Maryland company buys ice rink in central Pennsylvania

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Twin Ponds East in Susquehanna Township has a new owner.

Maryland-based Black Bear Sports Group, which has 23 ice skating facilities, purchased the skating arena on Corey Road.

Twin Ponds East is located in an area with a number of larger facilities close to Briarsdale Road and Union Deposit Road, near McDonald’s and Sheetz.

The arena features two NHL rinks and a smaller practice rink, café, pro shop, and athletic turf designed for baseball practice. The arena is home to many of the area’s figure skaters and youth hockey players, and also hosts youth hockey tournaments and central Pennsylvania middle school and high school games throughout the year.

“The Harrisburg area has a rich hockey history and we are excited to continue to develop and support ice sports in the area,” said Murry Gunty, Founder and CEO of Black Bear in a press release. “Twin Ponds fits perfectly into our network of ice rinks including [rinks in] York, northern Maryland, Delaware and the Philadelphia area and in particular this rink will be a perfect fit for our new league, the Atlantic Hockey Federation and our tournament activities.

The Atlantic Hockey Federation is an elite Level II junior hockey league that facilitates games throughout the Central Atlantic region. The league has over 225 teams.

Twin Ponds East Arena also served as the rink for the Hershey Jr. Bears Youth Hockey Club, the Capital City Vipers Youth Hockey Club, and the Central Pennsylvania Figure Skating Club.

No major changes are expected immediately, but the building will need some upgrades over time, according to Ryan Scott, vice president of the Black Bear Sports Group.

“Our short-term goal is to improve youth sports participation through programs run by the rink and to help our current clients and high schools start and end the current season,” Scott said in an email.

Black Bear Sports Group Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital Holdings in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams and sports events for young people. Black Bear has 23 facilities across the United States with 42 sheets of indoor ice, three indoor turf fields, 15 youth hockey clubs and three junior “A” hockey franchises in the United States Hockey League, the North American Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League.

Twin Ponds West on Lambs Gap Road in Hampden Township closed in 2019 and was purchased by LCBC Church. Twin Ponds East opened in 1993 and Twin Ponds West opened in 1996.

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