A 150,000-square-foot sports facility now under construction in Wesley Chapel is expected to become a major tourism draw.
Roughly 100 people attended the Feb. 24 groundbreaking ceremonies to celebrate the project.
The facility is expected to be popular with youth hockey leagues and to attract international hockey tournaments.
It’s a dream come true for Canadian-born Gordie Zimmerman, managing partner of Z Mitch LLC and former general manager at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.
“I really love hockey,” he said. “We saw a lack of ice in the area. Kids can’t practice enough.”
The as-yet unnamed facility will open in fall 2015 at 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., off Interstate 75 at the State Road 56 interchange in Wesley Chapel.
It will have four full-sized rinks including one Olympic-size hockey rink. There also will be a removable ice rink pad that can be converted for multi-uses including basketball, dog shows and graduation ceremonies.
Zimmerman also announced a 10-year partnership with Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. The hospital will be a major sponsor of the facility and will provide educational programs on sports and injury prevention.
Zimmerman and the hospital are sponsoring a contest to name the ice and sports complex. Suggestions can be made through March 10 at www.WesleyChapelIceCenter.com.