Amphitheater Vote Delayed

It looks like a City Council committee vote on the amphitheater project proposed by concert promoter Live Nation and sports entertainment entrepreneur Howard Saffan will be delayed at least a week. If the development agreement is not approved by the full council in November it will referred to the new council that will be seated in December following the general election.

CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more:

Hours before a City Council committee was scheduled Wednesday night to discuss and possibly vote to turn the baseball stadium into a warm weather amphitheater, economic development officials sought a week’s postponement.

“They just wanted to make sure all the ‘i’s were dotted,” said Councilwoman Jeanette Herron, a contracts committee co chairman.

Mayor Joe Ganim’s office said the delay was unrelated to a letter the Bridgeport Sound Tigers sent Ganim and council members Monday.

Full story here.



  1. Totally Off Topic.

    I have known Steve Auerbach for almost 30 years. He’s a good man who loves Bridgeport very much. We can all agree to disagree but not vilify. After reading yesterday’s posts I feel soiled and need to take a shower. Tom Kelly

    1. Tom,
      You are an old timer on the blog as well as in the City. You understood the meaning of the words used (as did those who used them) and perhaps each word or phrase may have been used in the past, though perhaps not quite strung together in the same fashion.

      There is a current version of an attempt to redo or reform civil behavior in public. It is called restorative justice and it has many avenues of performance. Aside from Tom Kelly taking a shower with plenty of soap and then toweling off, what suggestions come from OIB readers to self-discipline language, make restitution where possible, etc. that might make OIB less off-putting when the mud gets slung? Is this possible? Who has suggestions? Isn’t this topic more important perhaps then the Lockhart story above? Time will tell.

      1. No one is more guilty than anyone else. Steven went on the offensive and was repelled by returning fire.

        It is doubtful he’s hurt by the flsme job, not in need of existential therapy or Xanax. He’ll get over it.

  2. Tom, Steve has been hit much harder many times before and he has always bounce back. I’ve never met Steve but we all know that he is probably Bridgeport’s biggest cheerleader even when he’s wrong.

    1. I agree with Ron. Steven Auerbach loves the city of Bridgeport. His view if what is needed here is more than a little myopic. Steven also has a habit of attacking others that disagree with him. That’s where the name-calling started, with him. Confucious say “Man who act like asshole should not be surprised when he is treated accordingly.” 

      I wouldn’t say Steven was vilified but he did get what he deserved. If he didn’t like well, tough shit.

    1. I speak of the socioeconomic conditions here in Bridgeport. Remember that stuff, the poverty and welfare and failed public education system that cannot provide the most basic life skills to the city’s children? Let’s not forget the street gangs and violence and drug dealing, the lack of jobs… All of it shores up a culture of hopelessness, despair and a bleak nearsighted view of life.

      I have written on this topic. Mr. Auerbach didn’t want to hear it, even criticised me for it. When I expressed the opinion that converting the basebll stadium to an amphitheater he became enraged nd verbally abusive. Going by the Golden Rule I interpreted that he wished to be treated with the same disrespect he was showing me and responded accordingly.

      This a blog about Bridgeport politics. It ain’t family oriented. The language is occasionally coarse, the exchanges heated. In the end, however, we agree to disagree and move on. Mr. Auerbach forgot that rule.

        1. Thank you, Lisa. 

          It looks as though the amphitheater is not anywhere close to a done deal. The current ownership of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers has warned City .hall that there will be legal and financial repercussions if the amphitheater project moves forward. The Mashentuckett Pequot and Mohegan tribes have threatened legal action if a casino is built in Bridgeport. They’ll win too. The only development project that has any traction is the rehabilitation of the theaters and hotel on Main Street. 

          All of this would be more acceptable if Bridgeport’s socioeconomic maladies were treated. The industrial pollution, the failing schools, the drug-related violence, the economic oppression, none of it merits even lip service from the current administration. The political culture is dominated by a party apparatus that  cares more for power, privilege and control than improving the quality of life for  the people if the city of Bridgeport. 

          The amphitheater proposal should be killed. Not tabled, REJECTED. 

          1. It’s not a stadium, it’s an amphitheater with 6,500 seats. Joe Walsh Mohegan Sun arena show coming up. It will be jammed. He’ll certainly draw more than the Bluefish which was last in league attendance.

          2. We have Webster Arena, the Klein, FTC, the refurbished Poli and Majestic theaters… Let the ballpark be a ballpark. In the long run it will be cheaper to contract an MLB farm team. The Yankees or the Mets would have the name recognition and the promotional muscle to fill the seats. And no one would have to change a thing.

          1. Awwww Andy, I really like you, you’re smart and make me laugh. You also know the history of Bridgeport, not many of us left that do.

      1. Kid, interesting take on the golden rule, taught differently at my Sunday School. When I see someoen behaving at their worst, how would I want others to treat me when I’m at my worst was my take on the do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I fall short often, working on it!

