First Concert Memories

by Dawn Betza, Marketing Coordinator

This blog comes on the heels of a big first in my family – my daughter’s first concert, Taylor Swift at Heinz Field. And wow, what a show — or better yet, what a spectacle! Taylor does not disappoint. My daughter is 9, much younger than I was when I saw my first concert…Rick Springfield back in 1983. But I remember so many details, almost like it was yesterday, because it was such a memorable event in my life.

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My daughter and and I in front of Taylor Swift’s semi.

Music inspires, empowers and motivates. We listen together with our peers, go to concerts with friends, dance with significant others – exciting & meaningful times in our lives. When you hear a song from the past, it transports you back in time to a particular moment or feeling as if you were actually there.

I recently read an article about the ‘reminiscence bump.’ Psychologists say that we tend to recall more memories under the age of 30 than any other time in our life, this is because we experience things for the first time & everything is new.

So what was your first concert? I thought it would be interesting to share some of the artists who have performed at the Erie Insurance Arena & Warner Theatre over the years.  I’m sure many of you have special memories or a few good stories from attending one of these shows!

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We would love to hear your stories or see your pictures from your first concert…or from any other show!  Share with us on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ErieEvents/

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Kevin at the Park: Experience at Bark at the Park

by Danielle Weaver, Human Resources Coordinator

By day, I’m the human resources coordinator at Erie Events, but after 5 p.m., I take on a completely different job: I’m a proud dog mom of two English Bulldogs named Kevin and Phoebe.

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Meet Kevin! He’s my English Bulldog and he loved Bark at the Park.

It’s no secret that those who live in Erie can’t wait to fast forward to summer. When the weather gets warm, one of my favorite things to do is attend Bark at the Park at UPMC Park. Bark at the Park is a night when fans can bring their well-behaved dogs to a baseball game! UPMC Park features six luxury suites, two picnic areas, three primary concession stands and a Bud Light Beer Garden, so there’s something for everyone – and now dogs, too! It’s a treat that the SeaWolves offered this special promotion for a night out with the fur babies.

Recently, my husband and I took Kevin to Bark at the Park. I even named his special night “Kevin at the Park”! Kevin loved his night! Kevin hung out at the Bud Light Beer Garden, but he had to take the elevator up because he’s not athletic enough to go up multiple flights of stairs.

Kevin really only accepts other bulldogs in his friend circle, and he made friends with a bulldog named Goose at Bark in the Park. A small feisty wiener dog went at Goose and Kevin legitimately had Goose’s back – I swear I’m not making this up! It was a good time for Kevin and we enjoyed it, too.

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Posing with Kevin. We’ll be back!

Bark at the Park brings all different kinds of people – and dogs – together for a night out. Having your dog at the park is a great ice breaker to meet other people. Dog owners might not have something in common, but your dogs might, and that drives a conversation.

If I could offer any advice for first timers taking their dog to the park, I would tell them to consider the heat and pack cold water. There is water served community bowl style, but bringing water will help. Doggy bags are key if there’s an accident, and if you have a bulldog (perhaps named Kevin), you will probably be carrying him back to the car by the end of the night!

 

A New Look on the Bayfront

by Gus Pine, General Manager of the Bayfront Convention Center

In the summer of 2016, Erie Events opened up the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel, starting a new chapter for us on the Bayfront.

That’s because the addition of the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel, along with the existing Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel solidified us as major players in the convention business. With the beautiful Bayfront Convention Center and now over 400 connected hotel rooms, we added some key elements that meeting planners were looking for.

The completion of the Courtyard proved to be the genesis of our next step. As general manager of the Bayfront Convention Center, my job is not just to think about the day-to-day operations, but also to think long-term and how we shape our future growth and direction. A key question quickly emerged. We have the Bayfront Convention Center, the Sheraton and the Courtyard – but how do we pitch them? Do we list them all out, are they separate entities? Essentially, how do we best market our resources to others in a clear, yet concise, package?

