Bridgeport's Light House Project

 

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers and their fans enjoy everything Islanders fans are longing for. A state of the art facility, an ever-increasing fan base and a promising future.

On October 10, 2001 the Sound Tigers opened the doors to the then named ‘Arena at Harbor Yard’. Now known as the’ Webster Bank Arena’ the facility looks newer than ever.

In February of 2011, facility operations management of the newly re-named facility was granted to Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment, LLC. and improvements have not stopped. Fresh paint applied throughout and carpet replaced with glossy tile it is the most attended venue in Fairfield County.

A half million visitors each year are attracted to the arena for a wide variety of exciting events, including concerts (Cher, The Who, Elton John, Springsteen and more), entertainment spectaculars (WWE Raw, The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, Monster Trucks etc.) special events, trade shows and more. (This seasons events include Carrie Underwood, Rush, Neil Young, The American Idols Tour, The Boston Pops Holiday Concert, Cirque de Solei and much more).

Along with the Sound Tigers (who accounted for more than 185k seats sold) the arena also plays host to Fairfield University’s NCAA Division I basketball team (the Stags), and has hosted NCAA Regional Hockey Finals, NCAA Women’s Regionals and last season the 2012 USA Gymnastics Championships.

If you are fortunate enough to attend any of these events you will probably have, run into the man most responsible for the arenas success, Howard Saffan.

Born in the Bronx, raised on Long Island and now residing in CT with his wife Judy, their three sons and a daughter, he can always be found at the arena ‘taking his walk’.

Never with an entourage, Saffan tours the arena each night from the suites to the streets shaking the hands of all he meets making certain that his talented crew has over-delivered on any promises made. It is his personal interest in all things related to the fan experience that has seen attendance grow in each of his years with the organization.

Future growth is all but guaranteed with the July announcement that Bass Pro Shops will be opening a location in Bridgeport just a short walk from the arena in 2013. http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Bass-Pro-Shops-groundbreaking-nets-crowd-3691983.php

With a lease that runs through 2021, a state of the art facility to call their home under the guidance of Howard Saffan and a vibrant development about to break ground, the Sound Tigers appear to have everything that Charles Wang offered Suffolk County years ago with his Light House Project.

- Mike Flannery

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