        1. Jennifer,

          If it happened once or twice all would have been forgiven. Mr. Auerbach went on the offensive, personally attacking anyone that had the temerity to openly disagree with his rose-colored view of the Park City. After a while it became a point of ridicule.

    2. You’re right, Tom. Words matter. His view of Bridgeport is… A little superficial. The rest of us are concerned with putting the house in order. Junk Luggers will not take the job.

  3. As to the development – often cities in decline like Bridgeport have a take anything and hope it works policy with development. This group has a record of success and it seems to be a viable venue. It’s certainly worth the due diligence it’s being given.

      1. Joe Ganim has a long-range vision of development in Bridgeport it doesn’t matter because it changes ll the time. He’s making it up as he goes.

        Ganim lost control of the BOE, he’s about to lose control of the City Council. His quest for statewide office is viewed with more than a little cynicism and the cause if snickers and jeers. This is his last term in office. All the people that paid a hundred bucks for Cuban stogies and buffet dining got ripped off. Theybshould have used the money to take the ife snd kids to Golden Corral.

          1. Hope is not an option here. Proactivity is the only way forward. The incoming Council members will have their hands full undoing many of the recent blunders of the departing Council. 

            It will be a wonderful thing if control of the DTC was taken over by reform minded individuals unafraid to roll up their sleeves and do whatever is needed to put the city back on course.

            Bridgeport used to rock. There were plenty of jobs in the factories, money flowing through the local economy. Everyone was doing alright. A few crooked mayors later and the city is in dire straits. The factories pulled out ine by one and successive administrations were unable, unwilling or (most likely) apathetic. 

            Joe Ganim, like Bill Finch before and after him,  Thinks a retail economy is the way to go. All the while the abandoned factory buildings stand in mute testimony to a city badly mismanaged. The industrial contamination is still there, leeching into the soil. The poverty is still there. (Witness how many neighborhood bodegas have window signs reading “WE ACCEPT EBT/WIC” next to the advertisements for Newport cigarettes and Modelo beer.)  

            But Joe wants to build an amphitheater and a casino. Concerts and gambling are the solution to the socioeconomic problems bedeviling the east side, the west side, all around the own. That’s his thinking at any rate. 

          2. No guarantee that will happen-change in DTC membership_ unless people pivot immediately after the November 7th elections.

          3. Frank,

            Given the current level of disgust a change in the DTC’s politicl cosmology is a given. The City Council is going to flip in favor of the oeople of the City of Bridgeport. With people like Lisa Parziale working for positive change the status quo is about to be upended.

          4. I beg to disagree. If anyone assumes that the people of Bridgeport who are registered Democrats will rise up in indignation and sweep out the current Testa DTC will find themselves in a very unhappy situation the morning after the Town Committee elections. In the 130th district,there might have been a view that the incumbent CC rep(and the replacement) would have lost by a large margin due to the property tax increase imbroglio. However,it turned out to be very close and the difference were absentee ballots that were thrown out due to irregularities. In the 130th CC district, Dan Roach has proven he can deliver 500 votes. Any change would require close to 600+ votes. Not so easy.

          5. DB..what are you talking about that Burns and Kane lost to outsiders. I don’t think Spain and Smith are outsiders.

  4. Bpt. Can’t book enough acts for the Webster Arena but there going to book plenty of acts for out-side entertainment in the spring, summer and fall? Who’s making money on this venture I wonder ?

    1. This is hardly a done deal. Incumbent  politicians use development, actual or proposed, to promote their brand. Smokin’ Joe Ganim wants another four years of a six-figure income and great medical and dental benefits. He is hawking the renovation of the Poli & Majestic theaters, the casino and the amphitheater to make himself look good even though the only project with a chance of completion is the theaters. The casino is a nonstarter. The Indian tribes back east will never allow a bunch of carpetbaggers from Nevada to open a casino on their turf. The amphitheater is hardly a done deal. To quote the Post story,

      “… Bridgeport Sound Tigers sent Ganim and council members a letter Monday… [reiterating] a warning issued by owner Jon Ledecky over the summer: That the amphitheater, proposed by ex-Tigers’ President Howard Saffan, would compete with the arena, which also hosts concerts and other indoor events, and violate the team’s operating contract with Bridgeport…

      “Itzkowitz went further than Ledecky and specifically threatened the team would terminate its relationship with the city, vacate the arena, and seek monetary damages based on ‘the remaining 14 years (with extension) of the operating agreement.'”

  5. *** Why, rent prices downtown & taxes, what else. When you talk to the owners they state they reached out to their district council leaders for an ear but no one cares, only on election yrs. can you get some attention, maybe? ***

    1. City Council members are like all public office holders. Nothing matters until an election rolls around. Joe Ganim made a big play for votes repairing a fence behind Trumbull Gardens (a fence which is still damaged), opening an “unofficial” police substation after the mass shooting there, etc. Now that he won the ection he hasn’t been back.

