niagara Purple Eagles defeated the Siena Saints to win the 2007 MAAC Men's Basketball Championships and the Marist Red Foxes defeated the Iona Gaels to win the 2007 MAAC Women's Basketball Championship. And in 2011, the St. Peter's Peacocks defeated the Iona Gaels to win the 2011 MAAC Men's Basketball Championships and the Marist Red Foxes defeated the Loyola Greyhounds to win the 2011 MAAC Women's Basketball Championship.[13]

NCAA basketball tournaments[edit]

The Arena and Fairfield University along with the City of Bridgeport and the Fairfield County Sports Commission have brought the First and Second Rounds of NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship to the Arena three times since 2004.[14] The 2004 Tournament featured the Auburn Tigers, Connecticut Huskies, Penn Quakers and North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Auburn Tigers to win the 2004 Bridgeport Regional in route to winning the 2004 Tournament and being crowned National Champions. The 2006 Tournament featured the Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan State Spartans. The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Connecticut Huskies to win the 2006 Bridgeport Regional before advancing to the Final Four of the 2006 Tournament. And the 2008 Tournament featured the Connecticut Huskies, Cornell Big Red, Minnesota Gophers and Texas Longhorns. The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Texas Longhorns to win the 2008 Bridgeport Regional before advancing to the Final Four of the 2008 Tournament. The Arena will again be the site of the Bridgeport Subregional during the 2012 Tournament.

NCAA hockey tournaments[edit]

The Arena has joined Fairfield University and Yale University in co-hosting the East Regional of the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship three times. The 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament featured the Air Force Falcons, Michigan Wolverines, Vermont Catamounts and Yale Bulldogs.[15] The Vermont Catamounts won a dramatic double overtime game against the Air Force Falcons to win the East Regional and advance to the 2009 Frozen Four.[16] The 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament featured the Air Force Falcons, Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Union Dutchmen and Yale Bulldogs.[17] The eventual 2011 National Champion Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs upset the top seeded Yale Bulldogs to win the East Regional and advance to the 2011 Frozen Four.[18] In 2012, the Union Dutchmen defeated UMass Lowell Riverhawks to advance to the Frozen Four. The Arena hosted again in 2014.[19]

Park City SportsFest[edit]

In conjunction with Arena at Harbor Yard hosting the MAAC and NCAA basketball and hockey tournaments, the Park City SportsFest has become an annual tradition in Downtown Bridgeport. SportsFest is a free, multi-venue fan festival designed for family fun. SportsFest offers interactive and educational sports and fitness related activities for kids of all ages. At the same time, fans are invited to attend open practice sessions at the Arena, featuring each of the teams competing in the NCAA tournament events. During the SportsFest, the City of Bridgeport closes off a portion of Main Street from its intersection with State Street to the Arena in order to house the events. The SportsFest is organized by the Fairfield County Sports Commission and presented by People's United Bank.[20]

Professional sports[edit]

Bridgeport Sound Tigers[edit]

The Arena at Harbor Yard is home to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL) and the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Sound Tigers joined the AHL and began play at the Arena in 2001. The franchise's lease at the Arena at Harbor Yards runs through the 2021 season. During their inaugural season, the Sound Tigers won a division championship and made the Calder Cup Finals where they lost to the Chicago Wolves four games to one. The team has experienced seven winning seasons through the 2009 season.

NHL preseason hockey[edit]

On September 30, 2006, the Arena at Harbor Yard hosted an NHL preseason game between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders. The Islanders defeated the Devils by a score of 3–0. And on October 1, 2011, the Arena at Harbor Yard hosted an NHL preseason game between the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders. The Bruins defeated the Islanders by a score of 3–2.[21]

NBA preseason basketball[edit]

On October 18, 2003, the Arena at Harbor Yard hosted an NBA preseason game between the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors.[22] The Nets defeated the Raptors by a score of 93-77.

World Wrestling Entertainment[edit]

In addition to several events prior, the Arena hosted the 15th anniversary edition of WWE Raw on December 10, 2007. With the closing of the New Haven Coliseum in 2002, the Arena at Harbor Yard became somewhat of a home arena for WWE, as it just 20 miles (32 km)[23] away from the company's international headquarters in Stamford.

Concerts[edit]

The Webster Bank Arena's list of concerts include;

Special events[edit]

President Obama rally[edit]

On October 30, 2010, the President of the United States Barack Obama joined Democratic Party candidates, including former Stamford Mayor (Now Governor of Connecticut) Dan Malloy, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes at a "Moving America Forward Rally" at the Arena at Harbor Yard.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Engineering Firm Portfolio in Destination Resorts Related Projects". BVH Integrated Services, Inc. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Special Report: What's On Deck". SportsBusiness Journal. July 30, 2001. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ "AHL Set to Kick-Off 75th Anniversary Season" (Press release). American Hockey League. October 8, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ Torres, Keila (January 7, 2011). "Webster Bank Purchases Naming Rights for Arena at Harbor Yard". Connecticut Post (Bridgeport). Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ Betts, Travis (November 12, 2012). "What's New at Webster Bank Arena". Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Premium Seating". Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ Cuda, Amanda (February 12, 2010). "Arena at Harbor Yard Hits 1,000-Event Milestone". Connecticut Post (Bridgeport). Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Fairfield Basketball Signs Agreement To Continue Playing At Webster Bank Arena". Fairfield University Department of Athletics. May 17, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ Connecticut's 6 Website
  11. ^ Solomon, Dave (May 28, 2009). "UConn on Back Burner, at Least for One Day". New Haven Register. Retrieved May 28, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Six Division One Basketball Programs Featured in the Connecticut Six Tourney". Fairfield University Department of Athletics. February 5, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Bank of America MAAC Basketball Championships 2007". Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "2008 NCAA Women's Basketball First and Second Rounds Home". Fairfield University Department of Athletics. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2008. 
  15. ^ Stags on Ice: Hockey descends on Bridgeport, CT; Fairfield University Co-hosts
  16. ^ McMillan, Ken (March 29, 2009). "East Regional: Upon Further Review, Vermont Advances". Inside College Hockey. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2009. 
  17. ^ "NCAA Hockey Regional Host Committee Announced" (Press release). Yale University Department of Athletics. December 4, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  18. ^ McMillan, Ken (March 27, 2011). "NCAA East Regional: Superior Effort From Duluth". Inside College Hockey. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  19. ^ Fornabaio, Michael (March 28, 2014). "Freshmen Step Up to Lift Quinnipiac Hockey". Connecticut Post (Bridgeport). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  20. ^ "4th Annual SportsFest in Bridgeport". Fairfield County Sports Commission. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  21. ^ Fornabaio, Michael (October 2, 2011). "Haley Fighting Hard to Make Islanders". Connecticut Post (Bridgeport). Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Toronto Raptors at New Jersey Nets". National Basketball Association. October 18, 2003. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Arena at Harbor Yard to WWE Headquarters". Google Maps. Retrieved July 7, 2008. 
  24. ^ "FUN. with Special Guests Tegan and Sara September 28th, 2013". Webster Bank Arena. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ Dixon, Ken (October 30, 2010). "Obama Rallies Democrats in Bridgeport". Connecticut Post (Bridgeport). Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  26. ^ Bradley, Tahman (October 30, 2010). "President Obama's Connecticut Speech Interrupted". ABC News. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 

External links[edit]