BRIDGEPORT, CONN. (April 28, 2011) – The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have officially announced the new facility management, Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment, LLC., that will take over the everyday operations of the newly named Webster Bank Arena, located in Bridgeport, Conn. Centerplate will continue to serve as the hospitality provider.
“We are extremely excited to announce this agreement with Centerplate and the City of Bridgeport, and assume the management duties of Webster Bank Arena,” Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan said. “This sports complex is a jewel that we will showcase with not only exciting hockey games but also attracting first class events year round.”
The new partnership consists of the Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate and wholly-owned subsidiary of the New York Islanders, which will assume responsibility for the management of the facility and Centerplate, the leading hospitality partner to North America's premier sports, convention and entertainment venues, which will continue to manage the hospitality services.
“We’ve been working hand in hand with this arena since the day it opened in 2001, and we couldn’t be prouder of the progress we’ve made,” said Des Hague, President and CEO of Centerplate. “From booking headliners like Cher, The Who, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, to finalizing the naming rights partnership with Webster Bank, we’ve ensured that the arena is in a position of strength to move forward. Now our focus will be providing the strategic know-how, and world-class hospitality to ensure that the next 10 years of Webster Bank Arena will be even better.”
The partnership leverages the respective strengths of each company for the benefit of the Arena and the City of Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers will immediately look to upgrade the entertainment content while Centerplate concentrates on its core competencies of food service and retail merchandise sales to reinforce the arena’s position as the area’s entertainment venue of choice.
“Today the Webster Bank Arena turns the page and begins a great new era,” said Bill Finch, Mayor of Bridgeport. “As Mayor of Bridgeport I am thrilled to welcome Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment as the new management team at the Arena. This is an outstanding group, and I know they will grow what is already an exciting sports venue at the Arena into something very special. I look forward to working with them as they make our Arena the number-one venue for overall family entertainment in all of Southern Connecticut.”