A Day in the Life: BCC Administrative Assistant

Carolyn Phillips

My name is Carolyn Phillips.  I am the Administrative Assistant for the Bayfront Convention Center.  I have been with the convention center since its opening in 2007.

I have various duties in the handling of all the functions of the administrative offices of the convention center.

My primary focus is to do all the contracts for every event at the convention center. I send out the contract, keep track of all the necessary paperwork required to produce the event, handle collecting the payments, send out the invoices and follow up for any final payments.

I am the first line of contact for the convention center and I especially like having that one on one contact with our guests. The convention center is a busy venue.  We have a large variety of different events at the center which keeps it new and exciting.  With the addition of another hotel on our property, we will be opening up the convention center to more and larger events.  I am proud to be part of such a wonderful community asset!


Courtyard by Marriott Bayfront Hotel Construction Begins

The Erie County Convention Center Authority moves forward today with a hotel groundbreaking to continue investing in the development of Erie’s prime Bayfront property.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett along with Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott, State Senator Sean Wiley and other elected officials and community leaders were at the ceremonial event.

The Courtyard by Marriott Bayfront Hotel is located to the west of the Bayfront Convention Center at 2 Sassafras Pier. It will be five floors with 192 rooms. There will be 14 suites, 64 king-bed rooms and 114 double suite rooms, some with a balcony facing Presque Isle Bay.

The total cost to develop the hotel is $42.5 million. Rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott Bayfront Hotel will cost 20% to 30% less than the average room rate at the Bayfront Sheraton Hotel.

The hotel will create 41 full-time and 14 part-time positions, along with 44 permanent indirect jobs created by supplier industries and secondary industries. Additionally, there will be 178 construction jobs stemming from the project.

The hotel will have amenities including two bars, three meeting rooms, a fitness center and an indoor pool. There will also be the first of its kind outdoor infinity pool overlooking Presque Isle Bay.

A $7.6 million, 281 space parking garage will be built simultaneously with the hotel for guest use and to provide for future development at Bayfront Place. There will be two retail spaces included in the parking garage – one will be 3,800 square feet and the other 4,300 square feet.

Construction on the parking garage begins in the spring of 2015, but will be complete at the same time as the hotel in the spring 2016.

Additionally, the Erie County Convention Center Authority is unveiling new branding today for the organization. The ECCCA will now be commonly known as “Erie Events” with the slogan “Get Up and Go!” Our new branding is more easily recognizable and understandable for residents and visitors.

“Branding is an important aspect of who we are and what we do,” said Elizabeth D’Aurora, Coordinator of Communications and Client Relations for Erie Events. “Our new slogan better fits our action-oriented mission to create a lively downtown atmosphere.”

Along with our new branding, Erie Events is launching a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Search “Erie Events” on all three of those sites to find us.

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Mercyhurst Men’s Hockey Team to Host The Ohio State University in “Snowtown Throwdown”

Officials from Mercyhurst University along with the Erie County Convention Center Authority announced today the “Snowtown Throwdown” two-game series set to be played in January at Erie Insurance Arena.

The inaugural “Snowtown Throwdown” games will be played on January 2nd and 3rd with an Erie Otters hockey game to follow.

The Friday game is set for 7:05pm with the Saturday puck drop at 2:35pm.

The Erie Otters will play the Windsor Spitfire at 7pm Saturday evening.

Tickets will be available soon with a portion of proceeds from ticket sales going towards the Mental Health Association of Northwest Pennsylvania.

Stay  tuned for the latest on the Division I “Snowtown Throwdown.”

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Week Full of Fun in Downtown Erie

If you’re looking for something to do this week, there is plenty going on in downtown Erie.

gala of the royal horses

Erie Insurance Arena will transform to host the Gala of the Royal Horses on Wednesday night at 7:30.

Tickets are still available for the unique show (http://www.erieevents.com/announcements/gala-of-the-royal-horses) that features horses from around the world that is a must-see show for horse lovers.

Boz Scaggs

Also on Wednesday night, Boz Scaggs will perform at the Warner Theatre with the Memphis Tour.

