Seawolves to Jump Ship in Erie

Officials in Holyoke, Mass. seem to have been in talks with Mandalay Baseball Properties to move the team currently located in Erie, PA to Mass. This is honestly no shock to me. The only time that attendance numbers seem respectable are when it’s Buck night. For a city hosting a team in second place no one seems to care unless they can get a dog and a beer for $1. The Uht (nice name eh), where the Seawolves play, is a decent minor league park but it was built in a time when Erie was faced with a “build or lose the team” situation. Not enough was done to plan around the stadium. It’s great to have a park but it’s lacking in entertainment value for the surrounding area. There’s nothing else to draw. Added to that is the severely outdated scoreboard, lack of a decent souvenir area beyond a few tables and mascot that looks like a dog on crack rock. As usual the residence blame weather and scheduling which is a crock of shit. It’s ALWAYS been this way. It snows till friggin May. Erie just isn’t ideal for a typical AA atmosphere. Single A or Federal League (which doesn’t stat till late May) is all I can see surviving. The main issue with Erie when it comes to building an attraction it’s either 1/2 assed done or once it’s built no one wants to worry about upgrades because it will cost money.

Stoosh and I discuss in great detail every week about how we would improve certain aspects of Erie and have drawn up a few different plans. Not that it will do alot of help from Pittsburgh but we grew up in Erie. We know what it’s like and after living in Pittsburgh for 7 years we can see what’s been done and is done wrong. Moving away and looking back has been a real eye opener. Problem is that Erie is stuck in time. Everyone feels justified bitching but no one wants the responsibility to to take a step to help improve. Afraid of change and afraid to spend the money. That is why progress dies… but hey, you can always get Nick Scott to build another figgin hotel.

Erie Times articles:
Erie Thrown a Curve (registration required)
Erie faces squeeze play (registration required)

Erie Forums:
So Long Seawolves
Seawolves Going?

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2 Responses to Seawolves to Jump Ship in Erie

  1. Dennis says:

    I agree with you on something and disagree on others.
    From the day Mandalay bought the team, they have threatened to move. They don’t like the fact that the park is located in the city. They want a park in a suburban area with room for development hence the talk of moving to Mass.
    I’m a sports nut and love the fact that we have double A ball. A third of the Tigers roster is guys that have played in Erie. Most people could care less if it’s the NY-Penn League or the year Erie had a team in the independent Frontier League or now with double A. Baseball is baseball.
    Harrisburg draws the same as Erie. There is a heck of a lot more to do in Erie than Harrisburg. The Harrisburg team isn’t going anywhere because your state tax dollars bought the team for the Ciy of Harrisburg.
    The stadium really is pretty nice. The one major thing they forgot when they built it was corporate suites. Erie only has three while most other stadiums have more than a dozen. That hurts.
    >>It’s great to have a park but it’s lacking in entertainment value for the surrounding area.>>
    That’s changed in the last few years. In just the last year 2 large million $ bars/night clubs have opened: Pecadillo’s and the Cell Block. Three new community theaters (Stage Right, Directors Circle and United We Stand) have sprung up. Cripe, they’re probablly hurting attendance. JR’s Comedy Club sells out almost every Thurs-Sat. A couple miles out of town is Lake Erie Speedway which draws thousands every weekend. They had 9,300 last Friday. Twice this month there have been events at Liberty Park on the bayfront which drew over 10,000 each day.
    What really hurts during good weather is Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park. Who in their right mind is going to leave the beach or get off their boat to go to a ball game?

  2. spoon says:

    But do visitors even know the UHT is there besides some bright lights when the sun is down? One thing I’ve always noticed is that besides a few cheesy commercials the team doesn’t seem advertised as much as it could be. Now I’m not saying to shove them down everyone’s throat but when I’ve visited even this year promotion seems lacking.

    Erie loves the thought of baseball and feels that just because it is one of the larger cities in the state it deserves a AA ball team. Problem is that even while in 1st, unless it’s cheap beer night or some overplayed promotional night, the attendance numbers aren’t strong.
    I wish the Uht did have more lux. boxes along with some bells and whistles of the newer parks but also it was planned and constructed at a time when all of that didn’t matter. Now it does and people look at each other saying “I’m not paying for it, you are.”

    I’ve heard from a few friends about the new night clubs and all it seems is like a new place to help thin the herd of the other already over populated clubs.

    Who in their right mind is going to leave the beach or get off their boat to go to a ball game?
    Most people don’t want to be on the beach on in a boat after dark. By then they are usually ready to kick back.

    I’ll be in Erie off and on next month so I’ll check out things first hand. Maybe catch a game or 2 pending on family obligations. You know what might work at the park… a hottub!

    BTW, I was checking out some of your Erie photography. Not bad at all. I’ve passed it on to a few other transplants down here with me.

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