The Erie SeaWolves (Class AA; Eastern League) would commit to a 10-year lease extension — through 2030 — if the state of Pennsylvania approves a $12-million grant for upgrades to UPMC Park.
The current SeaWolves lease runs through 2020, and the team — along with city and county officials, Erie Otters management, as well as ballpark owner Erie Events — is seeking a state grant for ballpark upgrades. SeaWolves Owner Fernando Aguirre made the offer of a lease extension in a letter to local officials. From GoErie.com:
Jones Petrie Rafinski, an Indiana-based architectural firm, is working on the multimillion-dollar plan for UPMC Park improvements, which include 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.
Representatives of the architectural firm gave an update to the Erie County Convention Center’s board of directors on Thursday. The authority oversees Erie Events.
“I will commit to extending the SeaWolves’ lease for UPMC Park for an additional ten seasons if the grant is funded to the fullest extent,” Aguirre wrote to local officials in his April 10 letter. The team’s current lease agreement with Erie Events for UPMC Park runs through 2020.
As mentioned, the Erie Otters leadership supports the investment, even though the OHL team isn’t a direct beneficiary of the upgrades. The logic, however, is that if the Erie Events campus, which includes the team’s home. Erie Insurance Arena, is upgraded, the hockey team would benefit as well.