NorthStar Sports Complex nearing completion
The NorthStar Sports Complex in Alexandria has come a long way in the past 12 months.
“A year ago, we hadn’t even broken ground,” said Rick Randazzo, the director of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hockey. “So what’s happened in a year? We had less than $1 million. … To be skating today and to have most of this building paid for is miraculous. It’s just incredible.”
Approximately $7.3 million of the $8.1 million in construction costs have been raised, and the privately-funded facility has continued to inch toward completion. With the exception of a training lab still in the works, Randazzo hopes to have everything in the 70,000-square-foot building finished for the grand opening on Oct. 14.
“We’re hoping a huge amount of the building is done by then,” Randazzo said. “Our facility is unbelievable. For a first-year program to have what we have -- from the sound system to the ice to the locker room to the weight room -- it’s just awesome.”
The building is home to an ice rink where the NorthStar Knights hockey team will play, as well as a turf fieldhouse for soccer, golf and baseball, with hopes of making it accessible to lacrosse and other sports in the future. The facility also features a chapel, a scouting station, six locker rooms, a training room and a sauna.
“This building is a gift from the Christian community -- from the Christian businessmen, the Christian families -- to the community of Alexandria,” Randazzo said. “Our youth teams will use this, our high school teams we think will use this. In my opinion, it’s first class. This is incredible. There’s nothing like this.”
The puck will drop for the Knights’ inaugural season on Saturday, Sept. 29, with the first game in the NorthStar Sports Complex coming on Sunday, Sept. 30. But the players started getting primed for the season long before the opener.
“We’ve created our own area where they get to come every day for eight, nine, 10 hours and just connect with each other. All of this stuff is top-of-the-line,” Randazzo said. “Every one of these players has aspirations of playing college hockey. … (This building) is all like a Division I program. We’re treating them like that.”
Randazzo said the facility is also partnering with the Alexandria Area Hockey Association so it can expand its tournaments and invite more teams to the area with the additional rink available. Randazzo said they may host their own tournaments in the future, as well.
The complex is also housing the headquarters for FCA Hockey, and Randazzo is happy to meet the needs of the community while furthering the reach that God has in the region.
“There was a need in the community for an additional sheet of ice. Right now, there’s not enough ice in Alexandria for all the people that want to play hockey,” he said. “It’s two-fold: The need for a new rink was there, but also, the idea of bringing FCA Hockey’s headquarters here and providing… teams from all over the world (a chance) to play and use the facility. And then hopefully using that to share the gospel of God.”
The complex amenities will soon be open for the public to rent on an hourly basis, as well. Visit www.nscacademy.org for more information.
“It’s a phenomenal space that we get to use,” Randazzo said. “We want (teams) to come here and say, ‘Wow, this was the best experience of the year, coming to Alexandria. When can we go back?’”