Chris Warner is eager to teach his young kids a new sport.
Come this spring, he’ll have the perfect opportunity to do it.
Construction has begun on La Roca Park, which will be in Viera’s Sierra Cove community and will include, among other things, an outdoor hockey rink.
“Both of my kids are into soccer, baseball, basketball, and I’m excited to teach them the game of hockey,” Warner said. “My son loves to run fast and hit things. Hockey is a good sport to do that.”
Warner, a big Washington Capitals fan, moved from Maryland to Viera in May 2019 with his wife and twins, Brandon and Cailyn, who are now 4 years old.
While Warner believes Brandon will love playing hockey, he’s sure Cailyn will take to the game as well.
“She’s really getting into sports herself, and they’re really competitive with each other,” he said. “If one does something, the other one has to do it, too.”
The outdoor rink, which measures 44 feet by 88 feet, is only part of what’s in store for the Central Viera Community Association Park. There will be a playground with a rock-climbing feature for kids, a cornhole area, a restroom and pavilion as well as some open space for play.
It’s set to open this spring.
“I think people are really going to like this new experience that we haven’t had here before,” said Eva Rey, director of Community Management, Amenities and Communications for The Viera Company.
The building of La Roca Park is just another step in the company’s plan to create unique experiences for people in its communities.
“The integrated network of parks and trails in Viera is the No. 1 rated amenity when we survey existing residents and prospective buyers,” The Viera Company President Todd Pokrywa said in a statement.
“Just like Viera has a wide variety of housing options available from multifamily rentals to paired villas to semi-custom homes to multimillion dollar estates, there is a diverse set of amenity offerings within the parks throughout the master planned community. We don’t want to only replicate what elements have been delivered in other parks, but evolve our plans to innovate and diversify what is available to our residents.
“The outdoor hockey rink that is under construction will offer a new recreational opportunity for residents to play roller and ball hockey, which appeals to many northern transplants and those hockey enthusiasts that have witnessed the robust growth of the sport in Florida since the NHL expanded in the Sun Belt with teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
“Viera is in the official viewing area for Tampa Bay Lighting broadcasts on Fox Sports, so the timing of the new outdoor rink is apropos given the team’s impact on the growth of youth hockey in an expanding area of market influence and its Stanley Cup win a couple of months ago.
“Viera is also merely a stone’s throw away from the Space Coast Iceplex, which is just north of the master planned community’s boundary, where youth and adult hockey programs are very popular. Other top master planned communities such as The Woodlands, Weston and Lakewood Ranch previously expanded their recreational offerings to include similar outdoor hockey rinks to that now under construction in Viera.”
Warner said he was told about plans to build La Roca Park when he was signing the contract to have his home built in Sierra Cove. It only confirmed he and his family were making the right decision.
“I think they just poured the rink the other day,” he said. “We’re excited.”