NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The vacant Connecticut Tennis Center has officially been transformed into the Westville Music Bowl.
The 5,000 seat concert venue is set to open Friday, with headliner Gov’t Mule.
At a ribbon cutting Thursday, officials expressed hope the Music Bowl would help with the revitalization of the Westville neighborhood, as well as serve as an economic engine for the entire city.
“This is an exciting journey New Haven is about to take,” said operator Keith Mahler, “We’re in a world-class city.”
Pandemic restrictions that run through May 19 keep outdoor venues to half capacity, meaning only about 2,200 seats will be available for now. Tickets are sold in pods of 4.
“They did create a phased-in approach with the different sector rules,” said Health Director Maritza Bond, whose team worked closely with the New Haven Center for the Performing Arts on safety protocols, “This particular entity has done everything to ensure the safety precautions.”
Concert-goers can keep masks off while in their pods but must put them back on when walking around.
Officials said the former tennis stadium needed little in the way of renovations, aside from a major electrical overhaul. The acoustics were already pitch-perfect, according to Mahler.
City leaders hoping their meticulous planning will pay off for neighbors and visitors, and revamp the economic revitalization derailed by the COVID crisis.
“[We are] working to make sure the residents are not affected negatively,” said Acting Police Chief Renee Dominguez, whose department worked out traffic and safety issues with the city.
The public reaction seems enthusiastic– Friday and Saturday are sold out. Tickets are going fast for Sunday.