On Thursday, officials will consider a request for additional funds for design work on upgrades to UPMC Park, home of the Erie SeaWolves (Class AA; Eastern League).
The Indiana-based firm Jones Petrie Rafinski has been working on a concept for renovations to UPMC Park. Previously, the SeaWolves have pitched the project as a way to improve certain amenities, including those related to the fan experience while making the ballpark a more viable facility over the long run.
As that process continues, a request to the Erie County Convention Center Authority asks that its board of directors approve an additional $4,300 in funds to pay to Jones Petrie Rafinski. According to Erie Events executive director Casey Wells, the extra money would help to complete a more detailed report on UPMC Park upgrades. More from GoErie.com:
Jones Petrie Rafinski has shown preliminary concepts for UPMC Park improvements to Erie Events and SeaWolves officials, said Casey Wells, Erie Events’ executive director. However, “We really want a little more detail, a more detailed concept plan. So they are going to work on some additional concepts, and (Erie Events) will absorb the cost of paying for that additional work.”
The city of Erie has a long-pending request for a $12 million state grant to make various improvements to the ballpark including, but are not limited to, an expanded concessions area; a team store; elevated decks and the expansion of corridors at the stadium; an exterior marquee; a larger children’s area; and new lighting and walkways.
SeaWolves President Greg Coleman, in a previous interview, said the 23-year-old stadium badly needs upgrades that “will make the ballpark more fan-friendly for the duration of the baseball season.”
UPMC Park, originally known as Jerry Uht Park, opened in 1995. The SeaWolves were members of the Short Season A New York-Penn League at the time, with Double-A action arriving to Erie in 1999.