Arena at Harbor YardEdit profile
The Webster Bank Arena (formerly The Arena at Harbor Yard) is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena 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.
The Arena houses 33 executive suites, 1300 club seats, 3 large hospitality suites, along with a wide concourses with ample guest amenities to bring all guests up close. Coca-Cola, National Guard and Sleepy's are the main partners of the Arena.
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.
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).College sports
Fairfield Stags basketball
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
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. 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.MAAC basketball tournaments
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. 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.NCAA basketball tournaments
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. 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
The Arena has joined Fairfield University and Yale University in co-hosting the East Regional of the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship twice and will host again in 2012. The 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament featured the Air Force Falcons, Michigan Wolverines, Vermont Catamounts and Yale Bulldogs. 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. The 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament featured the Air Force Falcons, Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Union Dutchmen and Yale Bulldogs. 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.Park City SportsFest
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.Professional sports
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
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
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.NBA preseason basketball
On October 18, 2003, the Arena at Harbor Yard hosted an NBA preseason game between the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors. The Nets defeated the Raptors by a score of 93-77.World Wrestling Entertainment
In addition to several events prior, the Arena hosted the 15th anniversary edition of WWE Raw on December 10, 2007. The arena also hosted WWE Fan Appreciation Day that took place on October 30, 2010. 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) away from the company's international headquarters in Stamford.Special events
President Obama rally
On October 30, 2010, the President of the United States Barack Obama joined Democratic Party candidates, including former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes at a "Moving America Forward Rally" at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The rally attracted national attention when during the rally, Obama was heckled by a small group of AIDS activists chanting "Stop global AIDS," the latest of several such protests at his campaign events. The crowd of 9,000 drowned them out with chants of "Obama, Obama." Forced off script, an exasperated Obama urged the hecklers to redirect their protests at Republicans who he said had no interest in funding international AIDS programs.