Olate Dogs to Perform at the Warner Theatre

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The Olate Dogs | September 30 | 4:30pm | Warner Theatre

Tickets on sale February 24 – Tickets are $75.00, which includes a meet and greet wit the dogs, and $25.00.

The Olate Dogs are the winning participants from Season 7 of America’s Got Talent capturing the $1,000,000 prize. Since that day, their lives have been a non-stop roller-coaster! Led by father Richard Olate and his son Nicholas Olate, the Olate Dogs (www.olatedogs.com) are a high-energy, fast-paced act filled with doggie friendly and amazing pet tricks.

The all-new LIVE theatrical show include the infamous jumping rope, twirling spinning and fun-loving Olate Dogs made famous on America’s Got Talent…but there’s much more. With a doggy fashion show, a classic comedic routine by Richard Olate, music by Nicholas Olate and amazing cycling and juggling by his wife, the Olate Dogs show is fun for kids of all ages.

The America’s Got Talent win helped launch the Olate Dogs into orbit! This past year along, they’ve appeared on numerous NBA telecast, performing at halftime for the 2016 NBA World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2015 World Champion Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers and a host of others. Fans can often catch them on TV performing at NCAA Football and Basketball halftime shows, as well as Major and Minor League Baseball games. While on tour, they spend much of their time supporting dog rescues and animal shelters, bringing awareness to the need for families to rescue and adopt stray dogs and pets.

The Olate family story is a unique “only in America,” rags to riches journey. In 2012, the Olate Dogs shot to stardom with their victorious performances and grand-prize win on America’s Got Talent. These sweet, funny, talented dogs and their entertaining owners/handlers have been capturing the hearts across the world ever since matriarch Richard Olate developed his act on the streets of his native Chile. Richard Olate grew up very poor in South American and began rescuing stray dogs form the street and training them to be part of his amateur show. A third generation circus performer in the spotlight since he was 12, through hard work and constant struggle, at the age of 33, he made it to the United States. Richard’s dream to have his own dog variety show came true with the family performing hundreds of dates on national tours. Today, Richard and his wife, Rebecca, and son, Nicholas, continue to rescue dogs from shelters and homes and train them to become part of their professional troupe. The Olate Dogs travel across the continent, amazing audiences with their talents and supporting dog rescues and shelters all across America. In addition to his Olate Dogs gig, son Nicholas is sought-after recording artists currently working on his next album project.

As part of their AGT accolades, the Olate Dogs won a headlining stint at The Palazzo in Las Vegas. In addition to multiple touring commitments, they’re movie stars, too. Their first film, “Le Sauvetage” (The Rescue), was met with great acclaim, opening the Sonoma Film Festival in April 2014 and appearing at Court Metrage, Festival de Cannes in France in May 2014.

Ever since a father and son took their 10 flipping, twirling dogs from the center ring of a circus to the stage where they won America’s Got Talent, people have been packing their performances and watching their films. The Olate Dogs use slides and jump rope as good as any playground expert. They fall into conga line in perfect sync and perform flawless backflips. Richard Olate, son Nicholas and their poodle-mix rescue dogs continue to dazzle audiences with the fast-paced, trick-filled shows.

How to Register for Your Chance to “Come on Down” for the Price is Right Live!

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From the desk of Ann Noble, Box Office Manager:

As you may have already heard, the Price is Right Live! stage show is coming back to the Erie Insurance Arena. Sunday, April 23 is your chance to get in on the fun and excitement of this iconic game show!

Wondering how you can become a contestant and win cash and prices, maybe even a new car?! It’s a pretty easy process. Registration will begin three hours prior to the show. You will need to present a valid photo ID and your date of birth. Once your registration card is filled out, you drop it in the designated bins. The random drawing is done by the producers at the beginning of the show. As always, no purchase is necessary to register to be a contestant. There will be a designated area for non-ticket holders to wait for their name to be called to “come on down.” Once all the names have been drawn, any non-ticket holders who have not been selected will leave the building.

