ERIE, Pa. — After last year’s Christmas Day snowstorm, the golf dome at ERIEBANK Sports Park was weighed down and deflated.
Restoration is underway at the Summit Township venue, but some of the damage is still being accessed, according to Tom Hillgrove, president of Rink Management Services Corporation.
“They’ve got a few more patches they’ve got to do. Then, they’re going to fully inflate it. And they’ve got to see what the damage will be on the inside from the lighting and the things from the collapse,” he said.
Just prior to that destructive storm, ERIE Sports Park, formerly known as Family First Sports Park, had been sold to Greater Regional Erie Athletic Team Training (GREATT) with plans for improvements.
“You’re going to have hockey. You’re going to have lacrosse. You’re going to have basketball. You’re going to have soccer,” said Louis Lombardo, regional manager of Rink Management Services Corp.
Two indoor fields will be turned into ice rinks.
Hillgrove said, “With the two ice rinks in, the turf, the dome being upgraded. The basketball. We think we’ll have something for everybody.”
That includes the Erie Youth Hockey Association (EYHA). One of the places that EYHA had used was the JMC Ice Arena, but that facility has been plagued with ice production issues prompting an indefinite closure.
Tim Maciulewicz, president of EYHA, said, “For Erie Youth Hockey, we are very, very excited about the development of the ERIEBANK Sports Park, because our members deserve to have a lot of the things available to them that quite frankly hasn’t been available to them over the past few years.”
The group’s 850 members range from small kids to adults. Maciulewicz said the development will allow his organization to expand offerings to them.
“So, things like tournaments, skills sessions, sticks handling clinics, and those sorts of things,” he said.
But one of the first steps for ERIEBANK Sports Park is getting the dome up and running.
“We’re upgrading the heating system in it and that’s kind of what gives it the bump,” said Hillgrove. “So, they had to correct some of the tears and they had to inflate it to correct the rest.”
The dome is expected to reopen by early April. The ice rinks are scheduled to open in early September 2018.