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Ground broken for new East Side youth hockey, football field

Buffalo Sabres

Local partners officially broke ground Wednesday on the construction of a ball hockey rink and youth football field on Buffalo's East Side.

The field will be part of a new, one-of-a-kind sport complex at Charles Perkins Park on East Ferry Street just past Jefferson Avenue.

Rich Jureller, president of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, said the project will improve access to a variety of sports for children in the city for years to come.

"The park will provide the children of Buffalo a safe environment to learn and play," said Jureller.

"The project affords kids and our community opportunity for ball hockey and provides for a youth football field designed for flag football and local team practices," said Rev. Terry King, Saving Grace Ministries CEO. "Having been involved since the inception of the 347 East Ferry Recreational Center, we are excited."

The complex will be managed by the Resource Council of Western New York, which already manages the adjacent Community Center. The center features classrooms, a computer lab, a kitchen, an indoor gymnasium, a fitness room and a swimming pool.

It is expected to be completed this summer and feature programs for hockey, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, tennis, field hockey, football and flag football. Along with the Buffalo Sabres Foundation and Saving Grace Ministries, the NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund, NFL/LISC Grassroots Program, Buffalo Bills, True Bethel Development and the John R. Oishei Foundation funded the park with corporate sponsors Heine Legal Publishing and Hodgson Russ and Phillips Lytle.