The Pro Game Athletics training facility in Bay Shore has moved to a new location nearby — and has nearly tripled its size in the process.
Pro Game moved less than a mile away, from its 5,000-square-foot location on St. Lois Avenue north of Sunrise to 41 Saxon Avenue, a 13,000-square-foot space just south of the railroad tracks near Union Boulevard.
The larger facility also allows Pro Game to train athletes other than baseball and softball players, as the building now houses an indoor column-less turf field.
Although Pro Game took on some new owners as well, the face of the facility is still former MLB baseball player and longtime minor league manager Jay Loviglio, also the Islip High School boys varsity coach.
He and the rest of the owners and staff have been scrambling to put the finishing touches on the building in time for its July 17 grand opening party, a portion of which will be open to the public with activities for families.
One of the harder things about building up the new facility, which will also have a cross-fit style gym area, was picking out the artificial turf.
Ultimately, the owners went with a sand infill over a rubber infill.
“The jury is still out on rubber infill,” Loviglio said. “There’s no proof that it does any harm, but it can be a mess in here, and it can be sticky, so we didn’t want the kids going home with it all over them.”
The key thing was picking a turf that could serve a multi-purpose function.
“This was a painstaking process, the turf,” said Randi Monahan, an East Islip graduate and Pro Game’s operations manager, as well as Loviglio’s daughter. “But this is a multi-sport surface, so it’s just as good as running — for the soccer and lacrosse — as it is for baseball and softball.”
She said Pro Game will be offering instruction for soccer players soon.
“The same way we have a baseball and softball staff with instructors, we’ll be moving forward into that same kind of business model for soccer,” she said.
The new Pro Game facility will continue to serve as the primary training facility of the Long Island Black Diamonds Baseball League, as well as the new home of the Long Island Junior Ducks travel league.
Loviglio said Pro Game works with players of all ages, not just college or high school level.
“They start here as young as 7, 8 years old, which is great because they begin to get an understanding of a routine and all the work that goes into all this,” he said. “It’s as much mental is it is physical, so the kids get a chance to understand what baseball is all about.
“It’s a development process no different than it is at an elementary level,” he continued. “You start learning your letters and then you learn how to put words and sentences together. It takes time but if you’re organized in your work habits, you progress.”
Top Photo: Former MLB player Jay Loviglio at his new Pro Game Athletics facility in Bay Shore Tuesday. (Michael White)