Hello! Bridgeport Must Promote Assets And Attractions

Amphitheater is a magnet for music lovers.

What makes a sexy city?

Its assets. Connecticut’s largest city is now loaded with attractions, sans promotion, to fulfill its complete economic potential.

Enthusiasm for UConn women’s basketball hooped that into focus. Bridgeport has no centralized marketing plan be it government, business community or Downtown interests.

Still, outsiders took notice of the decentralized progress. From the CT Post:

French made the trip to Bridgeport from Long Island via ferry and said he has enjoyed the experience.

“We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of different choices in restaurants they have,” French said. “We ate at a great Turkish restaurant the other night, which was spectacular, and then we seen a lot of other restaurants that really looked good.

“It’s nice to see some choice in food and that it’s not just Italian and hamburgers,” he added.

… Bernardini, the UConn fan from Orange, said while he is happy it is in Bridgeport, “If it was anywhere else, I would still go.”

“Bridgeport came a long way,” Bernardini said. “Years passed, it may not have been so great, but now they have a lot of local restaurants down the street. It’s really good for the community.”

Seaside Park
Aerial of Seaside Park.

Back to the assets.

10,000-seat arena that hosted women’s regional finals.

6,000-seat concert amphitheater drawing A-listers for multi-state audiences.

2021 opening concert at The Amp.

Burgeoning restaurants, arts, entertainment Downtown such as Stress Factory Comedy Club, Downtown Cabaret, Bijou Theatre, Klein Memorial, City Lights Gallery. Across the Pequonnock River, build out of Steelpointe Harbor featuring Bass Pro, restaurants, marina and public boardwalk with housing on the horizon.

Steelpointe Harbor, June 2021.

Finest waterfront park in the state, name me one better than Seaside Park donated by P.T. Barnum and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, which will host the Sound On The Sound concert festival in September featuring Dave Matthews, Stevie Nicks and Lumineers.

Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 100th year, in Beardsley Park also designed by Olmsted.

University of Bridgeport, Housatonic Community College and Sacred Heart University as institutions of higher learning.

Aerial of UB sports field.

Back to the Park City: Saints, Ellsworth, Pleasure Beach, Newfield, two golf courses, Glenwood, Puglio. Missing a bunch.

Other attractions: library system, Captain’s Cove Seaport, ferry terminal, underutilized airport.

What’s the point of this? Bridgeport must promote its attractions, an investment infusing a huge return on dollars that drives visitors, lifts up local entities and woos new business.

Mayor Joe Ganim did this in the 1990s when Bridgeport didn’t have nearly as much to promote. Cultural destinations benefited. The John Fabrizi mayoral years did not follow up. Then Bill Finch came along and did more but not enough. Ganim, in his return, has failed to promote the city like he did his first tenure.

Visitors want to know when I come to your city what ancillary benefits are available? This helps everyone: visitors, destinations, investors, taxpayers.

It’s not that hard. Ganim must say okay kids, we need a dedicated plan to promote the city. Let’s get buy-in from the business community and Downtown Special Services District. If they don’t want to play we’ll do it anyway.

The city spends money on all kinds of crap.

It’s time for government to invest in its attractions. Plenty to promote.



  1. Little Stevie A has always been a big cheerleader for the city probably the biggest and he does it for no pay. Here is a post that Little Stevie post on OIB. A number of shows on ESPN that talked about moving the NCAA regional tournament from Bridgeport to another part of the state because UCONN Women Basketball team playing in Bridgeport is just like a home court for UCONN.

    Steven Auerbach says:
    March 25, 2022 at 1:28 pm
    Star of Istanbul
    Eat Noodle
    Joseph’s Steak House
    Ralph and Richies
    Trattoria ‘A Vuchella
    Crate and Barrel
    The Grille
    Miss Thelma’s
    San Remo
    Mario the Baker
    Pho Saigon
    Pho Hong Thom
    Tappanaki Buffet
    El Pueblo
    La Fonda
    La Poblanita
    Etc, Etc, Etc………

    Log in to Reply
    Steven Auerbach says:
    March 25, 2022 at 1:31 pm
    Run and Tequila Fusion
    The Gathering – Stress factory

  2. We need the resources to promote this City, and it’s not in this years budget, so maybe the Mayor can ask the City Council to use the 9 million dollar surplus and underwrite the direct marketing and publicity for this City in conjunction with his reelection campaign for 2023?

