Fans disappointed to see baseball leave Bridgeport

BRIDGEPORT — The Bluefish will be moving out of the Harbor Yard baseball stadium in downtown Bridgeport, and concerts will be moving in.

Mayor Joe Ganim plans to announce Thursday that Live Nation has been selected to create an amphitheater on the property, along with local owner of SportsCenter of Connecticut, Howard Saffan.

“This is a great boutique Ampitheatre for Bridgeport. We are looking forward to bringing great artists to Bridgeport,” said concert promoter Jim Koplik.

The city went through a formal "request for proposal," process with several proposals on the table, including one from the Bluefish. Ultimately, the choice was the entertainment venue.

Ganim said in a statement, “The ownership of the Amphitheater will be retained by the City and will be developed at the investment of approximately $15 million dollars through a public/private partnership…

This next chapter of Bridgeport’s future is bright with the benefits and experience of a world known entertainment company like Live Nation, and the historic success of Saffan as a venue operator, to bring in concerts and shows that will certainly put Bridgeport in the forefront as a destination place for family and friends.”

The statement said the plans are for about 25 events at the venue per summer season.

Mayor Ganim said there may be teaser concerts at venues around the city before the new amphitheater opens.

He said renovations won't begin until baseball season is over, and could take well over a year.

Baseball fans were disappointed to hear the news and spoke to FOX61 at Tuesday night's game.

"It felt like a little bit of a heartbreak to be honest with you, its a little depressing," fan Fran Enjem said.

Enjem said he enjoys taking his son to games because its a great family atmosphere and an inexpensive activity.

"They also get to learn about baseball because they play a lot of baseball, watching the older guys and the experienced guys do it, they take it home with them," he said. "It's a great learning experience and its fun."

General Manager Paul Herrmann said the team is focusing on ending the season with a championship.

"The biggest thing we’re concentrating on right now is our 20 year history, we want to keep that going throughout the season," he said. "We have a 1st place team, got a chance for a championship, so we want fans to come out, support their first place team and enjoy a bunch of the fun promotions we have going on."