The show starts at 8pm with tickets on sale now http://www.erieevents.com/announcements/boz-scaggs.

Connor McDavid

On Thursday, your Erie Otters take the ice against the Plymouth Whalers at 7pm.

If you haven’t seen a game yet  this year, you don’t want to miss Conner McDavid and his teammates on home ice.

Have you experienced the GoErie Club in the Erie Insurance Arena yet?

Brighid O’Brien is the Erie County Convention Center Authority’s executive assistant and the premium services coordinator.  She works with suite holders as well as personal seat license holders and others who attend an event in the GoErie Club. She encourages everyone to check out at least one game or event from the GoErie Club:

When attending an event on the 3rd level, the GoErie Club, you have access to many amenities. You may be wondering how can you purchase tickets for the next Otters game or maybe for the Royal Gala of Horses?  Visit our box office and tell them you would like to enjoy the next event in the GoErie Club.  There is an upcharge for these seats: $10 for Otters & BayHawks games and $15.00 for all other events.go erie club logoleft barright bar

Were you looking to build moral amongst colleagues or just want to reward your employees and loyal customers? The GoErie Club has hosted numerous corporate events and outings. The GoErie Club is available to groups during events and also on non-event days.

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As the Premium Services Coordinator at the Erie Insurance Arena, I look forward to seeing you and work on planning an event with you! Contact me at brighid@erieevents.com.


New! Phone Charging Stations at Erie Insurance Arena

It’s happened to just about everyone — you’re out for the night when your cell phone battery dies. You’re unable to communicate with friends and family to plan where you’ll meet after the game/concert and what time you’ll get there.

But if that ever happens when you’re at Erie Insurance Arena, you can now charge back up and carry on with your plans.

GoErie sponsors the two newly installed charging stations in the arena with eight chargers per unit.

The station charges 1% of your battery per minute.

Whether you have an iPhone 4/5/6 or an Android, there’s a charger to fit your phone.

So the next time you’re enjoying a night out at Erie Insurance Arena and you’re phone dies, you won’t have to worry.

Find the charging stations behind sections 114 and 108!



“Burn It Down” Tour Heats up Erie Insurance Arena

After a two-day set up and an amazing concert, Erie Insurance Arena is already back to “normal.” The ice is uncovered and ready for the Otters upcoming Saturday game.

The Jason Aldean “Burn It Down” tour with Florida-Georgia Line and Tyler Farr came and went, but not without a putting on a memorable performance to a sold out crowd.

Crews rolled into town on Wednesday to start setting up the show that has sold out 50,000+ stadiums across the country.

Before a sold out, energetic crowd that packed the arena in plaid, cowboy boots and cowboy hats, Tyler Farr took the stage singing his most popular songs including “Whiskey in my Water” and “A Guy Walks into a Bar.” He warmed up the stage for the guys of Florida-Georgia Line who put on an unbelievable performance. The crowd sang along to their most popular songs including “Dirt,” “Cruise,” and “This is How We Roll.”

Then, the main event — Jason Aldean — came out in full force.  It was an intimate setting for the star as he performed for around 7,000 fans, a small crowd compared to his typical performances at larger venues. He didn’t disappoint, as he had pyrotechnics and around an hour and 45 minute performance. Fans heard his most popular songs, including “Burn it Down,” “Amarillo Sky,” “Don’t You Wanna Stay” and many more.

With that great show behind us, we’re now looking forward to the many more upcoming events at the Arena! For a full list of those events, visit http://www.erieevents.com.


A Day in the Life: Head Groundskeeper at Jerry Uht Ballpark

Brandon Schanz leads the grounds crew at Jerry Uht Ballpark. They recently wrapped up a successful 20th season for the Erie Seawolves and are counting down the days until opening day! Here’s a look at the season through his eyes and what the offseason looks like for him:

The 20th season here at Jerry Uht Park has come to an end, but the work has not stopped. We have Gannon University fall practices going on now and once they finish, we will be starting to put the field to bed for the winter. Some of the normal fall jobs have already been completed such as resodding worn areas, aerating and adding clay to low areas on the infield dirt. We also made a change in the look of the field this year making walkways from the warning track to homeplate. This not only gives the field a new look, but it also will help wear and tear in those areas due to foot traffic making my job a little easier.

