Center to be variation on indoor sports concept June opening sought for $1.2 million complex with focus on recreation

February 26, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A planned indoor volleyball, basketball, batting cage and video game center in Westminster -- Players Family Amusement Center -- will be a variation on a business that is flourishing in Carroll County -- indoor sports centers.

The under-roof centers that offer sports ranging from soccer to street hockey haven't done well in other Baltimore metropolitan-area counties, local owners say, but Carroll seems to be different.

Four-year-old Super Sports in Eldersburg draws an average of 2,200 competitors a week who play on 154 teams: football, baseball, softball, volleyball, field hockey, street hockey, lacrosse and soccer.

Carroll Indoor Sports Center in Westminster has 290 soccer and softball teams, an average of 3,300 to 3,400 players a week.

The Four Seasons Sports Complex near Hampstead, in business for about 20 years, offers a range of sports from softball and soccer to racquetball and wallyball.

Super Sports owner Mark Hughes said his center attracts patrons from Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Frederick counties, in addition to Carroll residents.

James O. Shank, owner of Carroll Indoor Sports Center, said he has Baltimore County teams coming to his soccer arena.

The county Department of Recreation and Parks lists three privately owned indoor sports centers in the county: Four Seasons, Super Sports and Carroll Indoor Sports Center. Longwell Municipal Center, owned by Westminster city government, offers basketball and aerobics and plans to add volleyball when its fitness center is completed.

The latest addition to the county's indoor centers is planned on part of a 12.6-acre property at 525 Old Westminster Pike, near Carroll Indoor Sports Center.

"We felt this would be the best all-around venture for the three of us in that there is no other like it in the Westminster area," said Dr. Jerry Katz, a Randallstown podiatrist and vice president of the business. His partners are brothers Michael Eberly, president, and Rick Eberly, general manager, both of Westminster.

Dr. Katz said the partners hope to open the center in June. The $1.2 million, 36,000-square-foot building will have a capacity of 354. The building is to house six batting cages, one court for volleyball or basketball, three party rooms, a video game area, golf driving cage, and gyroscope, a device used in astronaut training.

The center will be more recreational than indoor sports complexes are based on membership and leagues, Rick Eberly said. It will offer more video games and place a greater emphasis on children's birthday parties, he said, although it will have volleyball and basketball leagues.

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