Tickets for the Price is Right Live! are on sale now. Prices are $75.00/$47.50/$34.00 and can be purchased at the Erie Insurance Arena Box Office, by calling 814-452-4857 or at http://www.erieevents.com.

The Price is Right Live™ is coming to the Erie Insurance Arena!

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(Erie, PA, February 13, 2017) – The Erie Insurance Arena will play host to The Price is Right Live™ stage show on April 23, 2017 at 7:30pm.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, February 17, 2017 at 10:00am at the Erie Insurance Arena box office, www.erieevents.com or by calling (814) 452-4857.*

The Price Is Right Live™ is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to “Come On Down” and play classic games from television’s longest running and most popular game show. Contestants can win cash, appliances, vacations and possibly even a new car by playing favorites like Plinko™,  Cliffhangers™,  The Big Wheel™, and the fabulous Showcase.

Playing to near sold out audiences for more than ten years, The Price Is Right Live™ has given away over 12 million dollars in cash and prizes to lucky audience members all across North America.

The Price is Right™ is the longest running game show in television history and loved by generations of viewers   This on-stage travelling version gives fans the chance to experience the same fun and winning excitement up close and in-person.

The Price Is Right is produced by FremantleMedia North America and licensed by FremantleMedia.

EVENT:                                  The Price is Right Live!

DATE/TIME:                         April 23, 2017 7:30pm

VENUE:                                  Erie Insurance Arena

TICKETS ON SALE:            Friday, February 17th at 10:00am

*Additional purchase not required for contestant registration. Open to legal US residents, 18 years or older.  Ticket purchase will not increase your chances of being selected to play.  For complete rules & regulations, including eligibility requirements, visit or call the Erie Insurance Arena box office.  To enter the venue to watch show, a ticket purchase is required.

Expo “Season” at the Bayfront Convention Center!

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From the desk of Sandra Olsen, Bayfront Convention Center Sales Manager:

Well, it’s the first quarter at the Bayfront Convention Center and that means it’s consumer show season! We have everything from automobiles, gymnasts, pool tables to RVs — all in the span of three short months! Thousands of people come through the building for each show.

It is truly amazing to see what happens behind the scene to “flip” the building from one show to the other. For the Auto Show, there were 26 deals with more than 140 new cars. Additionally, 21 antique and muscle cars were on display with eight future cars. For the RV show, there are five deals with more than 50 RV, camper and motorhomes on display. Motorcycle Pavilion will have more than 50 ATVs, bikes and gear! Move in of this show is something to see! How they get these enormous vehicles in and out without a scratch is amazing.

In March, the VNEA PA State Pool Tournament moves it’s more than 2,000 shooters from across the state on over to 180 tables. This is the fourth largest pool tournament in the country and it happens right here in Erie, Pennsylvania! Add to the mix a boxing match from Bizzarro Boxing Promotions and the Home and Garden Expo from Erie Promotions and you will round out our first quarter. There is a lot more to attend at the Convention Center, so please visit our website at http://www.erieevents.com for the full calendar of events. Hope to see you soon at one of the consumer shows down on the bayfront!hunt1car-show pool-tables

What’s New at the Arena in Food and Beverage?

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From the desk of Beth Wilkinson, Concession Operations Manager at the Erie Insurance Arena:

If you plan on attending an event at the Erie Insurance Arena, you’ll want to check out the new menu items introduced this year to give our fans additional options when attending an event.

This year, our new main menu item is “rice bowls.” We offer three different choices, with one featured at each event. The choices include: Oriental (Chinese fried rice, marinated vegetables, crispy chicken, chow mien noodles, mandarin oranges and orange ginger sauce); Southwest (Chili Verde, Spanish rice, scallions and sour cream lime cilantro sauce); and Bayou Red Beans and Rice (red beans, dirty rice, scallions, black olives, cheddar cheese and remoulade sauce.) If you’re at an event and want to try one, you can purchase them in the North 1 concession stand located behind section 209-210.

