Bridgeport becomes center of attention for concert venues, casino bids

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BRIDGEPORT -

Several big names are fighting to bring entertainment venues to Bridgeport as the city goes through major renovations. 

Mohegan Sun Casino just announced a partnership with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to bring big-name concerts to the Webster Bank Arena. 

The move could be viewed as the Indian tribe trying to get a competitive advantage over the amphitheater that the city's planning with Live Nation next door at the Harbor Yard. 

Although Webster Bank and Harbor Yard are neighbors, the city's director of Planning and Economic Development says they won't be in competition. The amphitheater will primarily host events during the summer, while the arena hosts events in the winter. 

Another hat in the ring is MGM, which is awaiting legislative approval for a new casino at Steele Point. Both of the state's tribal casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, have also said they would like to be part of any casino-building plans in Bridgeport. 

City officials say these projects will boost the economy, bring more jobs to the area and attract more restaurants and tourists.

"The effects of people coming in, shopping, hotels, parking. That's ancillary business over and above the ticket sales," says Mayor Joseph Ganim. 

The mayor says these renovations and newer entertainment options will make Bridgeport a popular destination.
 

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