  3. Putting an idea and words in the mouth of Ganim2 Lennie states, ” OK kids, we need a dedicated plan to promote the City,”
    Have you noticed the general absence of an annual PREVIEW or REVIEW for the “reign” of Ganim2? A preview in Bridgeport often was occasioned by a presentation of plans for action and spending at budget times past and at a meeting of the Greater Bridgeport Business Council. And REVIEWS ( as in accountability for past actions towards goals and priorities) could have become a part of GANIM LORE, but no more, because he does not appear around Ground Hog Day when the municipal audit is usually available.

    So, planning is ignored, de-emphasized, or fails to be considered because it takes time, costs some money (but because some criteria appear, may avoid phony starts where funds are wasted). Or is it possibly because Mario and his “officers” have failed to develop followers in the City who are educated, experienced, of independent mind, but have the ability and desire to work as a team?? Does that show up in Board and Commission appointments by the Mayor? Who is mending the brokenness of FAIR HOUSING and FAIR RENT groups where citizen terms expired, work agendas and meetings halted, and even citizens have expired with a final breath and no acknowledgement by City Hall that these groups are absent? Planning? Avoidable failure or waste? Take your pick. And vote every time the chance comes up. Once every four years is inadequate citizen response to the offer and duty of free elections. Time will tell.

  4. JML, Mayor Ganim has been in this fog ever since he he got his ass kicked by Ned Lamont in his run for governor, he has no real energy to be mayor, that’s why he has a muzzle on city officials not talking to the media. The effort to sell Bridgeport to the world to come and do business here is gone. UCONN women’s basketball team is Connecticut, they are highly respected around the country and Bridgeport doesn’t have the welcome mat out to say welcome and here are the names and directions to some the City’s best that Bridgeport wants you to visit to enjoy your trip to our lovely City.

  5. Maybe if Bridgeport were located at a latitude proximal to the Tropic of Cancer and had a particular cultural ambience and allure that could impart a “destination” status to its reputation, there might be a realistic aspect to the notion of a Bridgeport reincarnation/renaissance defined in terms of, a small, unthemed conglomeration of dining and “entertainment” venues, such as we have created and/or promoted in the face of the continuing socioeconomic collapse of the city — but such a renaissance isn’t going to happen in the troubled, temperate-zone place that is still known as the “drug supermarket off of I-95” (per a 1995, “National Geographic” article). Without a casino-type “magnet”, Bridgeport’s entertainment sector will forever be a Bridgeport Bluefish-Ball Park/”Groundhog Day” effort that bears only negative municipal-revenue fruit, even as it discourages real tax-base and local-jobs growth.

    We shouldn’t forget that once upon a time, Bridgeport was a real entertainment destination — the result of having a huge, industrial tax-base defined by 100,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs and a prosperous population with the disposable income to support such a storied entertainment sector. The present Bridgeport, defined by underemployment and poverty/borderline poverty, cannot sustain the environment upon which to create a significant, self-sustaining (non-municipally-/state-subsidized) entertainment sector — much less help to launch and sustain such a sector…

    City Hall is playing an image game with the future of Bridgeport. It knows that “build it and they will come” is not a real-life redevelopment strategy for a city such as Bridgeport, and rather than do some real planning and hard work to bring real prosperity and tax-relief for Bridgeport residents, they (Bridgeport elected/appointed leadership) are playing on deceptive perception-manipulation to feather their political and financial nests even as they sell off Bridgeport assets to sustain that false perception of a nascent Bridgeport renaissance…

    Ganim City Hall is nothing but a den of state-sanctioned snake-oil salesmen… Any 2023 Bridgeport mayoral candidate with a real economic-development plan and reasonable war chest can certainly beat the failed candidate that is running on the fumes of what he has been promoting (for 30 years!) as the “nascent” renaissance of Bridgeport. (Hey, Joe; What happened to Bridgeport professional baseball and those 10,000 jobs at Steal Point?!)

    Let’s get real in 2023 in Bridgeport! (Candidate Ganim might find that his “snake-oil” redevelopment strategy has become a slippery slope, indeed!)


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