Check out some of the top sports news for Bridgeport in 2021

Check out some of the top sports news for Bridgeport in 2021

In addition to the massive human toll, physical and mental toll that the pandemic continues to inflict on everyone, it continues to affect the world of sports in some extraordinary ways.

Many colleges haven’t played at all in 2020-21, like Yale and the rest of the Ivy League, before returning to competition in the fall. Others played in front of little or no audience, although these restrictions were relaxed little by little as winter turned into spring. A similar process continued in high school sports, where limited winter fan suits gave way to a fairly regular outdoor audience in the spring. Bridgeport’s NCAA men’s regional hockey game, which has drawn at least 4,000 (and usually more) on each of its five previous visits to the city, is closed to all but about 100 invitees from each team.

Some teams have been quarantined at the worst of times; COVID protocols led to the SCC canceling the boys’ hockey tournament, which could have challenged Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-West Haven for first place in the state. Since there were no winter tournaments, teams played only for conference titles, and many teams had to withdraw from those competitions early.

There were other strange consequences. Many college sports eventually entered the spring, so it seemed like local colleges were practicing each sport at the same time. Sacred Heart has managed to win the Northeast Conference Football Championship twice in seven months, winning an exceptional playoff in April at Duquesne to complete a short “2020” season and then the regular title 2021 season to win.

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Webster Bank Arena also acquired a temporary tenant when Westchester Knicks moved in; Their yard has been designated for coronavirus vaccination.

Here’s a look at some of the most interesting sports stories at Greater Bridgeport in 2021.

New bars, new rent

Two long-awaited campus projects began in 2021.

On the Western Campus of the Sacred Heart, under the office once owned by General Electric CEO Jack Welch, rises $70 million in the Martire Family Arena, home to the school’s hockey, field hockey and figure skating programs. You are also playing the role of high school games host.

Across town in Fairfield, Alumni Hall has vanished, taking over the $45 million convention center and plaza. The school plans several uses for the building, as well as a basketball and volleyball court for the Fairfield’s and Fairfield Prep teams.

Schools plan to complete both arenas in the fall of 2022, although the first Sacred Heart Games at the new rink will take place in January 2023.

Meanwhile, Bridgeport is building the current home of Fairfield basketball and men’s hockey for Sacred Heart after 20 years. The city council approved a $28 million deal to maintain and renovate Webster Bank Arena, with arena operator and primary tenant, Bridgeport Islanders (who changed their name in May after 20 years as Sound Tigers), and promised the AHL in the city for another 10 years.

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