ERIE, Pa., May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In June 1983, the Beach Boys were the first act to play Erie's newly opened Louis J. Tullio Arena. Since that time, the arena has hosted a diverse array of musical acts and sporting events from Kenny Rogers and the Beastie Boys to the Erie Bayhawks and Erie Otters.
Today, nearly 30 years after opening, the arena is undergoing a $42 million dollar renovation and expansion that will be completed in the fall 2013. The renovation will add 2000 seats, 13 suites, a club level, and many other amenities only found in major market venues. The newly renovated center will reopen under a new name, Erie Insurance Arena.
"Erie Insurance has supported this community since it opened its doors 87 years ago," said Roger Richards, chairperson, Strategic Planning Committee, Erie County Convention Center Authority Board of Directors. "They are the perfect partner for us, and we look forward to continuing to provide our visitors with world-class entertainment and sports at the newly minted Erie Insurance Arena."Earlier this year, the Erie County Convention Center Authority reached out to Erie Insurance for a significant contribution to complete the renovation. Erie Insurance will contribute $3 million paid in annual installments spread over a 10-year period. "This is about two Erie-based organizations making a long-term commitment to the city," said ERIE President and CEO Terrence W. Cavanaugh. "We are committed to supporting a thriving downtown Erie and want to ensure the facility remains a vital part of the city." In honor of former Erie Mayor Louis J. Tullio, a driving force behind the arena's construction, Erie's entertainment and cultural district will be named Louis J. Tullio Plaza. "My father spent his life making Erie a city of which we could all be proud," said June Tullio Pintea, daughter of the late Louis Tullio. "He would be extremely satisfied to know that the Erie County Convention Center Authority and Erie Insurance continue to ensure that our city can provide family-friendly, top-quality entertainment." About Erie Insurance According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 12th largest automobile and 14th largest homeowners insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 20th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has over 4.3 million policies in force and operates in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 company. Erie Insurance is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates' 2012 Customer Service Champion and is one of only 50 U.S. companies so named. Erie Insurance has also been recognized on the list of Ward's 50 Group of top performing insurance companies. The Ward's 50 award analyzes the financial performance of 3,000 property and casualty companies and nearly 800 life and health insurance companies and recognizes the top performers for achieving outstanding financial results in safety and consistency over a five-year period (2006-2010). News releases and more information about Erie Insurance Group are available at www.erieinsurance.com. About ECCCA The Erie County Convention Center Authority (ECCCA) is the hub of Erie's exciting entertainment and cultural district and operates four unique venues right in the heart of downtown Erie. The Louis J. Tullio Arena, which is home to the OHL Erie Otters, NBA D-League Erie BayHawks and the SIFL Erie Explosion, hosts national touring artists/comedians and family shows. The Warner Theatre, which was built by the world-famous Warner Brothers, opened its doors in 1931 as a movie palace and is today, the cultural gem of Northwestern Pennsylvania. The Theatre, which is home to the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erie Broadway Series, and the Lake Erie Ballet, also hosts many national touring acts. The Bayfront Convention Center, located on Erie's magnificent Presque Isle Bay, opened its doors in 2007 and offers world class amenities for conventions, trade shows, and special events. Our award-winning Jerry Uht Ballpark, home to the AA Eastern League Erie SeaWolves, is celebrating its 18th season of professional baseball. The Erie County Convention Center Authority facilities entertain over 800,000 guests every year and generates over 75 million dollars in direct spending while enhancing the quality of life in Erie, PA by making it a better place to live, work and play. Visit us at www.erieevents.com. SOURCE Erie Insurance