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Arena at Harbor Yard
Harbor Yard Arena.PNG
Location 600 Main Street
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604
Broke ground 2000
Opened 2001
Owner City of Bridgeport, CT
Operator Centerplate
Capacity 10,000
Tenants
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) (2001-present)
Fairfield Stags (MAAC) (2001-present)

Arena at Harbor Yard is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut built alongside The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. 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).[1]

The Arena opened in 2001 and is managed by Centerplate. It houses 33 executive suites, 1300 club seats, 3 large hospitality suites, and wide concourses with ample guest amenities to bring all guests up close. Coca-Cola and Snapple are the main partners of the Arena.

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. Some artists who have performed there: Disturbed, KISS, Aerosmith, Elton John, Cher, Foo Fighters, Weezer, The Who, Velvet Revolver, Hot Hot Heat, Nickelback, Three Days Grace & Breaking Benjamin, Jonas Brothers, Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, Cute Is What We Aim For, Fleetwood Mac, and Lil Wayne.

Contents

College sports

Fairfield Stags basketball setup

Arena at Harbor Yard is home to the Fairfield Stags men's and women's college basketball teams of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) where the Stags annually compete against perennial MAAC powers including the Iona Gaels, 1995 and 2004 NCAA Tournament Cinderella Manhattan Jaspers, Niagara Purple Eagles, and 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournament Cinderella Siena Saints. The Arena was the site of the men's postseason appearance in the first round of the 2003 National Invitation Tournament where the Stags led by Deng Gai and Nick Delfico played the Boston College Eagles featuring future NBA players Troy Bell and Craig Smith. And in recent years, Fairfield has brought perennial national college basketball powers Georgetown Hoyas, Providence Friars and St. Joseph's Hawks to the Arena.

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Connecticut 6 Classic

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 Yale Bulldogs and Sacred Heart Pioneers will tip off in the first game of the night. The Fairfield Stags and Central Connecticut Blue Devils meet in game two, and the night concludes with the Hartford Hawks and Quinnipiac Bobcats in game three. Game times are set for 5:30, 7:30, and 9:30 pm.[2]

MAAC tournament

In 2007, the Arena and Fairfield University hosted the 2007 Bank of America MAAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships featuring the 20-league teams competing for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.[3] The Niagara Purple Eagles won the Men's Championship and the Marist Red Foxes won the Women's Championship. The Arena will host the MAAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championship again in 2011.[4]

NCAA tournaments

The Arena and Fairfield University along with the City of Bridgeport and the Fairfield County Sports Commission are also partners in hosting postseason NCAA basketball and hockey tournaments. The partnership has brought the First and Second Rounds of NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship to the Arena three times since 2004.[5] The Connecticut Huskies won the 2004 Bridgeport Sub-Regional in route to winning the 2004 Tournament and being crowned National Champions. The Duke Blue Devils won the 2006 Bridgeport Regional before advancing to the Final Four of the 2006 Tournament. And the Connecticut Huskies won the 2008 Bridgeport Sub-Regional before advancing to the Final Four of the 2008 Tournament.

And in 2009, the Arena joined Fairfield University and Yale University in co-hosting the East Regional of 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament which featured the Air Force Falcons, Michigan Wolverines, Vermont Catamounts and Yale Bulldogs.[6] The Vermont Catamounts won a dramtic double overtime game against the Air Force Falcons to win the East Regional and advance to the Frozen Four.[7] The Arena will again be the site of the East Regional during the 2011 Tournament.[8]

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.[9]

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 are the NHL affiliate of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who play all of their AHL home games at the Harbor Yard. The Islanders defeated the Devils by a score of 3-0.

Professional wrestling

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)[10] away from the company's international headquarters in Stamford.

References

External links

Coordinates: 41°10′24″N 73°11′13″W / 41.17320°N 73.1870°W / 41.17320; -73.1870 (Arena at Harbor Yard)


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