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Did you know we serve poutine at the Arena!? Poutine is a Canadian favorite consisting of French fries, poutine gravy and cheese curd. You can buy poutine behind sections 106 & 117.010

We also offer a new craft beer in two stands at the Arena – Goose Island is available in section 106 and 117. At craft beer stands you can find: Best Damn Root Beer, Smirnoff Electric Berry and Penn Dark.

Whatever your dining pleasure, there is something for everyone at the Arena! We hope you give our new menu items a try!

Atlanta Hawks’ NBA D-League to Begin Play in 2017-18 Season in Erie, Pennsylvania

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NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2017 – The NBA Development League and the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club announced today that the Hawks’ new NBA D-League team intends to play in Erie, Pennsylvania, for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. The team will permanently relocate to a newly constructed arena in College Park, Georgia, prior to the 2019-20 season. It was previously announced that Atlanta’s NBA D-League affiliate would make its debut in 2019-20 in College Park.

Atlanta’s NBA D-League affiliate would represent the record 24th NBA D-League team scheduled to play for the 2017-18 season.

The team plans to play the next two seasons at Erie Insurance Arena, as the Erie BayHawks, giving Atlanta an earlier start with its goal of developing young talent while keeping NBA D-League basketball in the Erie community. The Atlanta Hawks will partner with the BayHawks’ current management team in Erie, led by Owen McCormick and Matt Bresee.

The Orlando Magic, which has agreed to acquire the current Erie BayHawks franchise, announced in December that the team intends to relocate to Lakeland, Florida. The team will be renamed and rebranded for next season.

“I’m thrilled that the Atlanta Hawks have been able to accelerate their minor league team’s entry into the NBA D-League by playing in Erie while their new home in College Park is being constructed,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner. “This is a one-of-a-kind partnership in the NBA D-League, and I’m looking forward to watching the Hawks begin their tenure in the NBA D-League in Erie, which has proved to be a terrific NBA D-League market over the last decade.”

“Since becoming owners of the Atlanta Hawks, securing a D-League team has been one of our group’s top priorities – along with the implementation of a large-scale renovation and upgrade to Philips Arena and construction of a new, world-class practice facility, which were previously announced,” said Atlanta Hawks Principal Owner and Chairman Tony Ressler. “This opportunity to start two years sooner is even better news for both Erie and Atlanta and we are excited to get a head start on Coach Bud and Wes Wilcox’s efforts to develop players as they work to build a championship-caliber team. We would like to thank the BayHawks’ management team for working with our Club and the City of College Park, as it constructs a new facility, as well as the NBA D-League for assisting us in our efforts.”

During the team’s two-year period in Pennsylvania, the Erie BayHawks management team, College Park officials and the Atlanta Hawks will work together on operational and construction matters and collaborate to ensure that both communities benefit from this agreement.

“It’s great news that the Atlanta Hawks will begin managing their NBA D-League team in Erie, Pennsylvania, this upcoming season,” said College Park Mayor Jack P. Longino. “I appreciate the Hawks’ proactive approach and look forward to a seamless transition when the team makes our new College Park arena its home in 2019.”

“We’re thrilled to keep an NBA Development League team in Erie and are looking forward to working with the Atlanta Hawks for what will be the 10th season of BayHawks basketball in 2017-18,” said McCormick, owner of Erie Basketball Management, the group set to manage the day-to-day business operations of the team in Erie.

Six current Hawks have NBA D-League experience, including starters Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schröder, while assistant coaches Darvin Ham and Taylor Jenkins both began their coaching careers on NBA D-League benches. Additionally, Hawks General Manager Wes Wilcox was the inaugural general manager of the NBA D-League’s Canton Charge. The Hawks have assigned three players to the NBA D-League this season.

