Tonawanda Sports Center (Sportsplex)

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Tonawanda Sports Center (Sportsplex)


In April 1974 construction began on the massive Twin City Racquet Club / Tonawanda Sports Center complex on Ridge Road in North Tonawanda, behind the high school. The buildings were co-owned by Drs. Dudley Turecki and Syde Taheri.

The ice hockey complex (now NT Inter-Church Food) hosted the North American Hockey League Buffalo Norsemen for one season, 1975-76. The Buffalo Sabres would practice there for a short time following the Norsemen's abrupt exit from the league. It also hosted The Tondas, and was known as Tonawanda Icetime.

The tennis complex (now Sportsplex) was first called the Twin City Racquet Club. Its two steel buildings each contained six full, state-of-the-art tennis courts, and covered over 85K square feet. Eventually it would boast a pro shop, a second floor banquet facility, and men's and women's locker rooms replete with lounges and saunas. When it was built, it dwarfed rival facilities in Orchard Park and Williamsville. After a strong start, the club lost direction by the end of the decade. In 1980 the MISL's (Major Indoor Soccer League) Buffalo Stallions rented half the facility for a practice space, replacing four tennis courts in the southern building with an indoor soccer field. Seeing an opportunity, in August 1981 the Stallions purchased the entire facility, and it was rechristened Stallion Soccer World. They sold Stallions merchandise and pro soccer gear. The Stallions ran their own wildly popular indoor soccer leagues, with participants ranging in age from 8 to middle age, topping 160 teams in 1982. The last two tennis courts in the southern building were replaced when a mini soccer field was added.