Jerry Uht Park is home of the Erie SeaWolves, the AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and member of the Eastern League. The park was originally built in 1995 at a cost of $8.7 million. In 2006, the park underwent a $4 million upgrade that added a nice scoreboard, a very large picnic area and a second level of seating among other things.
The park was shoved into a pre-existing city block, with the left field fence only being 312 feet for a home run since it is right up against the Tullio Arena, home of the local minor league hockey team, the Erie Otters. You can also tell that the park was built in two stages as you walk around, but the sightlines are wonderful. In fact, the second level of seats along the first base side, were named among the ten best in minor league baseball by ESPN in 2008.
The seats furthest from the field, the "club seats", which offer eight (or 16) seats around a table top in an open-top, semi-private setting, share the upper level with the bud light beer garden. You can also get all-you-can-eat tickets for this area for select games.
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The menu isn't large at Uht Park, but it gets the job done very well. Most stands are identical, offering Smith's hot dogs ($3.25), Italian sausage ($4.25), BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($5) and DiGiorno pizza slices ($4) are the main offerings. Sweets include candy ($2.25), frozen lemonade ($4), and ice cream novelties ($3.50). The snack offerings are a little more in-depth with nachos ($3.50), pretzel & cheese ($3.25), popcorn ($3.50), peanuts ($3.75), cracker jacks ($3.50), chips ($2.50), and Fritos ($2.50).
There are also a few small food stands on the concourse right as you come in the main entrance. The first stand offers a philly cheesesteak ($6.25) while the second offers super nachos or BBQ pulled pork nachos ($6.25).
Out in left field, there is a "Sausage Shack" offering a foot long hot dog from Smith's ($6.25), Cajun sausage ($4.25), and bratwurst ($4.25) along with the normal hot dogs and Italian sausage.
For drinks, the park offers Pepsi products in two sizes (small $3 and large $4). You can also get coffee, cappuccino and hot cocoa ($2.25), bottled water ($3.25), Gatorade ($3.25), twisted tea ($4), SeaWolves slush ($3.50) and large draft beer, including local favorite Yuengling ($5.50).
The game I attended was a noon start on a Wednesday in July. The crowd was very loud, into the game and they seemed to all participate in all of the zany games and songs including "peanut butter jelly time." I felt that the club did a great job of keeping the crowd into the game, which can be tough to do with so many children in a park.
Contests included a wiener race, a big wheel race and a leap frog contest. There was also a 50-50 drawing and some Cedar Point amusement park ticket give-a-ways to approximately 20 people.
Erie is an old town that was built on factories and the railroad due to 3 different railroad track width gauges all converging in town, requiring physical labor to switch people and cargo from one train to the next. As track width became standardized and the great depression hit the area, the city died a slow death. As you drive around, the remnants of the old factories and railroads can be found, along with some new growth.
If you want to grab a bite to eat while in town, try Calamari's Squid Row, which offers a huge menu, most of which isn't even seafood related. If just looking for a drinking place with food, try The Plymouth. They offer a giant selection of beers and a good menu to go with it.
Since it was a weekday, noon game the fans were made up largely of school groups, child care groups and assisted living groups. It gave the park a nice community feel and really drove the atmosphere for the game, even when the SeaWolves pitching fell apart and not only blew the no-hitter but gave up four quick runs in two innings.
The crowd stayed throughout the entire contest and cheered on the SeaWolves despite the heat.
The park is very easy to find in downtown Erie, just a few blocks from the lake. Parking was available right across the street and cost $3, although for evening games you can park for free in the metered street spots in the area.
The concourse was fairly wide, but the flow of people was slightly interrupted by the columns installed for the upper level seating that was added in 2006. The park is ADA compliant, and has a lot of room for handicapped guests.
The bathrooms had everything you needed, but were just average when it came to cleanliness.
With a wonderful atmosphere, it is hard to argue with paying $6 for a general admission seat, or even $10 for the box seats right behind home plate. There is also an Ollie's Outlets cheap seat section down either line where you can get the $10 seats for $5. Or, if you are going with a group, try one of the all-you-can-eat nights where you can buy (in advance only) ticket packages that work out to just $9 for all-you-can-eat seats plus a hat!
Not too much in the way of extras, just some plain minor league baseball. There is a kids' area with a few bounce houses and such well down the left field line. The game I attended had a local veteran sing the national anthem. While it wasn't worthy of a record deal, it was a nice touch and fit the town very well.
I enjoyed my visit to Jerry Uht Park, and I recommend a stop if you are traveling anywhere between Cleveland and Buffalo.
Been here for three different games. Two evening games had small but enthusiastic crowds. My last game was a day game it seemed that every school in a 50 mile radius decided to take a field trip to the ballpark. The place was a madhouse! Between inning entertainment was OK, food was OK and reasonably priced, parking was easy and affordable. I really liked that the stadium was right in the middle of town. Unfortunately, there are a lot of old factories around, many are closed. If there were replaced by restaurants and pubs, this would be a really fun place. There are a boatload of wineries a few miles northeast of Erie. A "wine trip" is a good excuse to get the wife to make a trip to Erie. Eat at Quaker Steak & Lube if you get the chance. The wings are the best around.
1317 State St
Erie, PA 16501
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