About the Atlanta Hawks

With a bold identity and strong new ownership, the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and Philips Arena remain committed to making Atlantans proud on the court and off. The 2014-15 Southeast Division Champions, the Hawks have made the postseason in nine consecutive seasons and reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2015. Off the court, the organization has built a culture of inclusion, diversity and innovation, all with a touch of Southern Hospitality. It continues into the community where the organization builds bridges through basketball, whether by constructing and refurbishing courts in Atlanta neighborhoods, providing scholarships to our basketball camps, or surprising and delighting our fans with unique Atlanta Hawks experiences. Atlanta Hawks Membership, which includes your seat for every home game for the 2016-17 regular season games, is on sale now at http://www.hawks.com/membership or by calling 866-715-1500! For more information on the Hawks, log on to http://www.hawks.com today or follow us on twitter @ATLHawks.

About the NBA Development League

The NBA Development League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 22 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2016-17 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time high 38 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2015-16 season boasted NBA D-League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. Fans can watch all NBA D-League games on nbadleague.com.

Extended Version of Op Ed Published in the Erie Times News 1-29-17

Photo credit: Gibbens Creative
Photo credit: Gibbens Creative

By: Elizabeth D’Aurora, Erie Events Coordinator of Communications

Questions have arisen since the City of Erie filed its challenge to the tax-exempt status of the two hotels and the two parking garages which are owned and operated by the Erie County Convention Center Authority. The public needs to have a clear understanding of why the Authority is tax-exempt and how the Authority benefits the taxpayers of the City and County while improving the quality of life in our community.

I. Tax-Exempt Status Necessary

The tax-exempt status of the Authority was a critical factor in planning and constructing the Convention Center hotels. The Authority thoroughly investigated the possibility of partnering with privately owned hotel operators, but we were unable to find any who were willing to build hotels of a size and quality necessary to ensure success.  The Authority’s tax-exempt status allowed the Authority to build bigger and better hotels to fulfill requirements of the Convention Center development.  In short, the tax-exempt status of the Authority was essential to the creation of a world-class destination that was simply not achievable through the private sector.

The financing of the Convention Center hotels came primarily from bonds issued by the Authority which were guaranteed by the County. The Authority uses hotel revenues to pay down the bonds that were used to build the hotels.  Those bonds were sold on the assumption that the Authority’s hotels were tax-exempt, and the bondholders purchased those bonds on the assumption that the Authority’s hotels were tax-exempt.  Changing that rule, nine years into the thirty year bond repayment commitment, is unfair and dangerous to both the bondholders and County taxpayers, since County taxpayers are ultimately responsible for any failure to fulfill this long term obligation.

One only needs to look at the minimal private commercial development that has occurred on the Bayfront in the past twenty years to appreciate that tax exemption is a critical component of successful development. The limited private commercial development that has occurred, and that which has long been promised but has not yet materialized, is itself reliant on extensive tax exemptions (ten year grace period from real estate taxes under LERTA and relief from other taxes under the CRIZ designation) and substantial state grants (most recently, a $5,000,000 state grant to a private party, with no repayment obligation).

In the end, it is the taxpayers who own the hotels, and it is the taxpayers who are the sole beneficiary of any profits from the hotels. Every penny which has been generated by the hotels, and every penny which will be generated in the future, has been, and will continue to be, reinvested by the Authority in our community.

II. Community Economic Benefits

The Authority has provided many benefits to the community at large, and the City in particular since the Authority was created in 2000:

