The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Big changes in works for Family First Sports Park in Erie, PA. !



   Erie, PA. may soon be a little icier thanks to renovation plans for a local sports complex.

Family First Sports Park may soon have a new owner, one that promises to bring more ice rinks to the area and turn the complex into one of the best on this side of the country.

Family First Sports Park is currently home to soccer fields, basketball courts and a driving range, but hockey fans say there’s something missing: ice rinks.

Bob Catalde, President of Greater Regional Erie Athletic Team Training or G.R.E.A.T.T. says he’s committed to changing that.

“This whole thing started with me looking for the ideal location to build a new ice rink,” Catalde said. “It became more and more apparent that a standalone ice rink is very difficult to be self-sufficient.”


Catalde is in an agreement to purchase Family First Sports Park and plans on turning it into a premier sports park. He says the new facility would be the best sports park Erie has ever had and one of the best on this side of the country.

“This is an ambitious project, but one that we think its completion will really put Erie on the map for a lot of reasons,” Catalde said.

Erie residents, particularly hockey players and fans, say this is hockey town and that bringing more ice rinks the Erie is exactly what many residents want.

“We are stretched for ice time as it is,” local hockey player Chris Leszek said. “When basketball season gets here and it goes against what the Otters are doing, there’s always room for more rink. We need more ice.”

The plans for Family First Sports Park also include new soccer, baseball, football and lacrosse fields.

Now, G.R.E.A.T.T. is waiting for the state budget to be passed, so that they can get the funding they need.


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