COVID-19 has forced plenty of schedule changes to UPMC Park upgrades this year, but work is scheduled to be completed at the home of the Erie SeaWolves (Class AA; Eastern League) before the end of the year.
The offseason renovations were originally scheduled to be completed for the 2020 MiLB season, but when COVID-19 concerns shut down professional baseball in March, it also shut down work in the Erie ballpark. With the lifting of a ban on construction work, it’s back to work at UPMC Ballpark in May, marking the last round of renovations in a multiyear improvement plan. A new entrance plaza will be added down the left-field line, while a new a multi-level structure will include a team store and offices on the first floor, with an upper-level club area connecting to the adjacent Erie Insurance Arena. Other changes are on the way, including improved concession and restroom facilities, lighting and concourse upgrades, an expanded kid’s zone, suite renovations, and more.
In the end, the schedule worked out on the construction side, per a report in GoErie.com:
“The pandemic did set us back,” Wells said. “Fortunately, we were able to recover much of that in the schedule. (Losing the season) was tragic, but it gave us a little more time because we didn’t have the crush and the challenge of having to be ready at the beginning of April.”
Greg Coleman, president of the SeaWolves, is excited that the team will be able to open its own team shop in left field, providing fans the ability to shop there for team gear all year….
“This new left-field building is going to turn the facility into a 365-day venue,” Coleman said. “Fans can shop at the team store around Christmas. The club will be able to be used on a year-round basis. It’ll be a community space and we’re looking forward to being able to unveil that.”
UPMC Park’s playing surface was completely overhauled prior to the 2019 campaign and a new videoboard was installed during the season. The ballpark was originally known as Jerry Uht Park when it opened in 1995, when the SeaWolves were members of the Short Season A New York-Penn League. Double-A action arrived to Erie in 1999.
Photos courtesy Erie SeaWolves.
RELATED STORIES: Renovation work to resume at Erie’s UPMC Park; UPMC Park Renovations Taking Shape; Next UPMC Park Renovations Underway; New UPMC Park Scoreboard on Tap; UPMC Park Upgrades Targeted for 2020; Erie Takes Action on UPMC Park Grant; $12M for UPMC Park Renovations Approved by State; Officials Working to Address UPMC Park Conditions; Tigers Hope for UPMC Park Upgrades; SeaWolves Offer 10-Year Lease Extension If Ballpark Improvements Are Funded;More Funds Requested for UPMC Park Renovation Designs; SeaWolves Make the Case for UPMC Park Upgrades; UPMC Park Renovations Pitched by SeaWolves Ownership