  6. Once again Trump shows his ass giving himself and the Fed. Gov. Response in P.R and the U.S Virgin Islands a big, “10”. And of coarse his conversation with the widow of a fallen soldier did not go as told by the congress women or widow? Gen. Kelly says the president meant well, it’s just the words were misunderstood?

    1. Does anyone honestly expect Donald Trump to behave any differently? He has been excoriated by two former presidents. Neither mentioned him by name but everyone with knowledge of current events knew damn well who they were talking about.

    2. Yeah I am going to believe a women wearing a wig, sun glasses and a cowboy hat and listening to what should have been a private conversation over a speaker phone. I also put in a bid for the Brooklyn Bridge

      1. Andy, what does a wig, sunglasses and cowboy hat have to do with her veracity? Finally how in the hell can you have a private conversation on a speaker phone? It’s hard for you see what an embarrassment 45 is to America and it leads one to believe that your own bigotry won’t let see what the rest of the civilized world sees, a Damn fool in the white house. Just when I think that you can’t say anything more stupid you prove me wrong.

        1. I was going to reply but waited for you, Donald. I also have to wonder what the wig, shades and cowboy hat has to do with anything.

          Donald Trump is the worst thing to happen in America since the Civil War.

          1. Agreed. Andy said “listening to what should have been a private conversation over a speaker phone.”
            At a minimum Trump initially said that he has proof of what he said. So it is alright if the president recorded HIS conversation but is upset that a Congress woman listened in on the call. Two-faced.
            Then we are told that he promised another family $25,000 and he FORGOT to send it. Two-faced.
            Then he doesn’t even know or remember the mother’s name or the son killed in the line of duty. Two-faced.
            And the list goes on. A DAMNED shame for the Gold Star family and a DAMNED shame that his Chief of Staff has to be a public apologist for the ignorant and shameless President.
            But Andy will make fun of the woman and her cowboy hat.
            GET OFF THIS BLOG!!!

          2. “Sgt. La David T. Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Washington Post that she was present during the call from the White House on Tuesday to Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson. She also stood by an account of the call from Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) that Trump told Myeshia Johnson that her husband ‘must have known what he signed up for.'”

            So the Congresswoman wears a wig, shades and a cowboy hat. Big shit, Andy. Doesn’t mean wasn’t speaking the truth.

        2. This just in.
          Navy Seal who appeared on Fox News and endorsed Trump was not a Navy Seal
          Did not have 20 commendations and 2 Purple Hearts.
          Did not serve in Vietnam.
          Fake News on Donald Trump.
          Oh well, happens to the best of us….. NOT

          1. I saw that on Facebook. Trump’s supporters, the clodhoppers living in Toad Suck, Alabama, Horse Apple, Kentucky, and other meccas of trailer park culture, will say “This is fake news, y’all…”

  7. Let’s set the record straight…

    MGM has said a casino in Bridgeport would create “at least 2000 permanent jobs… An economic impact study commissioned by MGM anticipates the creation of another 5,779 ancillary jobs in construction and local business.” [Connecticut Post, 9/18/17]. The 6000+ jobs figure has been bandied about. I tossed it around a time or two. (My bad, I’ll go stand in the corner for an hour.) Anticipating the creation of “another 5,779 ancillary jobs” is only a slice of pie in the sky. That figure was based on an economic impact study commissioned by MGM so the figures are misleading. The company is also dangling a number of mostly cash incentives in front of Trumbull, Fairfield and other suburban communities to make the proposal more attractive. 

    Pardon my cynicism but it all looks like one giant carrot dangling on a string. 

  8. Joe doesn’t care. He builds the amphitheater and if a single concert does not occur who cares.
    He will take years in litigation and be long gone before the city loses.
    In the meantime he will say he built it and the Sound Tigers ruined it all for Bridgeport.

    1. I know Ganim doesn’t give a shit. You know it, everyone of the OIB regulars knows he doesn’t give a shit. His press cinference with Toni Harp, all this fuss iver the theaters, the casino, the ball park, it’s just window dressing, an exercise in self-aggrandisement. Joe Ganim, the disgraced attorney and felon convicted of rippingoff the people, is in the game to satisfy his own ego, his grossly inflated ego. He thinks he has a rat’s ass if a chance at becoming governor. He crashed a fundraising party up in Litchfield County, made light if his criminal past. It would have been laughable but he expressed not even a hint if irony.

      I dunno, maybe he was using the gathering as a test audience for a comedy routine…

  9. CC President has a CC meeting set for Monday November 6th,one day before the November 7th elections. The Amphitheater plan will be approved on that day. The puppets on the CC will do as told. There are plans for a public hearing. The public hearing won’t make a difference. The CC will pass it regardless of threatened lawsuits etc.

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