March 31 will mark the end of an era locally as Frederick Indoor Sports Center will permanently close its doors.
The announcement was made in a post on social media and an email to regular patrons on Jan. 17. Owner Tony Checchia says, “We have sincerely enjoyed being a part of our employees’ and patrons’ lives for the past 12 years. As we look back, there are so many great memories yet much the same as when the Skate Haven closed (decades ago). We are saddened by the void this will create in our community.”
The facility dates back to 2000 when it was known as Frederick SportsPlex. Checchia took over ownership in 2009 after the previous owners approached him. For the past four years, he and his business partner Roby Malandrucco had searched for a sports-related buyer for the facility. Although one prospect was lined up before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the deal ultimately did not happen. In September, the pair put the 65,000-square-foot complex up for sale, eventually selling the site for industrial use which is what the facility was initially zoned for in 1999. The City of Frederick gave an exemption to run the facility as a sports complex.
“When we took over in the summer of 2009, the facility was much different and over the years became mid-Maryland’s premier indoor sports/events facility,” Checchia recalled in the post. “The FISC team is grateful for the dedication, support and contributions of employees, tenants, patrons, coaches and sports organizations through the years which allowed the vision to become a reality.”
Besides serving as a warm, indoor spot for adult and youth sports leagues, the year-round facility also hosted a number of small businesses over the years, including Frederick Soccer Supplies, ITNeedsHelp computer consultant, 368 Athletics, Rehab 2 Perform and JCX Ninja Warrior Gym.
With the facility’s closure, no other indoor soccer and lacrosse facilities currently in the county. Checchia noted this in his post. “We hope the area’s strong sports organizations continue to thrive and shed light on the need for quality, positive adult and youth programs. Perhaps the closure of the FISC Facility will shine a spotlight on the City’s Western Regional Park development and before too long, we all meet again at the City’s future indoor sports complex.”