Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sportszone 2, an inline hockey rink, closes in New Port Richey

NEW PORT RICHEY — On Sunday night the skaters laced up their inlines, grabbed their hockey sticks and hit the Sportszone 2 rink for the very last time.

The indoor rink — the only one in the Tampa Bay area dedicated to inline roller hockey — lost its lease through a business decision, Sportszone 2 owner Marci Gallahan said. The warehouse owner decided not to renew the lease so he could rent the space to an air conditioning company for more money, Gallahan said.

Now, nearly 200 youth hockey players, 150 adult players in the rink's men's league and another 40 players in the women's league are without a place to play.

Teaching the game of hockey on the 13,600-square-foot rink has also ended, as youth "learn to play" and adult "learn to skate" clinics are also on hold, Gallahan said.

"It's really a sad situation," she said Sunday, the rink's last day of operation. "We have always seen it as a place for families to go and meet great people while learning the game of hockey."

News of the rink's closing brought many of its young patrons to tears, according to manager Jim Grassini.

"They're really good people here," Scott Keyser told Bay News 9, the Times' coverage partner. He said the rink gave his son the chance to enjoy inline hockey. "When he first got here he couldn't skate at all."

Gallahan said her family got the hockey bug when her son, Doug, began to play as a teenager. Soon both she and her husband, Robert, were playing, too. So when the rink at 7716 Rutillio Court went up for sale 31/2 years ago, the couple jumped at the chance to run it.

The couple is now determined to find another location for the rink, so area families have a place to play. Gallahan noted that Palm Harbor has an outdoor rink, and USA's Skateplex in Temple Terrace hosts some hockey, but she said the closest indoor rink dedicated to inline hockey is in Fort Myers.

It will be a difficult endeavor to find a warehouse like the 21,000-square-foot facility that holds Sportzone 2.

As the New Port Richey rink sat empty Sunday afternoon awaiting its final games, the banners of past celebrated teams hung in the rafters. Scuffed-up Plexiglass preserved the memories of vigorous competition.

Gallahan said she and a group of volunteers will begin the painful process of taking it all down today.

"We are hoping to find a place soon so the players aren't without hockey for too long," she said.

Sportszone 2, an inline hockey rink, closes in New Port Richey 05/01/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 1, 2011 10:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Letter from 'many' St. Petersburg High faculty, staff to Pinellas School Board pushes for assistant principal to be next principal

    Blogs

    A St. Petersburg High teacher sent a letter on the behalf of "many" school faculty and staff to the Pinellas County School Board and school district superintendent Mike Grego in support of appointing their assistant principal, Darlene Lebo, as principal.

    Darlene Lebo, an assistant principal at St. Petersburg High, is supported by "many" school faculty and staff to be the school's next principal, according to a letter sent to the Pinellas County School Board.
  2. 2017 Florida Theme Park Guide: A look at this summer's top attractions

    Attractions

    Florida's theme parks are getting ready for their busiest season with new rides, shows and perks, and we have rounded up a guide to the best new things to see.

    The newest fireworks presentation at Magic Kingdom uses lasers, lights, projections and pyrotechnics showing characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films. [Walt Disney World]
  3. Meet 'rave pops,' the EDM-loving, hard-dancing 72-year-old who went viral via the Sunset Music Festival (w/video)

    Music & Concerts

    Alan Grofé is a 72-year-old, semi-retired entrepreneur and former tech executive with frost-white hair, two grown children and five grandchildren.

    Alan Grofe dances at the Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Orlando in 2016. [aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac]
  4. Humana adding 200 telemarketing jobs in Tampa Bay

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Health insurance company Humana Inc. is hiring more than 200 workers in Tampa Bay. The Louisville, Ky.-based company said Wednesday that the new positions will focus on phone sales for Humana's direct marketing services department.

    Humana is adding 200 positions to its Tampa office. Theo Sai, chief medical officer for seniro products at Humana, is pictured in the company's Tampa executive office in 2015. | Rachel Crosby, Times
  5. Congressman wants Trump to pay for Mar-a-Lago travel

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON -- This bill won’t go anywhere, but give Rep. Alcee Hastings creative points with the TRUMPED Act, aka Taxpayers Require Urgent Mandatory Protection from Egregious Debt Act of 2017: