A national New York based operator of baseball & softball training centers is expanding into Central Pennsylvania with a location in Palmyra.
Set to open in May, the new Frozen Ropes of Hershey training center will be located at 202 Piper Circle within the Flightpath Sports Park nearby other existing sports facilities like In The Net, Paramount, and the Klick-Lewis Arena. The training center will be located in the building that formerly housed the Panko Performance Center.
The 12,000 SF facility will include a large multi-purpose open turf area, hitting tunnels, a bullpen, and a concession stand. The facility will contain equipment from vendors including HitTrax, Rapsodo Pitching, and Hitting Monitors. Private instruction, group instruction, and rentals will all be offered.
The Frozen Ropes of Hershey franchise is owned by John Albarano, who just relocated to the area from Williamsport, PA. A former college baseball player and baseball/softball coach, Albarano has been operating in the construction and real estate development business for the past few decades.
Frozen Ropes was founded by Tony Abbatine, a US Olympic Softball coach and MLB consultant. This will be the company’s 13th location. Of his newest franchise owner, Abbatine said in a press release, “John’s passion for bringing next level instruction to Central PA along with the facility’s fabulous size will be a great opportunity for athletes from all sports and ages to assemble.”
“I have been looking for an opportunity for the last several years to get back into the baseball/softball industry and build and invest an a quality, proven training center,” said Albarano in an email. With Frozen Ropes having identified the greater Harrisburg/Hershey market as a potential site a few years ago, the Palmyra location was identified as being within the area they wanted and easily convertible to use as a training center. Albarano’s wife and her family also happen to be from the Hershey area.
“The area has developed into a good recruiting area for softball and baseball talent,” said Albarano. “The softball game, especially has taken off in growth and the popularity and participation rates among girls have skyrocketed.”
The facility will feature Lisa Birocci Banse as national director of softball and the top pitching instructor locally. A two-time All American at Iowa, Banse is also a former Penn State Softball pitching coach and the current coach of the Italian Olympic Softball Team. Banse is currently based in the State College area.
“She is an amazing talent and we are fortunate to have her here in the Hershey area,” said Albarano.