The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Family First Sports Park Golf Dome Collapses In Erie, PA !

The golf dome at Family First Sports Park appears to have collapsed due to heavy snowfall.

Reports from the scene indicate that the heavy amounts of snow may be to blame for the deflation. As you can see, the dome is nearly gone.

The Family First Sports Park website states that as of Tuesday, “The dome is closed indefinitely due to the snow accumulation over the last 2 days.”

Calls were made to the sports park officials but not answered.

Winter Sports Park set to open for season Friday !

Winter Sports Park set to open for season Friday
G. Randall Goss/News-ReviewFamily skaters from the Detroit area hold hands for support as they maneuver around the Petoskey Winter Sports Park ice rink during the 2016-17 winter season. They are (from left) Kevin Blossfeld, Brianna Blossfield, Caroline Rourke, and Betty Jane Blossfield.

PETOSKEY, MI — Petoskey’s popular Winter Sports Park will open for the first time this season on Friday, Dec. 22.

For the first time, people will be able to pay for both concession stand items and skate rentals with any major credit card, said Kendall Klingelsmith, parks and recreation director. The concession stand’s menu will now include pizza, he noted.

Klingelsmith said the staff is also taking reservations from people wanting to have a birthday party at the park. Those interested will have a couple of different options, including renting a private room. People who are interested in reserving a space should contact the parks and recreation department for more details. Reservations also can be made at the park.

The park offers areas to participate in numerous winter activities such as ice skating, sledding, skiing, hockey, curling and snowboarding. The park also has a warming house, which includes a fireplace, concession stand, free Wi-Fi and a large-screen HDTV.

Regular hours for the park are 3-8 p.m. weekdays, but extended hours, noon to 8 p.m., are planned for the upcoming week because of the holiday break. The park will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on the weekends. Klingelsmith noted the park will be closed on Christmas Day. Also, the park will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The park typically closes for the season in mid-March.

For more information, visit www.petoskey.us/departments/parks_and_recreation/winter_sports_park.php or call (231) 347-1252.

The park is accessible via Winter Park Lane, which connects to U.S. 31 near Sunset Park.

County approves $31M sports park budget !

TDC officials said they hope to break ground some time in early 2018, and the project will take an estimated 395 days to complete.

PANAMA CITY — The green light has been given to construct a major new sports park in Panama City Beach after more than a year of delays caused by project costs greatly exceeding initial estimates.

The Bay County Commission on Tuesday approved of a modified $31.4 million design of the sports park, which should offer lacrosse, soccer, softball, baseball, playgrounds, trails for biking or walking and a ropes course.

Consultants initially estimated the park would cost between $30 million and $35 million, and they were hoping to have the park open by Spring Break 2018. But the project was brought to a temporary halt after the winning bid, from Phoenix Construction, came in at $51.5 million.

For months, Phoenix Construction owner James Finch, TDC officials and their consultants have discussed ways to scale back the costs to reach a figure close to initial estimates without affecting the goal of the park being “world class.”

The latest plan calls for awarding Phoenix a $23.8 million contract. The firm would do earthwork, paving, concrete walkways, utilities, underground electrical improvements, park lights, sports lighting and the construction of four turf fields. The TDC is slated to pay about $7.6 million more for buildings, technology, artificial turf and other expenditures associated with the project.

TDC Executive Director Dan Rowe said ultimately, they were able to scale back the project costs without hurting the quality of the project.

“We simplified a number of the buildings,” he said. “We made some changes to the layout of some of the fields.”

A new set of plans now will have to be drawn up, Rowe said.

TDC officials said they hope to break ground some time in early 2018, and the project will take an estimated 395 days to complete.

The TDC also was able to cut costs by building a two-lane instead of a four-lane road through the project. Rowe told commissioners, however, that enough land will be set aside for a four-lane road, and the St. Joe Co. will be approached about adding another lane to it later.

“Essentially the road will be built to a four-lane roadway in the future,” he said.

County Commissioner Robert Carroll said the original $51 million bid was “a hard pill to swallow,” but cost cutting has made the project feasible now.

Carroll also said the entire project is being funded by the county’s bed tax.

“Therefore, there is no burden on the taxpayers of Bay County to make all the debt service,” he said.

The TDC also is setting aside land for a potential indoor facility to be built as part of the sports park. The TDC has asked Triumph Gulf Coast for $20 million in oil spill funds to pay for that.

“The indoor facility would just diversify the economy even more,” said Philip “Griff” Griffitts, a county commissioner who chairs the TDC.

The commission also:

• Approved a zone change on 142 acres in the Sand Hills area that would allow Finch to develop a go-kart track for his son that eventually would be open to the public. The property at 215 Hatcher Drive is in a public/institutional zoning district, previously owned by the city of Lynn Haven with the intent to use it for a public use.

• Approved Lynn Haven’s requested amendment to an application for $450,000 in RESTORE oil spill funds for Porter Park improvements. Because of the sequencing of the project, the city already has made improvements to the ramp, docks and seawall before the U.S. Treasury’s approval of the grant application. The city has asked that the application be amended so the funds instead could be spent on future restrooms, pavilions, parking and playground equipment.

• Approving hiring Bryant and Higby as local counsel in the county’s future lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies in the opioid crisis. Perry and Young had lobbied for the job. Harrison Rivard also was interested in taking the case but wrote in a recent letter that it was no longer vying for the job.

• Agreed to come back at its next meeting to outline the Triumph Gulf Coast pre-applications that commissioners believe should be funded. The commission, with Guy Tunnell dissenting, has been hesitant to take a position.

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BEACON Ballfields Exclusive Weekly Tips ! ( Dec. ’17 ) !

DECEMBER 2017        |        BeaconAthletics.com

Great Deals for December…

These offers are only around this month, take advantage today!

Adjustable Weight Nail Drag with 4 Field Weights

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Triple Play Batter’s Box Template

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Schutt Four-Sided YOUTH Pitching Rubber

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IN STOCK: Ships within 24 hours!  Pitching rubber made from rubber with PVC tube insert. — Reg. $65  NOW $55 (valid for youth only thru 12/31/2017)

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Scott Enterprises donates $50,000 for sports park renovation !

Scott Enterprises is pledging a $50,000 donation towards the redevelopment of Family First Sports Park.

Scott Enterprises’ donation is contributing to a wave of momentum surrounding the project, which includes transforming the facility’s existing indoor soccer fields into two NHL sized ice rinks.  “the improved Family First Sports Park will be a major driver of regional tourism and will showcase Erie in a truly tremendous fashion,” explains Nick Scott Sr., President and Owner of Scott Enterprises.  “Centrally located in the tri-state area makes it the ideal location for a sports complex of this magnitude.  We’re proud to be able to donate and support this initiative.”

The Greater Regional Erie Athletic Team Training, or GREATT, is promising to create the finest sports facility that the greater Erie area has ever seen and intends to build one of the best sports facilities in the nation.

President of GREATT says, “we are so pleased by the Scotts’ generous donation… this gift is yet another indicator of the Scotts’ commitment to the Erie community.  We are very grateful.  This truly adds to the future excitement surrounding the park.”

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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