Casey Urges SeaWolves Ownership Group to Keep Team in Erie

New Reports Claim SeaWolves Are Candidate to Move to Ottawa After 2012 Season

SeaWolves Are a Driver of Erie’s Economy; County Recently Took Out $4M Bond to Make Improvements to Uht Park

WASHINGTON, DCU.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today sent a letter to the CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, which owns the Erie SeaWolves, urging him to keep the Double-A baseball team in Erie amid reports that it could be a candidate to relocate to Ottawa after the 2012 season.  The SeaWolves have been a driver of Erie’s economy since the team began playing there in 1995, and a move to Ottawa would be a serious blow to the region’s economy and leave taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars for recent improvements to Uht Park.

“The SeaWolves are an important part of the region’s economy, and it’s absolutely essential they stay in Erie and not move to Ottawa,” Senator Casey wrote to Mandalay CEO Art Matin. “In 2005, County of Erie taxpayers made a multi-million dollar commitment to improving the stadium; the team’s ownership should honor that commitment and keep the team where it belongs, in Erie.”

The SeaWolves’ stadium lease expires at the end of 2012 season and there is currently no agreement for an extension. 

Since 1995, the SeaWolves have called Erie their home and played at Jerry Uht Park. The 6,000 seat stadium, located in downtown Erie, is part of what drives the region’s economy during the season. The county has made a consistent effort to upgrade the park, most recently taking out a $4 million 20-year bond to build more attractive concessions.

A new report indicates that the SeaWolves could be a candidate to move to Ottawa once their lease expires in 2012. When the lease expires on the stadium in 2012, the SeaWolves will also be at the end of their affiliation agreement with the Detroit Tigers. The new report indicates that the Toronto Blue Jays may try to acquire the team and move the team to a stadium in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, when the 2013 season begins.

In his letter to SeaWolves ownership, Casey discussed the SeaWolves’ importance to the region’s economy and urged the owner to keep the team in Northwest Pennsylvania and abandon any plan to move the team.

The full text of Casey’s letter can be seen below: 

Dear Mr. Matin,

Recent media reports have indicated the possibility that the ErieSeaWolves Double AA baseball team could be a candidate to move to Ottawa, Ontario, once the team’s lease expires at the end of 2012.  The purpose of this letter is to you urge you and Mandalay Enterprises to keep the team in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Since 1995 the SeaWolves have called Erie their home and played at Jerry Uht Park. The 6,000 seat stadium, located in downtown Erie, is part of what drives the region’s economy during the season. Downtown businesses and restaurants derive a fair amount of their trade from the SeaWolves patrons, while the Parking Authority also receives income from game attendees. To support the integral part the SeaWolves play in the local economy, the County of Erie has made a consistent effort to upgrade the park, most recently taking out a $4 million, 20 year bond to build more attractive concessions.

The SeaWolves are an important part of the region’s economy, and it’s absolutely essential they stay in Erie and not move to Ottawa.  In 2005, County of Erie taxpayers made a multi-million dollar commitment to improving the stadium; the team’s ownership should honor that commitment and keep the team where it belongs, in Erie.

As you can see, the people of Erie have been proud supporters of the SeaWolves and look forward to remaining the team’s host for many years to come.

I respectfully request that you keep me informed of decisions affecting the status of the SeaWolves. 

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

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