By Brandon Boyd, Coordinator of Communications and Client Relations
Saying it’s an exciting time at Erie Events would really be underselling it.
It’s a time of growth. Of change. Of new, of old, of what’s to come and what can be.
Here’s the best part: It’s all unfolding right in front of Erie’s eyes.
You’ve probably seen the headlines about our Warner Theatre project being approved. Or, if you’ve driven by the Erie Insurance Arena and UPMC Park, you’ve probably seen the hard-working construction workers out in the teeth-chattering cold building a new structure.
Let’s take a look at these two big projects and break them down just slightly for everyone:
Photo Courtesy of Paul Gibbens
UPMC Park: As we mentioned, if you drive by, you’re going to see something new. If you haven’t been following along, that something new is 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. A new entrance plaza will be added down the left-field line, and additional renovations and improvements will be made to the concession and restroom facilities, lighting and concourse, an expanded kid’s zone, suites, and more.
So what does all this mean?
It means a completely new experience for our players and fans here in Erie. If you remember, we’ve already put the work in on a new field and a new scoreboard. This next round of construction aims at elevating the already exciting product we offer and taking it to the next level.
But here’s the million dollar question (or, $16 million question, if we’re talking about the upgrades we’ve put into UPMC Park): What about our SeaWolves?
We’ve put everything we have (literally) into providing top-of-the-line facilities for our baseball team. We have worked in lockstep with the Detroit Tigers and we are optimistic for the future of our franchise. For the moment, the best way to support baseball in Erie is to come out to games and show engagement with the team. We are of the upmost belief that common sense will prevail and baseball will remain in Erie for a long, long time.
Warner Theatre: The long-awaited final stage to the renovation project started in 1995 has been approved and is ready to go. While there are some items to work out on our side, for all intents and purposes, we are a ‘full-go’ for these upgrades. This means the Warner Theatre will be closing in April 2020 and reopening in Fall 2021. While the 18-month closing isn’t quite ideal, it’s for the greater good of being able to complete the necessary upgrades on the 1931 movie palace and vaudeville stage.
We’ve seen the community step up in a big way in regards to this project. We would like to thank Eriez Magnetics, Tom Hagen, and Erie Insurance for their generous funding. We’re excited to see community reaction to all the changes when they’re complete, and we believe we will continue to have the epitome of entertainment in Erie.
You will be able to see these changes in person soon. When it can be visualized, I think everyone will be able to see the scope of the project and how much it will mean to Erie.
And speaking of visualization, while I’m here, let me make just one comment. I run our social media pages and when we post about the Warner Theatre, a lot of people say they’re sad to see the original marquee go away. The original marquee is not going away! Repeat, not going away! The renderings we post are ones from the back of the Theatre on French Street. Some of what is shown in the renderings is already there on French Street. The original marquee will see a bit of a facelift, but will remain on State Street when you drive by. In fact, at night, you’ll see a much improved look at the marquee.
We’ll be keeping everyone in the loop as our projects continue to develop. We see a bright future for downtown Erie and Erie as a whole, and we’re excited for what’s to come. We hope you are, too!