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Strategic Rays–Mohegan Sun Signs Exclusive Partnership With Webster Bank Arena

December 6th, 2017 · 8 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Development and Zoning, News and Events

Mohegan Sun, Webster Bank

A Mohegan Sun partnership in Bridgeport.

The positioning and moving parts seem more intriguing every day. Mohegan Sun announced on Wednesday an exclusive three-year partnership agreement with the city-owned Webster Bank Arena that involves concerts, sporting events and sponsorships. It is effective immediately. This announcement comes with the backdrop of an adjacent warm-weather amphitheater operated by a partnership of sports-entrepreneur Howard Saffan and concert promoter Live Nation scheduled to open in the spring of 2019 and a battle between Connecticut’s two tribal nations and MGM to operate the state’s first commercial casino. Yes, there’s a “take that” element to all of this with the state’s largest city at the epicenter of the strategic movement.

“This is an exciting day as two of the strongest entertainment venues in the state join forces,” said Tom Cantone, Senior Vice President of Sports & Entertainment for Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE). “We have had an open relationship with Webster Bank Arena for years and this agreement is a further extension of the long-term partnership we look forward to having with them.”

Kevin Brown “Red Eagle,” Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe and MGE Management Board said that, “Today’s announcement is more than just a partnership with the Webster Bank Arena. It’s a demonstration of our commitment to bringing tourism to all of Connecticut, not just the southeastern corner. It is a commitment to Bridgeport, a city rich in history and culture, to help with the growth and rebirth of the Park City.”

Brown added that, “While we may be expanding our footprint across the country and internationally, our headquarters are and will always remain here. Connecticut is our home.”

“We are thrilled to have a true partnership with the premiere gaming and entertainment facility in Connecticut,” New York Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers Owner Jon Ledecky said. “Mohegan Sun will help secure concerts that will appeal to the local community, as well as become a visible sponsor in our first-class arena. This multi-year agreement is just the beginning of a long-term marriage and is fantastic news for the supporters of the Webster Bank Arena and the City of Bridgeport.”

“As a venue consultant to the Webster Bank Arena and the New York Islanders, we are excited to assist the organization in its pursuit to provide world class facilities and events for its patrons and fans,” Co-Chairman of Oakview Alliance, Peter Luukko said.

Mohegan Sun in Uncasville is home to the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena. The Webster Bank Arena can seat close to that for a concert. The venues are roughly 70 miles apart.

Tuesday night MGM CEO Jim Murren who was born in Bridgeport reasserted his company’s commitment to build a $675 million waterfront casino in the East End across the harbor from the arena. The footprint of the proposed MGM casino does not include a large concert venue that is so often key to attracting visitors. MGM officials pointed to the arena to fill that void. Now, at least for three years, the Mohegan Sun tribe controls concerts there, but the reality is any new casino, be it Bridgeport, or East Windsor where the two tribal nations want to build another casino to protect their turf from MGM’s Springfield, Massachusetts casino is several years away.

The arena hosts only a handful of concerts each year, something that Saffan and concert promoter Jim Koplik pointed out when arena operators complained about the competition. The amphitheater venue would be confined for concerts from May into October. Saffan once operated the arena.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Frank Gyure

    Here we go…non-stop jockeying of the various parties involved.

  • Donald Day

    I’m loving it. While I’m not a gambler I’ve been to Mohegan Sun on numerous occasions to see music and comedy shows and would love to go to Webster to see these. I originally thought that the amphitheater would be great for Bridgeport, but with this revelation, Never Mind.

  • Jeff Kohut

    This is a very interesting development with a lot of great possibilities… There’s definitely real money and implicit big-time plans here… It seems that now some really big things are actually possible for Bridgeport! (Let’s keep our fingers crossed!…)

  • Coach T

    Yulp, real big things I will keep my fingers crossed. Looking at YEARS AWAY

  • Coach T

    but hey, still a positive……

  • Coach T

    Now with all this new entertainment breathing in new life upon Bridgeport, can we get the Holiday Inn to come out of the 80′s and renovate. Recently stood there for a couple of days…..Man it’s OLDDDD

  • Coach T

    They don’t care….Zero competition…The Marriott is in Trumbull……They are going to wait it out until they get some competition…

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