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

Greg, Kathy, Aguirre, Casey

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

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“Mr. Flip-It” Handles Several Conversions at EIA in One Week

Erie Insurance Arena is many things — home to the Erie Otters, Erie Explosion and Erie BayHawks, a host for national touring artists and family performances, plus a place where residents and visitors can come enjoy a night out in downtown Erie. One thing the Arena isn’t is…boring! During a five day span this week, from Wednesday through Sunday, there are two basketball games, two hockey games and a football game happening under the same roof — which isn’t out of the ordinary. The man in charge of making sure the correct playing surfaces are down at the right time is Rick Balsiger, the building maintenance superintendent. Before the Otters landed a spot in the playoffs, this week would have only consisted of basketball games Wednesday and Saturday nights with the Erie Explosion season opener on Sunday. That seems like a lot, but after adding in two hockey games, that three-event week was nothing. The process of changing surfaces from basketball to hockey to football happens overnight. As soon as one event wraps up, crews are at the Arena getting ready for the next day event. On average, there are about 20 employees who help transform the Arena, but could take up to 26 workers depending on what event is taking place. It takes about 8 hours for the full conversion to take place. Under Rick’s watch, a 16 year employee for Erie Events, the process goes smoothly and each event playing surface is ready for each respective team. Keep in mind, this busy week comes after 900 wrestlers competed in a two-day PA Jr. Wrestling State Championship event. It’s safe to say Rick is “Mr. Flip-It!”

basketball court court and chairs

 

Hundreds Compete at Erie Insurance Arena for PA Jr. Wrestling State Championships

According to the Erie Sports Commission: The PA Junior Wrestling Championships will be held at the Erie Insurance Arena beginning this Friday at 9 a.m., and continuing through Saturday, March 21. The event is expected to see an anticipated 5,000 spectators and more than 900 youth wrestlers from across Pennsylvania compete.

Three age groups will compete in the tournament – 8 and under, 9-10, and 11-12. Wrestlers will arrive in Erie on Thursday for weigh-ins, which will take place at the Millcreek Mall from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The event was last held in Erie in 2008 and 2009.

Doors will open at 8 a.m. Friday for the first session, which will begin at 9 a.m. and consist of Pigtails round of 32, Preliminary round of 16, consolation rounds, and Champion Quarter Finals, which will begin at 3 p.m. The second session of consolation and champion rounds will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday before the tournament adjourns for a break.  Doors open for the Finals at 3 p.m., and competition gets underway at 5 p.m.

Admission is $15 for an adult day pass, or $25 for an adult two-day pass. Student passes are $10 for a day or $15 for two days. Tickets and programs may be purchased during weigh-ins at the Millcreek Mall or at the Erie Insurance Arena box offices on Friday and Saturday.

For more information, please visit http://pjwarea8.webs.com/states-in-erie.

A Day in the Life: Senior Event Coordinator at BCC

From the desk of Martha Stickner, the Senior Event Coordinator at the Bayfront Convention Center:

I began my career here when the Bayfront Convention Center initially opened for the first year of operation.  I moved back to Erie from New York City in 2008 and knew I had to get my foot in the door at this one-of-a-kind event center.  I pursued other ventures and opportunities for a few short years then came back to the BCC team in 2011.  During the past three, going on four years, no day is ever the same and that’s what keeps things interesting for me!

I am often referred to as the Wedding Specialist of this fabulous waterfront venue.  I wear many hats when it comes to planning, from small meetings, to trade shows, to weddings and even concerts.  Typically my day is filled with meeting new and current clients to go over all the details of upcoming events. Then, I update our booking software so the information is relayed to all departments. Just about every day there is something scheduled, so it’s the Event Coordinators job to confirm each event and make sure it’s executed properly.

Erie is known for the Great Lake and we are lucky to have such a unique facility that’s located on the Bayfront with water views.  That is one of the many reasons we attract so many diverse groups.  I work on several weddings a year and more often than not the couples that get married here are from out of town and choose the Bayfront as a destination location where families can meet in the middle.  Couples come from near and far including, Florida, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New York City, Washington and Virginia just to name a few!  There are many things to consider when planning a wedding, so it is my job to ensure the day goes smoothly from start to finish.  The best part of my job is ‘making dreams come true’ to many couples who entrust their special day with us. I feel like I have been married more than 100 times!

