Bangor Sports Arena To Change Ownership And Look In 2024
Since it opening back in the mid 1990s, The Sports Arena on Hammond Street in Bangor has provided local families a place to gather, play, and celebrate together.
Many folks from around the area have fond memories of time spent there. It's those fond memories and wanting to keep such a place around, but also bring it up to the times, that inspired Blaine Meehan (born and raised in Winterport) and Brent Adkins (a recent transplant from Florida). The two men approached long-time Sports Arena owner, Len Cole, this past May with a business proposition. They wanted to buy the business, update it a little, and see what else they could add that would meet the needs and wants of the community around them.
Adkins says as he and Meehan got talking with different folks from around the area, it was clear that the Sports Arena, having already been a place where many happy memories had been made, that the space has plenty more life to give to make new memories. It's all about keeping that sense of community.
"When I spoke with people in the community about Sports Arena, you know that's what I hear, you know those Friday nights, that's where they came to hang out with their friends, especially their friends who maybe went to other schools. It was a location that everyone could meet at. And regardless of whether your Hermon or Bangor or Hamdpen etc, everybody could come together and have a great night...and that's where these memories seem to stem from."
Adkins says the pair have been working with Cole to slowly make some upgrades and gently ease the transition of ownership so that come January 1st of 2024--the date he and Meehan take over--they'll have had a jump start on much of the work they want to do.
"We've actually already painted inside. You're going to see a lot of things change over the next year. A lot of it's going to be modernizing and getting things up to this time frame. I think that's the biggest thing. When you walk in there it seems dated, it seems a little dark. We want to brighten the place up and make it more inviting. So you're going to see some cosmetic things like paint and see the floors change. On the bar side and the restaurant side, we'll be expanding the menu."
Officially, the transfer of ownership will take place after the new year, but folks who visit during the next few months will start to notice some changes, ultimately, it will be a work in progress for the first year, as far as how the new Sports Arena is going to evolve.
"We certainly are going to add things, but we don't want to guess on things to add. We really want to hear what people are looking for and what people feel they're missing out on in the greater Bangor area as far as entertainment goes...We plan on really listening to what the community is looking for when they think about going out and spending time with their family and entertainment, and we'll use that to make decisions on what to add to it. "
Adkins says that ultimately they want the space to become a place where you could go with your inlaws, your kids, and your friends, and everyone would have something to do.
"There's 18 holes of minigolf. There are 10 lanes for full-size bowling, an updated arcade, and two different bars inside, with different themes. We have 13 full-size pool tables."
He says they also plan to get into the corn-hole tournament market, as that's something that's really growing here in Maine. They also plan to add 3 different party rooms, with different themes, so that there will be a dedicated space for those who want to come and celebrate a birthday at the Sports Arena.
Part of the future game plan will also be to really bring the focus back to local sports, Adkins says.
"Getting a little bit more localized. That means really tapping into our local sports; and recognizing our High Schools and Colleges for the things that they do...We want to reinvest in it and modernize it and hopefully younger generation can recreate some of those great memories that their parents, aunts, and uncles all have...We're excited...looking forward to making memories."
The Sports Arena will remain open and operational as the ownership is transferred in January.
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