Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00
Call it a coincidence, but the timing for Chris and Peter Ferraro’s announcement of the creation of a new hockey and recreation facility couldn’t be any better.
Two days before the National Hockey League was set to drop the puck for a shortened, 48-game season beginning on Jan. 19, the Ferraro twins – former NHL players and Olympians themselves – broke ground on their $15 million, privately financed Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park.
“It is our passion to support Long Island families so that they will no longer have to be torn apart or have their family life disrupted just because a child excels in hockey and wants to try to make it to the NHL,” said Chris Ferraro. “This facility will enable us to create a hockey hot bed right here on Long Island.”
Twin Rinks at Eisenhower Park will include Ferraro Brothers Ice Center, an 85,000-square-foot world-class facility with two NHL regulation-sized rinks and one outdoor recreational hockey rink that will host skating lessons, youth development programs, tournaments and hockey teams for all ages and skill levels.
The facility will also include a full-sized turf field with soccer and lacrosse lines, a sport court with four NBA/NCAA regulation basketball courts, a handball wall and a rollerblade and stroller path connecting the complex with the pre-existing paths that surround the Nassau County Aquatic Center.
Twin Rinks will serve as home to at least two youth hockey organizations, including the Long Island Gulls Amateur Hockey Association and the New York Junior Bobcats. The complex is expected to create nearly 20 new jobs and generate an estimated $35 million in economic benefits for the local area through the first five years of operation.
“Creating this kind of sports entertainment destination will enhance our quality of life as well as create jobs and opportunities for residents,” said County Executive Edward Mangano.
Ice hockey is somewhat of a pricey sport, given the fees for ice time, costly equipment and the traveling expenses that accompany the sport here on Long Island.
“We were extremely fortunate that our parents had the means and the desire to take us where we needed to go to succeed. Because of our experiences, we are able to give back and guide young players along a path to develop and to teach the importance of camaraderie, sportsmanship and integrity without having to travel off Long Island,” said Peter Ferraro.
While the area is set to lose the Islanders in 2015 as the team will relocate to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the area, and its young athletes – many who have gone on to play the sport professionally – will gain a valuable resource unlike any other here in Nassau County.
“Public-private partnerships such as this play a pivotal role in helping the county continue serve the residents. This facility will help change the face of this entire area as we reinvent the Nassau County HUB,” said Mangano.