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C3 Sports Indoor Complex Provides New Place to Play

by and on May 17, 2019 5:00 AM

It was the perfect setting as C3 Sports held its grand opening for its new 36,000-square-foot indoor sports complex. While members from the organization and community leaders cut the symbolic ribbon to mark the grand opening, daycare kids were in the background running, jumping and climbing up huge inflatable toys, playing, laughing and occasionally letting out a harmless scream.

But the screams did not overshadow the excitement from the crowd, as they all seemed overjoyed to add the facility to the sports scene in Centre County.

Throughout the seasons, the indoor facility located at Christ Community Church, 200 Ellis Place, State College, will provide a place to play and practice — despite the sweltering heat or the freezing cold outside.

The hope for the facility is also to further put State College on the map as a place for sports teams to travel for tournaments and sports camps, joining the new Nittany Valley Sports Centre in Patton Township in adding new athletic space to the area.

C3 Sports includes a 28,000-square-foot dome with a convertible floor that transitions between a sports court and a turf field. The tall, dome ceiling — 45-foot-high at its peak – gives the facility the height needed to play football, baseball and even allows for driving golf balls.

Accompanying the multi-use dome is a 10,000-square-foot atrium with two locker room areas, three large meeting rooms and a full-service café.

It was all part of the vision to include positive space for the community, according to Christ Community Church Pastor and C3 sports CEO Mitch Smith.

He said he has seen his church’s mission grow since he started it 29 years ago. C3 Sports began with a 12,000-square-foot gymnasium and with the new sports complex and atrium, the vision has grown to fruition.

“This is like a dream we have had for years. … We found out, with survey after survey, that the number one need in our community was indoor recreational space, so we took it upon ourselves to see if we could help meet the needs of our community,” said Smith.

C3 Sports said the space is ideal for sports teams, sports tournaments, family parties or even individual work out space. He said the facility is open for everyone, from the little kids playing on the bounce house to seniors playing pickleball.

State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff was on hand for the ribbon cutting and said he had fun chasing his grandson in one of the bounce houses recently. He was glad to see the community come together to build something that will be a benefit to the region.

“Today is a celebration — a celebration about family, a church that had a vision that saw what was good for our community, what was going to be better for the future of our community. I can’t think of a press conference I’m more excited about than hearing children and having fun,” said Benninghoff. “C3 Sports is about family.”

Smith said the facility wouldn’t be possible without the help from partners Kish Bank and Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Richard Sarfert from Kish Bank said he was a former soccer player and wished he was 30 years younger so he could play on the turf grass. He added that he and Kish Bank were glad to be a part of bringing the facility to the community.

Sarfert and Fritz Smith, executive director of Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the facility will help bring visitors into the area.

“We know this thing is going to be a success. It is going to drive business to the Centre Region,” said Sarfert. “And Kish is proud to be a part of that.”

“This in the next step — an exciting step — in cementing the reputation of Centre County as the sports headquarters of Pennsylvania and the east coast in general. This is really a big step,” said Fritz Smith.

Photo by CBICC

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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