VINTON, Va. – The Lancerlot Sports Complex has served the Roanoke Valley in multiple capacities for many years. And in just a few months, hockey will return to the historic venue in Vinton.
Penalty Box Partners LLC has invested $2 million in the renovation efforts to bring a dedicated ice rink back to the sports complex. The theory and design have been in the works for the past six years and negotiations began in 2016. The updated rink will serve as the home for a few adult hockey leagues, the Valley Youth Hockey Association and most notably Virginia Tech. Managing partner Jason Pollard said the upgrades will benefit the entire region.
"We'll be able to have the traditional hockey season from September through March or April, as well as spring season and the summer season," said Pollard.
"That'll ring true for figure skating, public skating, curling -- any number of activities that are isolated on a regional and national scale."
Virginia Tech ice hockey coach Joey Mullen added, " For recruiting, this is going to be huge. We actually came in as somewhat of a partner and invested a good amount of money to build our own locker rooms. So that's the first time in 30 years of Tech hockey we've had our own locker rooms so guys don't have to travel back and forth with their gear anymore. I have a bit of a recruiting spiel I can say: 'Hey meet me at the rink. I can show you our room. This is what you get when you come play at Tech.'"
The Rail Yard Dawgs will use the ice for practice and move its administrative offices to Lancerlot. The project is scheduled to be complete by September. Upgrades have also gone into the gym side of the complex.