The answer was found in the creation of a collective brand. The team at Erie Events has been working with Tungsten Creative Group, a marketing organization based right here in Erie, to take our three facilities and marry them with one collective message. Now, of course, when needed we are our own brand, but when pitched as a unit to potential conventions, we will now be on the same page under one umbrella. Through our overall brand, our potential customers will truly see all that we have to offer.

I’m 100 percent convinced this will help us secure more conventions.

We have a fantastic location. It’s like a convention resort down here at the Bayfront. If you haven’t been down, stop by and see our facilities. Everything overlooks the bay, and that’s a great way to get work done.

We’ve got a great story here – we just need a vehicle to do it. Our new branding efforts, which we’ll begin unveiling in August as part of a major marketing initiative, will do just that.

We’ll also be looking to tie-in our future development in the area, including that at the former GAF site, now known as Bayfront Place. We could see the development of entertainment options, restaurants, or residential housing available at the site. We aspire to be a place where locals and travelers can mingle, and the more we have going on down here, the quicker we will reach that goal.

One of the key elements to a thriving city is the reliance on the dollars of outsiders. We can trade dollars as locals, but when travelers come in and bring in additional demand, it brings the city to another level. That’s what we’re looking to do, and we’re excited to continue the process this summer.

Graduation at Erie Insurance Arena

By Brandon Boyd, Coordinator of Communications

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That’s me (left) with my friend, Mike, outside of the Erie Insurance Arena after graduating. Apparently I had not yet learned how to directly show off my diploma.

Five years ago today, I walked across the stage at Erie Insurance Arena and received my diploma from Penn State Behrend.

Graduation is a special time for all, and I can still remember the pride I felt seeing my hard work in college finally reach its culmination. It was an honor to have my family in the crowd to see me graduate, too.

For those graduating this year, you may have been counting down to graduation day for quite some time. Well, that time is just about here, and all of us here at Erie Insurance Arena want to make sure your day goes as smooth as possible.

Parents and friends of graduates need to remember that all patrons entering the Erie Insurance Arena need to go through a metal detector. At every event, this comes as a surprise to some, but it is simply the standard at facilities today.

When going through metal detectors, we ask that you remove your phones, keys, electronic devices (including a camera to take a picture of your smiling grad!), and large metal objects.

However, you don’t have to remove your belt, your watch, jewelry, wallet or coins.

We also ask that if at all possible, avoid bringing a bag or purse to graduation. Bags and purses at any event at the Erie Insurance Arena are subject to additional screening, slowing down the entry process. Bring only essential items!

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Some tips for you to remember when going through our metal detectors.

One last note: While there are plenty of things you CAN bring, there are some items that you just CANNOT bring. Those include bottles or cans, outside food and beverages, flasks, noise makers, selfie sticks, weapons, and other dangerous or unlawful items. Safety first!

We look forward to having you for graduation at Erie Insurance Arena and we can’t wait to be part of your special day!

 

Ignore the Weather: Things Are Heating Up At Erie Events

By Brandon Boyd, Coordinator of Communications and Client Relations

If looking out your window and seeing April snow makes you melancholy, don’t worry, we’ve got just what can cheer you up.

While the weather has yet to make the turn, all of us here at Erie Events have our sights set on a bright and sunny future.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start with our very own Erie SeaWolves. The SeaWolves have already taken to the field and their bats are beginning to finally heat up even if the weather hasn’t. We look for the SeaWolves to have another successful year both on and off the field. Just in the month of April, the SeaWolves have a fleece blanket giveaway, fireworks, catch on the field, and more. Personally, I’m excited for all the Buck Nights this year. In late April, one of the SeaWolves’ opponents, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (what a name!) bring Tim Tebow to the field. That will be a series you won’t want to miss!

On Friday of this week, Casey Wells, our executive director, will have information on a possible grant that will bring funding for renovations for UPMC Park and Erie Insurance Arena. If the grant is received, the Erie SeaWolves and Erie Otters will commit to 10 more years in Erie. Talk about a bright future!

