On July 28th Bridgeport’s boutique amphitheater officially opens, featuring REO Speedwagon and Styx, at the edge of Downtown and South End.
REO Speedwagon recorded its first album at the late, Bridgeport-born, Paul Leka’s Connecticut Recording Studio on Main Street Downtown. Leka co-wrote the anthem classic “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”
The most popular track on REO’s first release was “157 Riverside Avenue” in Westport where the band stayed while recording in Leka’s studio. The song references from “Bridgeport to Westport” in the opening lyrics.
Promoters of The Amp share details of the destination’s accoutrements in this news release.
Housed on the site the former Ballpark at Harbor Yard, the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater brings a paradigm shift to the future of live music, entertainment, and community in Bridgeport, CT. The Amphitheater, powered by Live Nation, will be the premier entertainment destination for Southern CT, and the entire region. The venue is accessible from I-95, the Merritt Parkway, MetroNorth, Amtrak and dedicated concert ferries operated by the Port Jefferson Ferry.
REO Speedwagon and Styx will perform the Grand Opening Show as part of the We Are Back Tour 2021 on Wednesday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Attention to detail is the hallmark of the 5,700+ seat boutique amphitheater. The Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater promises to entice all senses, from the state-of-the-art sound system, to beautiful finishes, to fabulous local foods; it is designed to wow. Luxurious details greet you as you enter the building, from custom steel gates and stone walls, an iconic tensile roof, marble bathrooms, food stands in stone, granite countertops, twinkle lights reminiscent of the evening sky, four huge video boards, cup holders at every seat, and much more.
This one-of-a-kind project is an engineering marvel. It incorporates some of the most sophisticated elements of design. The iconic roof features a center “Torch” supported by six additional “Flying Masts.” Each of the cables supporting the torch could support 75 Toyota Camrys! The entire roof is made up of over 1,000,000 pounds of structural steel (equivalent to 300 family cars) and 81,000 square feet of fabric (PTFE membrane), representing roughly 1 and 1/2 football fields of material. 31,000 nuts, bolts and washers were used in assembling the structure of the roof. Standing over 12 storeys high–125 feet in the air, the roof is the only such design structure in the United States.
The technology is truly state of the art. Complementing the 100-foot stage are two, 32 feet wide by 23 feet high 4k video boards and two, 20 feet wide by 14 feet high 4k video boards manufactured by Digital Projection. These boards provide today’s technology, almost appearing to be 3-D. The D & B sound system is literally the best of the best. D&B Audiotechnik is internationally regarded as the world’s leading company for sound reinforcement systems in installed and mobile applications, with a reputation for quality of construction, standard of service, system integration principles, and pioneering technological developments. The Amphitheater’s control room is powered by 15 miles of wire. The Italian manufactured Griven LED lights, illuminating the roof structure, are the brightest colored lights available. HHC Amphitheater is the first to use this lighting in an amphitheater. The Hartford HealthCare concert experience will be second to none.
The Amphitheater will feature fabulous local food. Dinner will be available three hours before all concerts at Two Roads at the Amp, a dedicated tasting room and restaurant. If you are a food connoisseur, The Amphitheater will not disappoint. We have sourced uniquely Connecticut purveyors including Little Pub, Pepe’s Pizza, Blue Point, Two Roads, Hoodoo Brown BBQ, Micalizzi’s Ices, Hummel Hot Dogs, Donut Crazy, Tasty Yolk, Caseus Cheese and more. The Amphitheater will be a cashless facility for our patron’s convenience and safety.
The Amphitheater will be the home of the Jim Koplik Club, a retrospective room filled with mementos, photos and archival footage and more from Jim Koplik’s illustrious career as the premier concert promoter in CT for over 50 years. From his early Cross Country Concert days with his partner Shelly Finkel to his current position as President of Live Nation CT, Koplik is thrilled to thank the public for all their support over the years with this nod to his history in live entertainment.
“The concert industry that I started in back in 1968, has come a long way from a few Marshall amps and a plug-in guitar. It has truly been a ride–a rock & roll ride–to be part of so many careers and entertain and bring countless memories to so many fans through music. Being a resident of Fairfield County for over 40 years, this particular project is near and dear to my heart. I know everyone will enjoy this new venue and cherish the memories it will provide for many years to come.”
The back of house, referred to as the “Barn,” is designed to be a refuge for the artists and crew. The star suite, furnished with an outdoor patio, fireplace, massage room, bedroom, kitchen and personal chef, is truly spectacular. There are also six additional dressing rooms with private baths, a laundry facility, a video arcade, green room, and a 4,000 square foot dining room. The loading area has an eight tractor- trailer loading dock ensuring easy show setup, while leaving room to house eight tour buses.
“This project is a great sustainable example of an adaptive reuse project where an old baseball stadium is repurposed into a contemporary performance facility, without tearing down the existing structures and the massive energy and environmental costs associated with it. It uses the old and enhances it with the new. The key in developing the design was to minimize sightline obstructions but at the same time create an intimate space for 5,700 seats. Everyone wants to be close to the talent and at the same time wants the feel of a shared community through live music performances. We think this facility is able to do both,” said lead architect Nic Goldsmith of FTL Design Engineering Studio.
“The Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater is proving to be everything we hoped for and more–a state-of-the-art venue, an oasis for local foods and just overall wonderful entertainment experience to attract visitors to Bridgeport. We appreciate all that Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater and Live Nation have done to make this a reality for our city and look forward to the opening act!” stated Bridgeport Mayor Ganim
“The development of the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater is a labor of love. We have poured our heart and soul into every detail. The Covid delay enabled us to refine every aspect of the Amphitheater. We cannot wait to open our doors, allowing fans and entertainers to bring the venue to life,” said Howard Saffan, Principal, Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater.