The Bridgeport Bluefish (independent; Atlantic League) and the City of Bridgeport are trying to continue their relationship, but must first solve a financial dispute.
Ongoing discussions concern the Bluefish’s lease at the city-owned The Ballpark at Harbor Yard, which is set to expire after this season. The two sides are working on a one-year agreement, but one of the major hangups in the deal concerns the ballpark’s maintenance.
Bridgeport’s mayor is Joe Ganim, who also served in that position when The Ballpark at Harbor Yard opened in 1998. Ganim is seeking a new rent agreement, but the Bluefish say that ballpark maintenance they made at the request of a rent credit under former mayor Bill Finch–who served in the position from 2007 to 2015–should negate the possibility of rent.
The issues over ballpark maintenance are not new in Bridgeport. Earlier this summer, the city considered exercising a Connecticut law that would allow it to add a surcharge of up to 5% for tickets at ballparks and arenas, a policy that would have affected the Bluefish. At the time, some officials suggested that the money could be redirected to maintenance on the facility.
For right now, however, the city and the Bluefish are working to resolve the current issue regarding their lease. According to both sides, a deal is likely, though owner Frank Boulton says the Bluefish want to reach an agreement sooner rather than later. More from CTPost.com:
“We’ve tried to be very good partners with the city,” Boulton said. “The Bluefish are looking forward to a 20th anniversary.”
Still, Boulton added, “Clock’s ticking.”
Danny Roach, Ganim’s chief of staff, confirmed, “We’re looking to clear up the dispute before we move forward.”
Next season would be the Bluefish’s 20th in Bridgeport.