Our events schedule for the upcoming months looks promising, too, with a number of concerts and performances ready to wow the Erie crowds. Our schedule of events includes:

  • April 19: Gov’t Mule, Warner Theatre
  • April 26: Brian Regan, Warner Theatre
  • May 12: Lloyd and Layton Greene, Warner Theatre
  • May 12: Brantley Gilbert, Erie Insurance Arena
  • May 16: Peppa Pig’s Surprise, Warner Theatre
  • June 29: Dierks Bentley, Erie Insurance Arena
  • September 25: REO Speedwagon, Warner Theatre
  • November 9 and 10: Monster Jam, Erie Insurance Arena

We also have a few family-friendly events that we’ll be announcing in the coming days.

As always, tickets are available at http://www.erieevents.com. We look forward to hosting you at any number of our events and we hope you have a great time! All said, despite the weather forecast bringing us down, the forecast for Erie Events is clear skies, sun, and a whole lot of entertainment!

 

Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year Connor McDavid

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2015 NHL Draft top prospect Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters is the 2014-15 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the league.

McDavid finished third in OHL scoring with 120 points in 47 games played recording 44 goals and 76 assists with a league-high plus-minus rating of plus-60 helping the Otters win 50 games for the second straight season earning their first Midwest Division title since 2002.  He becomes the second straight Otter to win the award and third player in franchise history to receive the honour following Connor Brown and Brad Boyes who won back-to-back in 2001 and 2002.

“Obviously it’s amazing, it’s such a special honour,” McDavid said. “It’s an award that’s really for a team. You wouldn’t be at this point without your teammates and all the coaches and everyone. I think it’s one of the most team-oriented awards there are. Obviously it means a lot getting your name on it, but at the same time, I owe it all to the boys.  You look at the list of names that have been there before and a couple of Otters come to mind, obviously Brad Boyes and Connor Brown. Just to be named with those two guys, let alone the other names that are on that trophy, it’s such an honour.”

The 18-year-old from Newmarket, ON, recorded a point in 45 of his 47 games played this season with an incredible 36 multi-point efforts and highlighted by a league-high 27-game point-streak.  The Otters’ captain led the league with three-star recognition in 32 games this season including 17 first star performances.  He received OHL Player of the Week honours for the week ending October 26 and was named OHL Player of the Month in October and February while leading the OHL’s Western Conference Coaches Poll with first place votes in three categories including Best Playmaker and Best Skater both for the second straight season, and Best Stickhandler for the third straight season.  A member of Canada’s National Junior Team, McDavid won gold at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and was named a Tournament All-Star finishing tied for first with 11 points.

“We all know he’s an amazing player, playing in an amazing development league,” said Otters General Manager Sherry Bassin. “The real issue is, I want the world to know that he’s an amazing person. It’s his character as a person, it’s his inner drive to be the best he can. That combination with his ability makes him very worthy of this award. It’s a special award for a special person.”

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League.  First presented in 1945, the trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Accredited media were asked to select their top three choices from the 20 nominees submitted by all 20 member clubs.  Players received five points for a first place selection, three points for second place and one point for a third place selection.  In over 80 ballots collected, McDavid received 407 points in the voting process with first place votes on over 94% of all ballots.  Overage Player of the Year and New Jersey Devils prospect Joseph Blandisi of the Barrie Colts finished second in voting with 123 points, followed by Defenceman of the Year and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Anthony DeAngelo of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Arizona Coyotes prospect Max Domi of the London Knights who tied for third in voting with 79 points.

Eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, McDavid is the top ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.  He becomes the sixth youngest recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy behind John Tavares who earned the honour as a 16-year-old with the Oshawa Generals in 2007, and four other players who received the honour prior to their NHL Draft selection including Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers in 2010, the Whalers’ David Legwand in 1998, the Generals’ Eric Lindros in 1991, and Jack Valiquette of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1974.

