Stadium Review: Jerry Uht Park of the Erie Seawolves
- Updated: February 19, 2009
It would be easy to drive through downtown Erie, Pa. and not notice their baseball stadium known as Jerry Uht Park home of the Erie Seawolves of the Eastern League. The AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers have played in the “Uht” since 1995 and according to the team’s website, more than one million fans have attended games at the stadium. Even though the stadium does not standout, it is truly a beautiful ballpark.
Its architecture is truly unlike any other stadium in minor league baseball as much of it is made up of square brick pillars. The stadium was given a $4 million face lift a few years ago and added many facets to a park that was already a fan favorite.
One of the best parts of the ballpark is the picnic areas that were added or refurbished during the renovation. While most ballparks have type of picnic area, the Uht’s surpasses almost all minor league ballparks across the country. Their most impressive picnic area is located down the first base line. While it doesn’t offer big screen televisions and gourmet food like some on the big league level, it does have a wide array of food and beverage choices for fans of all ages. There is a pretty good sized children’s menu at this area and it also provides a place for restless kids to be able to burn off some energy while their parents are trying to pay attention to the game.
It is also one of the cleanest ballparks this reviewer has ever entered. It was completely pristine to the point that eve the bathrooms were clean (something that seems almost impossible for most of the stadiums for any sport anywhere).
There truly isn’t a seat in the house that does not put the patron close to the action and there are usually great seats available right up to the first pitch. The majority of the seats in their ballpark are individual folding chairs. While there are some bleachers in the outfield, there is almost no way a person would be forced to sit there if they didn’t want to.
Due to the fact that the distance from their big league team is greater than that of the AAA club, they do not get a chance to see many big leaguers during rehab assignments because traveling to Erie is just not as convenient as a quick drive to Toledo for those in Detroit. However, since this only really happens a few times a year, this is not a huge problem for the organization and some would argue that this just allows players to develop their skills faster since they do not have to worry about giving their spot in the lineup over to a big leaguer once and a while.
Overall, the Uht is a great place to take the whole family for a baseball outing. Attending an afternoon game there creates the perfect setting for parents to be able to take in a game of baseball while the kids wear themselves out. The players are extremely available for autographs both before and after the game which creates experiences that will last a lifetime for some children.
The ticket prices are on par with other teams in this level of the minors and while their team shop is not huge, it does offer a decent selection, especially of hats, for collectors of minor league memorabilia.
Minor League Stadium Grade: 4.25/5
Overall Stadium Grade: 4/5
Bill Jordan is a contributor to BaseballReflections.com. He can be reached by e-mail at BillJordaniv@yahoo.com.