MANCHESTER CENTER - Hunter Park, the home of Riley Rink, recently announced a $500,000 capital campaign to underwrite the construction of three professional-grade athletic fields.

The fields will be built on seven acres of land to the northwest of its existing ice facility.

"Our objective is to create a premier venue for athletic tournaments, with teams competing throughout New England," said Bill Hadden, President of the Hunter Park board. "Local tournaments bring in hundreds of participants and spectators from all over the region and these people in-turn patronize local restaurants, inns and stores. Athletic tournaments provide a tremendous boost to the local economy."

The new fields at Hunter Park will be made available to the community's youth and adult sports organizations, supporting athletes of all ages.

"By having the ability to team up with other facilities, like the Manchester Recreational Center, Hunter Park will improve opportunities for local athletes by expanding and elevating the range of athletic competition," said Chris Ams, president of Hunter Park. "And the revenues from the new fields, along with our existing events field, will offset a portion of the operating costs of running Riley Rink."

Hunter Park has already received several generous donations, including a gift from Derry and Judy Taylor of Dorset.

"Judy and I have supported youth athletics all our lives," said Derry Taylor.


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"This was a great opportunity for us to continue our support."

Construction of the fields will begin when the campaign goals are met.