Sports planners will love all that Erie has to offer. Green space, vast waterfront, major arenas and a thriving cultural and entertainment scene are all at your fingertips in Erie. And as always, why not turn your group trip into an adventure? The city is home to four semi-pro sports teams, a beautiful state park with seven miles of sandy beaches, nationally renowned water parks and a thriving cultural center.
Notable Recent/Upcoming Events
- National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling National Championships (April 26-28, 2018)
- College Hockey, Inc. Ice Breaker Tournament, presented by LECOM (October 12-13, 2018)
- NCAA Women’s Frozen Four (March 19-21, 2021)
CVB/Sports Commissions Services Offered
- Volunteer Support
- PR/Media Assistance
- Site Visits
- Transportation Assistance
- Lodging Services
- Grant Programs
- Welcome Bags/Gifts
- Itinerary Development
- Event Planning Assistance
- Marketing and Promotions
Click on tab to see more information about a specific facility
- Presque Isle State Park
- Erie Insurance Arena
- Bayfront Convention Center
- ERIEBANK Sports Park
- Presque Isle Downs & Casino
- Lake Erie Speedway
- Presque Isle Bay/Erie Bayfront
Presque Isle State Park
Presque Isle State Park is a one-of-a-kind destination for outdoor pursuits! On 3,200 acres, you’ll find seven miles of sandy beaches on Lake Erie’s shore, along with numerous boat launches and 25 miles of flat recreational trails that are frequented by cyclists and runners. More than 100 sporting events are held at Presque Isle State Park each year, including triathlon, kayak, fishing, running, cycling and beach sports.
Sports: Fishing, running, beach sports, bicycle, volleyball, triathlon
Erie Insurance Arena
Located in the heart of downtown Erie, this multi-purpose 6,700-seat arena is the regular home to the Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League) and Erie BayHawks (NBA G-League), and hosts year-round sporting and special events. Recent updates include a new concourse area, additional seating and restrooms, and new scoreboard. The professional staff is experienced in hosting sporting events to perfection, including the 2018 College Hockey Inc. Ice Breaker Tournament, 2014 NCAA Women’s Division II Basketball Elite Eight, and will host the 2021 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four.
Sports: Hockey, basketball, wrestling, indoor football, cheer
Bayfront Convention Center
Need space for your next event? The Bayfront Convention Center is made to host your group in style. The 28,000-square-foot Great Hall has hosted everything from gymnastics meets to boxing matches, cheerleading and even 8-ball tournaments. Treat your spectators to easy access with nearly 500 free parking spaces and two adjacent waterfront hotels that are perfect for hosting spectators and athletes. The Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel is connected to the Convention Center via a Skybridge, and a second connecting hotel, the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel opened in June 2016.
ERIEBANK Sports Park
Major investment in ERIEBANK Sports Park (formerly Family First Sports Park) has revitalized the facility, and re-established it as a multipurpose sporting event facility. Two NHL-regulation size ice rinks were added in 2018, along with eight new locker rooms, new lighting in the four-court gymnasium, resurfaced and lit parking lot and interior renovations that include a new lobby, fitness center and viewing area. The facility also has 10 full-sized grass fields on site and a four-season dome with turfed fields and multi-purpose space. Its location on 43 acres in Erie’s most popular shopping and entertainment district makes it an easily accessible and fun destination for families traveling for tournaments.
Sports: Ice hockey, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, volleyball
Presque Isle Downs & Casino
While the main attraction at Presque Isle Downs & Casino may be the one-mile oval throroughbred horse racetrack, this creative event space can be, and has been used for a host of other events including running, boxing and even arm wrestling and body-builder competitions! In addition, the casino added a sportsbook in summer 2019. From May through October, the horse racing track is in use, and the entire venue is available for booking all year long with seating for 3,000 in the clubhouse.
Sports: horse racing, boxing, running, arm wrestling, body building
Lake Erie Speedway
Quickly becoming a popular venue for many types of outdoor events, Lake Erie Speedway features 125 acres of land surrounding a 3/8 mile asphalt speedway, 1,000 parking spaces, a convenient concession area, and 6,000 seats in the main grandstands. An additional 4,000 spectators can be accommodated in perimeter areas.
Sports: Obstacle races, motor sports, festivals
Presque Isle Bay/Erie Bayfront
Year-round you will find the 5.8-square mile Presque Isle Bay in use for a variety of sports and activities, and the large sprawling area is perfect for events. Located adjacent to Downtown Erie, the bay is fairly shallow with an average depth of 20 feet, but is popular for swimming, sailing, crew, diving, kayaking, fishing, sailboarding, and waterskiing. And good news for sports planners: the waterfront is lined with marinas, public parks, piers, and Liberty Park Amphitheater, which can accommodate thousands of spectators.
Sports: Crew, fishing, kayaking, sailing, triathlons, water sports
Things to do in Erie
No trip to Erie is complete without a visit to the city’s namesake – Lake Erie. Head to Presque Isle State Park and take in the natural beauty of the city by bicycle or kayak, meander along seven miles of sandy beaches, or pack a picnic and hike along 25 miles of recreational trails. Lake Erie is known for its bass and walleye fishing, and Erie has many fishing charters ready to help land your next big catch.
Entertainment for the whole family awaits at two top-ranked attractions: Waldameer Park and Water World, with exciting rides and slides during the summer months, or Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park, where it’s 84 degrees year-round! No swimsuit? No problem! Take the kids to spend a day at expERIEnce Children’s Museum, Erie Zoo & Botanical Gardens, or the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. Take a break in Lake Erie Wine Country, the largest grape-growing region east of the Rocky Mountains, at Presque Isle Downs & Casino, or at one of the region’s many culinary options.
Sports fans will always find a reason to cheer. In addition to year-round special events, Erie is home to four universities with teams in NCAA Division I, II and III, as well as the Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League), Erie BayHawks (NBA G-League), Erie SeaWolves (AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) and Erie Commodores (National Premier Soccer Leauge).
I was amazed at the various aspects and details of our Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational that the Sports Commission was able to assist with. The Erie Sports Commission was instrumental in assisting the host organization, Erie Gymnastics, with high-profile promotions, and was also vital in establishing contacts and working with local hotels to provide benefits to both Erie Gymnastics and our visiting athletes. I highly recommend the Erie Sports Commission, and will use them for future events.
Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational: Doug Pershun
The Erie Sports Commission played a big role in assisting Gannon University to bring the NCATA National Championship to Erie. The support they provided throughout the process was exceptional, most notably in local media promotion and in providing a welcoming environment for all the competitors and fans. We received numerous compliments from those who attended the tournament that were a direct reflection of the energy and time invested by the staff at ESC. We look forward to working with them again!
National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association: Janell Cook (Executive Director)
How to Get to Erie
By car: For a road trip, you can get to Erie via I-79 from Pittsburgh and I-90 from the East or West.
By plane: Erie International Airport is served by three major airline carriers—United, Delta and American Airlines—with nonstop flights to Detroit, Chicago and Charlotte, and connections to over 1,100 different destinations.
By train: Take a scenic, stress-free train ride from Cleveland that takes about an hour-and-a-half. The best part? Amtrak’s station is located in the center of downtown, so step off the train and you’re ready to go.
Company Name: Erie Sports Commission
Sports Sales Manager: Mark Jeanneret
Title: Executive Director