The countdown is on for the Erie Seawolves opening day this year, but this year it’s not just the organization and the fans looking at the calendar but rather construction workers as well.
Chelsey Withers took a look at how construction is going down at UPMC Park.
When driving by the stadium, you cans see some of the work being done and the construction equipment used to do it.
What you can’t see is the work happening inside the ball park.
In 51 days the Seawolves will take the field at UPMC Park, but this year when fans make their way inside, there will be a new look.
“When you look at the ballpark the only thing that is going to be the same are the seats and the seating wall. Everything else has been gutted and rebuilt from scratch,” said Greg Gania, Assistant GM/Communications of the Erie Seawolves.
Shovels hit the ground in October to begin the final stage of the $16,000,000 renovation project.
From the outside you can see the structure coming together, but inside the field you can see some other projects coming along as well.
“We have all new field walls. We have poured a new ADA access ramp to the field. We’ve got the majority of our concrete poured and the addition to the new arena and most of the suite, bathroom and concession work is in it’s final stages,” said Ed Snyder, Assistant Director of Sports facilities for Erie Events.
A major factor in the progress made this winter was mother nature.
“This mild winter has been huge for construction progress. We are ahead in some areas I didn’t think we should be right now and we are in a good spot and I think it’s coming along nicely,” said Gania.
Everything in the ballpark including the new suite level and team store should begin operating sometime this season, but may not be ready by opening day.
“The biggest difference is it’s going to feel much more modern, much brighter, much cleaner and less than 1990’s feeling the Jerry Uht Park had when it was built,” said Snyder.
A new playing field and scoreboard were already put in as part of the renovations last season.
Opening day is set for April 16th.