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The start of this season was one of the most difficult in my 16 seasons on the groundscrew. With the late snowfall and deep frost which was measured to be around 3’ deep, it caused the grass to stay dormant a few weeks longer than average. Not only did this cause the grass to start growing later, but it also pushed us back a month to roll, aerate and topdress the field. The first five weeks of the season the grass was not growing enough to cut, so we had to roll the patterns in with the mower. Because the grass wasn’t growing, we were developing worn areas that would not fill in causing issues with the play of the ball. Once the weather turned for the better, reseeding and our fertilization program brought us back to a nice thick turf.

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Once we are finished with everything at the ballpark, I switch gears and come over to Erie Insurance Arena to start with the other side of my job here with the Authority. This is the start of my fourth season in charge of sport surfaces for the other teams that play in the arena. For the Erie Otters, this job includes inspecting thickness and temperature of the ice on game days to make sure it is accurate. I also make sure the edging along the dashers is completed. When the ice is covered, my priorities shift to the basketball floor for the Erie Bayhawks.  I walk the basketball floor each day with two of my part timers that also work for me at the ballpark. We check for breaks and cracks that could affect the bounce of the ball or cause a trip hazard fixing if necessary. After the walk around is complete, we dust mop the floor.  We then use a water and vinegar solution to clean the floor.  The court is then ready for the Bayhawks to practice. On game days, the court is constantly dust mopped to make sure it is safe for the players.

We are 182 days away from the start of the 21st season of Seawolves Baseball at Jerry Uht Park. See you April 9th.

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Use Caution When Purchasing Tickets from Secondary Markets

 When purchasing tickets, it’s as easy as going to http://www.erieevents.com, click on Buy Tickets in the top right corner and then select the show you want to buy tickets for.
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In looking out for the best interest of our patrons, The Erie County Convention Center Authority would like you to use caution when purchasing tickets from secondary market ticket buyers. The ECCCA releases the following statement:

The only authorized sales agents for the Erie Insurance Arena is the Erie Insurance Arena Box Office. Tickets purchased from any other source may not be valid. The Erie Insurance Arena box office is not able to honor, replace or refund invalid tickets. Invalid barcodes must be confiscated by the box office and a copy of the tickets will be provided at the customer’s request. The copy of the invalid tickets may be used to alert the point of purchase. Other resellers may offer money-back guarantees, but they are unable to guarantee entry to an event as they are not able to validate that ticket or seat location is authentic.

Customers with invalid tickets are welcome to purchase replacement tickets, but seating location and/or price is based upon availability.

Customers should report fraudulent ticket sales to the point of purchase and consumer protection agencies.

The following contact information is provided for your convenience.

Pittsburgh Regional Office – Bureau of Consumer Protection: 412-565-5135

Craigslist: 800-664-0633

Western Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau: 412-456-2700

eBay: 800-322-9266

Pennsylvania Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline: 800-441-2555

StubHub: 866-788-2482

Otters Open Season at Home Saturday

It’s the calm before the storm (if you will) at Erie Insurance Arena as the Erie Otters get ready to kick off the season at home Saturday night.

Behind the scenes preperations have been ongoing for weeks – from bringing merchandise into the arena, to preparing menus and food, to getting the mechanics of the new scoreboard down – everyone at the arena has been hard at work.

Aside from the excitement around the game itself, there’s another big reveal at the arena for the upcoming season.

The $1.2 million high definition scoreboard will be used for the first time during the Otters Saturday home opener.

The board is 8-foot-high and 15-foot-wide with state-of-the-art video capabilities.

Ed Snyder has been putting the finishing touches on the graphics for the scoreboard reveal.

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Before the game, the  Otters are hosting the 5th Annual Otter’s Home Opener Party at the corner of 9th and French Streets.

Fans can enjoy free beer, soda and live music from Stephen Trohoske Bass Guitarist.

The party starts at 4pm with the puck drop set for 7pm.

If you’re looking to buy tickets to the game, visit http://www.erieevents.com.