New hockey rink to be built in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A new dek hockey (street hockey) rink and event space will soon be coming to the Toyota SportsPlex Complex in Wilkes-Barre.

In a release by the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, officials say the construction is made possible due to a $250,000 Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development Tourism Grant.

In addition to the state grant, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and High Mark Corporate Giving have each pledged $40,000 for the project. According to State Senator John Yudichak, that makes Wilkes-Barre the first city in eastern Pennsylvania to be a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation Project Power Play Initiative.

“We have great amenities here, the Coal Street Park is beautiful,” Yudichak said at the announcement ceremony. “Adding this outdoor rink that is going to be covered in lights could be a 12 month facility. In addition, we are working on the next phases of this project, making this Toyota SportsPlex even bigger and better.”

The new hockey dek will be built behind the Toyota SportsPlex and is projected to be about two thirds the length of the current indoor facility. The new space will be open for community organizations for special events, retreats and team building activities.

“When I go to the different functions, people say to me ‘mayor we need more things for our children, we need more things for recreation’,” Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown said. “We are meeting one of those needs today.”

Construction of the new dek hockey rink is expected to begin this spring and be completed by August.

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