McDavid’s 2015 Red Tilson Trophy marks the fifth different major OHL Award he has earned since joining the league after being granted exceptional player status as a 15-year-old by Hockey Canada in 2012 making him the most decorated player in OHL history.  As the Otters’ first overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, McDavid received the Jack Ferguson Award and later earned the Emms Family Award as Rookie of the Year for the 2012-13 season.  Last season he received the William Hanley Trophy awarded to the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, also earning the Bobby Smith Trophy as the OHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year which he won again in 2014-15.  He becomes just the second player in OHL history to have his name appear on OHL Awards six times joining former Otter Brad Boyes who earned Red Tilson Trophy honours in 2001 and 2002, William Hanley Trophy honours in 2001 and 2002, along with the Bobby Smith Trophy in 2000, and the Wayne Gretzky ‘99’ Award as OHL Playoff MVP in 2002.

McDavid will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year Award presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony during the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Quebec City.  McDavid will also be present at the OHL’s Awards Ceremony on Tuesday June 9 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Erie SeaWolves Announce Sale of Franchise

(Erie, PA)Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC, parent company of the Erie SeaWolves, is pleased to announce an agreement has been reached to sell the Double-A team to Fernando Aguirre.

The purchase agreement is subject to customary closing conditions. The Eastern League, Minor League

Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball have all approved the sale. Terms of the agreement are confidential.

Mandalay Baseball Properties has been the principal owner and operator of the Erie SeaWolves, a Detroit Tigers affiliate, since 2003.  Aguirre became a respected business leader with The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) in a broad range of global leadership positions.  After more than 23 years with P&G, he was hired in 2004 to lead Chiquita Brands International as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  Aguirre held the role for almost nine years before leaving his corporate career to become an entrepreneur.  “We’re delighted to have reached an agreement with Fernando,” said Art Matin, CEO of Mandalay Baseball Properties.

“He has a passion for baseball and business, and it’s clear the franchise is in very capable hands.  We’re very thankful for the support of our fans, sponsors, and community partners over the past 11 years.”

“This is a very exciting opportunity and my third and most important investment in the business of baseball,” said Aguirre, who recently became the second largest owner and Vice-Chairman of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Advanced A, Chicago Cubs) and also owns a minority interest in the Cincinnati Reds.  “I look forward to working with the dedicated front office staff to enhance the fan experience and the team’s impact in the community.  I’m also eager to work with the team’s many outstanding partners including the Detroit Tigers and Erie Events.”

Erie SeaWolves President Greg Coleman will continue to oversee day-to-day operations of the franchise under Mr. Aguirre’s leadership.  Coleman joined the SeaWolves and Mandalay Baseball Properties in 2011.

“We are excited to open a new chapter in SeaWolves history,” Coleman said.  “Fernando brings a remarkable set of experiences and relationships to the team and the Erie community.  This will be a seamless transition for our employees, sponsors and fans while positioning the SeaWolves to flourish in the years ahead.”

A native of Mexico City, Aguirre attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on a baseball scholarship. He was an infielder for three seasons and pitched his senior season for the Cougars. Aguirre earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1980 from SIUE.  He also attended the prestigious YPO Harvard President’s seminar for 10 years, earning Harvard Business School graduate status in 2009.  In 2010, Aguirre became the first Hispanic leader to appear on the CBS program Undercover Boss. Aguirre is married to his wife Citlali of 29 years and the couple has two adult sons, Franco and Fabrizio. He and his family became naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2009. Aguirre is also very active on Twitter and can be found @FdoAguirreCEO.

Aguirre has been heavily involved in corporate governance with past service on the board of directors of

Univision, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Levi Strauss & Company, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  He currently serves on the board of directors of Aetna (a Fortune 100 provider of health care products), Barry Callebaut (the largest producer of chocolate and cocoa in the world), and Coveris (a privately owned global manufacturer of flexible packaging).  Aguirre is also a board member of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE) and serves on the board of advisors of the Bechtler Museum in Charlotte, NC.

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SeaWolves Assistant GM/Communications Greg Gania, SeaWolves General Manager Greg Coleman & SeaWolves new owner Fernando Aguirre

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SeaWolves owner Fernando Aguirre

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SeaWolves GM Greg Coleman, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Seawolves Owner Fernando Aguirre & Erie Events Executive Director Casey Wells

Erie is Second Stop on Lewis Black’s 2015 Tour

Comedian Lewis Black is coming back to Erie for a performance at the Warner Theatre in 2015. “The Rant Is Due: Part Deux” tour will be in Erie January 9th at 8pm. Tickets for his show go on sale Friday, November 7th at 10am. They range in price from $36 to $66 and can be purchased at http://www.erieevents.com or by calling 452-4857. More information on Lewis Black can be found at http://www.lewisblack.com.

