UPMC Park has been the crown jewel of the Erie sports scene since the SeaWolves inception in 1995. Since that time, over five-million fans have passed through the gates to enjoy high-quality professional baseball. Fans have been treated to the likes of All-Stars Justin Verlander and Curtis Granderson in the intimate, downtown ballpark.
On August 13, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf visited the ballpark and announced that Erie Events was awarded a $12 million RACP grant to improve the home of the SeaWolves.
"We have a lot of baseball affiliates around Pennsylvania that do a lot of great things for the cities where they are located, and I'm proud to be able to announce this," Wolf said of the announcement.
Beginning in 2021, fans will enter UPMC Park at the foot of ninth street. The new entrance plaza will be in close proximity to Erie Insurance Arena making one entrance for both downtown properties. The SeaWolves ticket office, team store and offices will be relocated to the new building which will attach to the arena.
For the first time in team history, fans will be able to shop in the comforts of a 1500-square foot, climate-controlled Team Store. On non-game days, fans will be able to enter the store from the exterior of the building. A main in-park store entrance will be open on game days for fans attending the game.
UPMC Park will have the newest and premier downtown Erie meeting space with a brand new stadium club. Located on the top level of the new left-field stadium building, the UPMC Park Stadium Club will feature accommodations for up to 230 people. Fans will be able to access the stadium club by both exterior and interior entrances. The new club will be perfect for business meetings, banquets, parties and receptions. Patrons will have the ability to book fully catered events in this year-round facility that overlooks the field at UPMC Park.
During the 2019 season, two amazing high-definition videoboards were added to enhance the fan experience at UPMC Park. The old videoboard was replaced by an HD, LED board above the wall in right-center field. The left field message board on the side of Erie Insurance Arena was replaced by a 70-food wide by seven-foot tall LED ribbon board.
The UPMC Park Picnic Perch and Party Deck each received a facelift. The capacity of the Picnic Perch has been expanded, and the renovated area now features painted surfaces and improved overhead lighting. Above the Picnic Perch, twelve small Party Deck boxes have been transformed into six larger 20-guest boxes with swivel-turn, mesh seats. The space previously known as the Bud Light Beer Garden has been elevated four feet to improve live game viewing and features a new full-service bar and all-weather decking. The overhead canopy has been expanded and new lighting has been added to the area.
Suite level at UPMC Park will now feature a brand new Home Plate Suite. The space that is currently used for broadcast booths and the SeaWolves Den will be converted into a 40-person hospitality area. The Home Plate Suite will feature an accordion glass door with an outdoor deck overlooking the seating bowl and field.
UPMC Park features six ballpark suites located on the third base side of the ballpark. The new suites will be outfitted with updated furniture and interior fixtures. The outdoor suite patios will be expanded and feature new drink rails and mesh, swivel row seating.
UPMC Park restrooms will all be renovated as a part of the improvement project. Restrooms will have new fixtures and lighting for guest comfort.
In late fall of 2018, the first major project of the UPMC Park improvements started the day after the season concluded. A brand-new, state-of-the-art playing surface was installed. The previous playing surface was completely removed, including grass, infield dirt, warning track, mounds, drainage pipes and irrigation system. The project, which took over three months to complete, installed all new drainage and irrigation, drainage gravel, sand, grass, mounds and infield dirt.