The athletes of Nassau County have a new place to enjoy some friendly competition.
The groundbreaking for the new privately financed “Twin Rinks” sports complex and recreation center was held at Eisenhower Park Thursday afternoon.
The $15 million project is being funded by Chris and Peter Ferraro, former New York Rangers and United States Olympians who were also only the second set of twins in NHL history to play on the same team during the same season. Also contributing to the project are Joel Friedman of Clearview Capital Management, LLC, and Ronald Friedman of Silverman Acampora, LLP. Their consultant, Richard 'Big Daddy' Selgado of Coastal Advisors, was on hand for the groundbreaking as well.
The facility, which is slated to be finished by the fall, will have two NHL regulation-size hockey rinks inside and a rink outside for skating lessons, youth player development programs, tournaments and more.
The complex will be the home to at least two youth hockey leagues, including the Long Island Gulls Amateur Hockey Association and the New York Junior Bobcats.
The facility will also include four NBA/NCAA regulation-size basketball courts, a full sized turf field for lacrosse and soccer, a handball wall and an outdoor rollerblading path.
“It’s a tremendous day to try to change the landscape and the dynamics of Long Island hockey and sports,” Chris Ferraro said. “This is a dream come true for us.”
County Executive Ed Mangano stressed that the new 85,000-square-foot facility will provide new jobs and opportunities for young people around the area.
“This is really a really exciting day.” Mangano said. “Over the last decade, there has really been no building in what we know as the hub, and Eisenhower Park is certainly a part of that.”
The building will stand near the Nassau County Aquatic Center, and will be most easily accessed via Merrick Avenue. The Ferraro brothers will be responsible for all costs pertaining to building and maintaining the facility, while Nassau County will share in some of the proceeds generated.
“It’s been a tough journey for us in our careers,” Peter Ferraro said. “We spent a lot of time away from our family and our friends and we want to eliminate that now. We want to allow the community in Nassau County to develop their families together and stay right here in their backyard.”