Stadium Minor League History:
New York-Penn League
Eastern League 1999-present
Current Status: Home of the Erie Seawolves of the Eastern League (AA)
What's Good: It always bugs me when people say a new ballpark is "just like the old ballparks" simply because the architects threw on a brick facade or the seats are green. Jerry Uht Park really is like old ballparks, not because it was carefully designed to evoke a forced nostalgia, but because it is a great example of the ballpark fitting into its site. Wedged into half a city block in downtown Erie, the grandstand is asymmetrical -- the third base side is "normal" with a cross-aisle separating the box seats from the reserved (with a handful of skyboxes up top), while the first base stands are double-decked. This isn't the whim of the designer, however -- it's the only way to fit the seating into the available area because 10th Street is right there, parallel to the stands. The outfield is unique, too, since it's almost rectangular in order to fit between the side street and the hockey arena behind left field. The foul territory is necessarily small as well, and the seats are very close to the action on the field. Past the first and third base bags the stands actually angle even more towards fair territory, so these seats are about as close as you can get at a pro game. There were also plenty of places just to wander around -- both decks on the first base side had wide concourses, with the lower one becoming the cross-aisle on the third base side and continuing all the way around the left field wall to center field. I also liked that the stadium was up close to the sidewalk in a downtown environment. In fact, I stayed at a hotel right up the street, and was able to walk down to the ballpark for the game.
What's Not So Good: Not much -- this was a fun place. There's no real parking lot due to the stadium's urban location, but several nearby lots seemed to be sufficient. Of course, there are always things that the team has no control over, like the weather. When I was there in mid-May the temperature by the end of the game was in the upper 40s.
May 13, 1999 Erie Seawolves vs. Akron Aeros
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