Lemieux brother buying New Kensington ice rink
By Tom Yerace
Published: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, 2:24 p.m.
NEW KENSINGTON — A group calling itself Pittsburgh Ice Arena LP, which includes the brother of Pittsburgh Penguins owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux, is buying the Valley Sports Complex.The group is led by Andrew Virostek, a Vandergrift native who lives in Murrysville and owns Murrysville Dek Hockey, a growing business that features dek and in-line hockey.
Alain Lemieux, a former National League Hockey player and Mario Lemieux's brother, is a partner. Alain Lemieux will be the director of hockey operations. The facility will include a hockey training academy bearing his name.On Thursday, Pittsburgh Ice Arena LP announced that it had entered into an agreement with Allegheny Valley Bank to buy the sports complex, which is located at the intersection of Craigdell Road and the Route 56 Bypass.
The complex includes two ice rinks along with a gym. There also is a separate building on the 30-acre property that houses a bar and restaurant.
Virostek declined to provide any financial details of the transaction, which he thinks will be completed in September.
“This is a natural expansion for us,” Virostek said. “I grew up playing dek hockey in Vandergrift and at Memorial Park, the New Ken ‘Y' and at Melwood; I'm 49 and I still play a lot of dek hockey.”
He said “ice was the only thing missing” in his business.“Everything that has been going on there over the years will continue uninterrupted,” Virostek said, “and we plan on bringing some new things in as well.”For three years the Valley Sports Complex has operated under the direction of a receiver, Dale Rossetti. Rossetti was appointed by the bank Aug. 14, 2009 after it sued the previous owners, Rich McDonald of Gilpin, who built the complex, and his brother-in-law, Lower Burrell resident Don Abel, in 2006 for $3.98 million, including $3.7 million owed on the facility's mortgage.“It is a great opportunity for us and our partners, I think we'll do well there,” said Lemieux, 51. “We've been in contact with all the organizations, all the hockey clubs that are there now, and everybody is in 100 percent.”
One of the organizations is the Pittsburgh Vipers of which Lower Burrell resident Carole Woodrow is president. She said the Vipers has “just under” 300 children between ages 4 and 18 involved with the sport.
“I think it is positive in that the fate of the rink has been in doubt because it has been in receivership,” Woodrow said. “Now we know that the rink is secure and our organization will have a place to play for years to come.”
One improvement that's already under way is an upgrade in the facility's lighting, Virostek said.
The other immediate improvements will be establishing the Alain Lemieux Hockey Academy. Unique, specialized resistance training equipment is being added as part of that. And a small, synthetic ice surface will be added to provide more individual instruction, Virostek said.“Alain knows a lot of former NHL players and coaches and looks forward to them coming out to help,” Virostek said.Lemieux, who played minor league hockey as well as playing seven years in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and Quebec Nordiques, has also coached AAA hockey for five years and run numerous clinics and camps around the country.
“This will be something new for the kids in the area,” he said. “You go to the arenas like in Detroit and they all have their training facilities for the kids there. You can see the difference in training. They are a little bit better, a little bit stronger.
“The Alain Lemieux academy, this is something we want to build on,” Lemieux said. “The ability to train kids is so important.“It's not only going to go from a good rink to a great rink,” Lemieux said, “but it will be going from good to great with what is going on inside as well.”
Tom Yerace is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-226-4675.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
- At least three people dead in Armstrong County crash
- Penguins rally to escape with a victory in Game 1 against Columbus
- Physical Columbus team is a hit in playoff opener against Penguins
- Veteran North Huntingdon police officer fired
- Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
- Pirates notebook: Walker’s razor a right-handed swing solution
- Retired postal worker picks $1M winner
- Play of the game: Sutter’s goal completes rally
- Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
- Legislative sting’s scope in Pennsylvania broad, diverse