 

Bayhawks Season Quickly Approaching – Training Roster Set

The NBA Development League Draft took place earlier this evening as the Erie BayHawks drafted seven players. In addition, Erie has added four players from the Erie tryout and two players are returning from last season.

The BayHawks did not have a first round pick after using it to trade for Jeremy Tyler last season. Erie had two picks in the second round and pcked up Daniel Coursey (6’10, 220, Mercer) with their first pick of the draft. Coursey averaged over 10 points per game his senior year, helping Mercer advance to the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament after defeating three seeded Duke.

Erie then selected John Bohannon (6’11, 210, UTEP) with their second selection of the second round. Bohannon led his team last year in rebounds with 8.3 per game.

In subsequent rounds, the BayHawks took guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (6’4, 210, Ohio State) in the fourth, guard Kevin Anderson (6’0, 175, Richmond) in the fifth, guard Travis Betran (6’3, 185, AustinPeay) in the sixth, center Marcus Goode (6’10, 295, Benedict College) in the seventh, and guard Justin Simmons (6’3, 190, Nebraska-Omaha) in the eighth and final round.

Also joining the BayHawks training camp roster are Marcel Anderson (6’1, 180, Harris Stowe State) and Darren White (6’4, 210, Campbell). Anderson played eight games for Erie last year and White played the entire season.

In addition to the seven players drafted and two that are returning, the BayHawks have invited four players, all who participated in the Erie tryout, to attend training camp. Those players include Alvin Brown (6’10, 2010, South Carolina-Aiken), Mike Schachtner (6’9, 215, Green Bay), Marquis Weddle (6’1, 185, Tennessee-Martin), and Jarvis Williams (6’6, 195, Minnesota State-Mankato).

The BayHawks Training Camp roster stands at 17 players, matching the maximum allowed by the league. Erie will open camp on Tuesday at Penn State Behrend’s Junker Center.

Erie BayHawks 2014-15 Training Camp Roster

NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT SCHOOL ACQUIRED
Anderson, Kevin 6-0 175 RICHMOND  2014 DRAFT
Anderson, Marcel 6-1 180 HARRIS-STOWE STATE  RETURNING
Batts, Kadeem 6-9 245 PROVIDENCE COLLEGE  AFFILIATION
Betran, Travis 6-3 185 AUSTIN-PEAY  2014 DRAFT
Bohannon, John 6-11 210 UTEP  2014 DRAFT
Brown, Alvin 6-10 210 SOUTH CAROLINA-AIKEN ERIETRYOUT
Coursey, Daniel 6-10 220 MERCER  2014 DRAFT
Crawford, Drew 6-5 215 NORTHWESTERN   AFFILIATION
Curry, Seth 6-2 185 DUKE      TRADE
Goode, Marcus 6-10 295 BENEDICT COLLEGE  2014 DRAFT
Schachtner, Mike 6-9 215 GREEN BAY ERIETRYOUT
Simmons, Justin 6-3 190 NEBRASKA-OMAHA  2014 DRAFT
Siva, Peyton 6-0 185 LOUISVILLE  AFFILIATION
Smith Jr., Lenzelle 6-4 210 OHIO STATE  2014 DRAFT
Weddle, Marquis 6-1 185 TENNESSEE-MARTIN ERIETRYOUT
White, Darren 6-4 210 CAMPBELL  RETURNING
Williams, Jarvis 6-6 195 MINNESOTA STATE-MANKATO ERIETRYOUT

 

The BayHawks start their season on November 14 when Erie travels to Idaho to face the Stampede on back-to-back nights. The BayHawks then head to Erie Insurance Arena for their home tip-off weekend to host the defending D-League Champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Season tickets and group tickets are on sale and can be purchased by contacting the BayHawks front office at 814-790-5600.