  • Saved the City over $3,000,000 in taxpayer subsidies for the Arena, the Ballpark and the Theatre over the past fifteen years
  • Made substantial infrastructure improvements for the benefit of the City:
  • $2,500,000 for a sewer line, lift station and related items on State Street
  • $313,000 to rebuild the City’s sewer lift station on the Bayfront Parkway
  • $450,000 to upgrade the City’s water system on the Bayfront
  • Generates $250,000 annually in amusement and parking taxes for the City
  • Employs in Authority facilities nearly 1000 people who generate more than $100,000 in local wage taxes annually
  • Created more than $250,000,000 of construction investment in the City
  • Created over 841 prevailing wage construction jobs
  • Maintains a 600 foot, free courtesy dock for boaters in the West Canal Basin
  • Created more than 4000 feet of free public access walkways on the waterfront where none had previously existed
  • Secured $10,000,000 in state grants to clean up the GAF site, which would otherwise have been unavailable for taxable commercial development due to its environmental condition
  • Renovated the Arena, the Ballpark and the Theatre, which collectively attract more than 850,000 patrons annually. These reinvestments positioned Erie to retain its sports teams and will grow our cultural arts organizations.
  • Generates more than $94,000,000 in related spending in the community
    • $11.1 million for Tickets and Admissions
    • $24.2 million for Eating and Drinking
    • $34.9 million for Transportation and Lodging
    • $19.5 million for Shopping
    • $4.7 million for Other spending

All of this has been accomplished without a single taxpayer dollar from the City of Erie.

III. The Creation of the Authority:  A Dream and a Promise

It is essential to revisit the past in order to understand the Authority’s position. It began in the late 1990s, when a group of public officials and private citizens developed a visionary proposal to build a convention center and host hotel on the Bayfront.  It must be remembered that Bayfront development at that time was only a dream.  The Penelec coal fired generating plant was still in operation.  The Sassafras Street dock, now the site of the Convention Center, was occupied by Erie Sand & Gravel and the GAF shingle factory.  Public access to the waterfront was virtually non-existent.  It took vision, and quite a dream, to see something so different through all of that.

The proposal called for: (1) the creation of the Authority under the Third Class County Convention Center Authority Act (the “Act”); and (2) pursuant to the Act, the imposition of a hotel bed tax.

The Act applies to all third class counties across the Commonwealth, a number of which have, like Erie, created convention center authorities. The Act has always provided that all properties owned by an authority are exempt from real property taxes.  In this regard, the Authority always has been, and continues to be, no different than any other authority created under the Act.

The City and the County created the Authority in the spring of 2000. They did so with the understanding that the Act would be amended in three critical ways:  (1) to expand the scope of the Authority to include the Tullio Arena, Jerry Uht Park, and Warner Theatre; (2) to reimburse Erie County for the costs of administering the bed tax; and (3) to expand the representation on the Authority Board.  This amendment was passed by the legislature in the fall of 2000. It should be noted that neither this amendment nor any subsequent amendment changed the provision that properties owned by an authority are tax-exempt.

Of particular importance was coverage of the Arena, the Ballpark and the Theatre. At that time, these facilities were managed by an arm of the City.  The operation of these facilities required a subsidy of up to $280,000 in City taxpayer funds annually and a key objective in creating the Authority was to relieve the City of that burden.

IV. The Dream Fulfilled – the Promise Kept

I think we can rightfully say that the Authority has both fulfilled the dreams and has kept the promises which were made when the Authority was formed and it has done so in a way which has exceeded all expectations.

The Convention Center Complex, including the hotels and parking garages, is simply spectacular, by any reasonable measure, and especially in comparison to communities which are of the same size as Erie. The Convention Center has exceeded every projection made prior to its construction.  The Convention Center will host 22 conventions in 2017, and successive years look equally promising, now that we have a sufficient number of hotel rooms which are connected to the Convention Center to accommodate much larger groups.

The Arena, the Ballpark and the Theatre have been upgraded to retain our sports teams and meet the increasing needs of arts organizations and nationally touring acts. Again, these facilities are impressive and unique for communities our size.

V. The Future

The Authority has conceived, constructed and successfully operated more transformational projects than any other local governmental agency. Look at the Warner Theatre, Erie Insurance Arena, UPMC Park, the Convention Center Complex and our Bayfront Place Development Plan. These are the types of projects that we have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that we can and will do, if we work together as a community.

It is critical that we continue this course and retain all the tools, as originally promised, to help our City, County and its hard working residents expand our opportunities to make Erie an even better place to live, work, and play.