Lightfoot Performance Postponed Until May Due to Illness

A new date has been set for the Gordon Lightfoot “50 Years on the Carefree Highway” tour which was originally scheduled for March 21st at the Warner Theatre.

Due to an illness, Lightfoot had to reschedule his show in several cities, including his performance set for Saturday at the Warner. Lightfoot will now take the stage Saturday, May 23rd. Original tickets will be honored & refunds are available at the point of purchase.

Comedian Brian Regan Plans Stop in Erie

March 16, 2015 – Comedian Brian Regan announces summer and fall dates in his 10-year, non-stop theater tour going on sale Friday, March 20, 2015.  The summer and fall leg of the tour will visit 41 cities throughout North America including Regan’s first performance at the “Showplace of the Nation,” Radio City Music Hall on September 26 and a return to the legendary, 8,600-seat Red Rocks Amphitheater on September 5.  Regan’s full 2015 tour will visit more than 80 cities bringing Regan and his fans together in some of the most beautiful venues on the continent.  Since 2005, Regan’s tour has visited close to 100 cities each year.  A list of new tour dates is below.  For more information and links to purchase tickets visit www.BrianRegan.com.

Regan will make a stop at the Warner Theatre on Thursday, November 5, 2015. Tickets are $39.50 and go on sale Friday, March 20, 2015 @ 10:00am. Tickets can be purchased at the Erie Insurance Arena box office, www.erieevents.com or by calling (814) 452-4857.

Regan was seen in the Chris Rock movie, Top Five, and he was nominated for a 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Concert Comic.  In February 2014, Regan performed two sold-out shows at the 12,500-seat EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, and in August of 2013, Regan sold out the legendary, 8600-seat Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver.

One of the most respected comedians in the country, Regan has earned the praise of the press, the public, and fellow comedians:

“He is one of my favorite, favorite stand-up comedians.” – Jerry Seinfeld

“No comedian in the world says, ‘Yeah, I want to follow Brian Regan.'” – Chris Rock

“You’re one of the rare guys that is universally respected by comics as being one of the most hilarious guys out there at stand-up.” – Joe Rogan

“Honestly, Brian Regan’s the best stand-up working today. Period.” – Patton Oswalt

“You’re the guy people look up to…Brian Regan’s the funniest guy…there’s Brian Regan and then there’s other people.” – Marc Maron

 “I’ll take all of that guy you got…Very funny man.” – David Letterman

With his first appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1995, Regan solidified his place on the show and recently made his 27th appearance, the most of any comedian on the CBS show.  Occasionally venturing off the stand-up stage, Regan recently appeared in Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee but his main focus is stand-up comedy.

Box Office: From Building a Seat Map to Closing Out the Show

From the desk of Ann Noble, Box Office Manager:

People often ask what we do in the Box Office when we don’t have events. Well, let me tell you a little bit about it.

Most of our work is behind the scenes.  We are responsible for the set up, selling and final balancing of all ticket sales. Months of preparation go into each and every event.

Once a show is booked, sometimes up to a year in advance, we begin the process of building the event. This includes working with the show promoter to select a seat map that best fits their needs. Once a map is chosen, we then scale it according to the prices. We have events that are all one price as well as those that offer several price seats. For the events that offer several prices, it often takes many tries to get the map to the desired capacities for each price scale. Once the map is approved, we are provided with all of the other details i.e. final prices, any discounts, sale dates, radio giveaways, presales, etc.  After all is confirmed, we can get the show up and running on our ticketing system.

Fast forward to the day of the show.  If seats are sold on the floor, each seat is verified to the map to make sure everything is set up correctly.  Any last minute ticket requests from the show are fulfilled, and it’s time to open the doors.

Usually at intermission the box office closes. Final reports are pulled and given to the show promoter. Once all numbers are verified they will sign off on the event, officially ending the process.

All of this on top of 34 Otters games, 24 Bayhawks games, 6 Explosion games and a Broadway Season, they keep us pretty busy around here.