Pennsylvania's only Great Lakes port is known for its sandy beaches and waterfront locale, but it's also a city with a burgeoning sports tourism market. So why should you host your sporting event in Erie, PA?
1. We’ve got great facilities.
Widespread investments in regional athletic facilities have given new life to sporting event facilities across Erie County, PA. ERIEBANK Sports Park underwent a major renovation in 2018 and sits in the heart of Erie’s entertainment and shopping district on Upper Peach Street. Renovation projects are currently underway at two other ice hockey facilities as well, with updates at the Mercyhurst University Ice Center and JMC Ice Arena set to be complete in Fall 2019. Head downtown and you’ll find the beautiful Bayfront Convention Center, Erie Insurance Arena and UPMC Park, venues well-versed in executing high-profile sporting events on a regular basis. Erie is most well-known for Presque Isle State Park, a unique outdoor venue unlike any other in the country. Four universities with NCAA DI, DII and DIII programming allow for both indoor and outdoor activities year-round.
2. Your athletes will want to stay to play.
Erie truly has something to offer everyone. Our four semi-pro sports teams give fans reason to cheer year-round. Check out Waldameer Park and Water World in the summer, and Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park for fun you won’t soon forget. Shopping at local boutiques and major retail chains is made better in Erie, with no sales tax on clothing or shoes. Presque Isle Downs & Casino features more than 2,000 slot machines, 48 table games, two restaurants and seasonal thoroughbred racing. Lake Erie Wine Country is the largest grape-growing region east of the Rocky Mountains. Foodies will find lots of local fare for any palate. The arts and culture scene in Erie is growing in downtown. Check out VisitErie.com for a full list of attractions and amenities.
3. Erie is a beautiful waterfront city.
Erie is the best waterfront destination for sports in Pennsylvania. Not only is our location on Lake Erie spectacular to look at (pictures just don’t do it justice), but it's a great spot for any open water sporting event because of the protected bay formed by Presque Isle State Park. Give us a call, and we’ll help you come see it for yourself.
4. It’s easy to get here, and even easier to stay.
Erie is Pennsylvania’s fourth-largest city, located at the intersection of two major interstates and less than a 90-minute drive to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo. Erie International Airport currently offers flights to and from Charlotte (American), Chicago O'Hare (United, American) and Detroit (Delta) with connections to more than 1,100 different destinations. With 4,500 sleeping rooms in the market, Erie has hotels to accommodate groups of any size and budget, and because of Erie’s size, your group can stay anywhere and easily get to the game. And no – our notorious winter weather doesn’t slow us down.
5. When you host in Erie, you get the award-winning Erie Sports Commission on your team.
Your event’s success is our success. When you host here, consider our team a part of your own. In addition to support services we have a number of programs in place to help you host your event here, including grant money, site visits and promotional support. If that doesn't convince you, we've got two NASC Sports Commission of the Year Awards, and a slew of testimonials to back us up!