NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A popular roller hockey rink in New Port Richey is on the verge of closing and it could impact hundreds of kids.
For Josh Stuiso, All Sports Arena has changed his life.
"It’s helped me with my hand and eye coordination and my ability to focus on things,” said Stuiso.
Stuiso suffered a traumatic brain injury from a tree limb when he was 15. He was on a tree swing when the limb snapped.
"It hit me in the head and I was in a 31 day coma and I was in the hospital for 80 days,” he said
For two years, he had to learn to talk and walk again. Now he’s back to doing what he loves, but this rink may not be around much longer.
"If they have nowhere to skate, where are they going to go? Where are they going to go?” asked David Cravatta, a hockey player who is part of the adult league.
"I felt, I felt broken,” said Averi Sapp, a 10-year-old hockey player at the facility.
Matt Garry bought the business eight years ago and says he spent thousands of dollars to keep it afloat. But now, he says the landlord wants him out. He says the business sees about 250 kids a week and that doesn't include the countless tournaments and events they hold at the facility every year.
"Right now it’s getting taken from us. We didn’t know it was going to happen, I wish I did because I would’ve had time to prepare,” he said.
He claims the landlord wants more money but never told him how much.
We reached out to the landlord’s realtor, Armando Flores, who says they do want “market rate” which is $9,625. They say they've given Garry several opportunities to come up with the money and he says that offer is still on the table if Garry can prove he can sustain that rate.
"I really hope it doesn’t because losing the rank would be losing a big part of my life,” said Stuiso.
Folks in the community hope to raise money to relocate the hockey rink which is something Garry is open to.