Woman wants to see indoor arena and more winter activities

Jeana A. Longo sees the value of an indoor civic arena – the one that Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and a private developer in Loyalsock Township are working to see become a reality at the YMCA on Elmira Street.

“An indoor arena is what is needed,” said Longo, an attorney and public defender.

Standing in a drizzle, Longo said other than going to a restaurant, bar or occasional concert or play, there is not a whole lot to do over the winter.

“I was sad about the Outlaws leaving,” she said, referring to the departure of the Williamsport Outlaws ice hockey team that played on a rink built at Bowman Field but exposed to the elements.

Had the team played at an indoor arena, Longo said she would have attended the games.

She suspects an indoor arena with seating is something the city and area residents would benefit from not only for hockey, but for all sorts of activities, especially because it would be a controlled climate.

“Most people are stuck inside,” she said.

Longo said while there are events at the Community Arts Center that typically keep her inspired over the winter months, such as a recent Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, that’s fun – but it’s one night out.

It’s a different story when spring, summer and early fall arrive, and there’s plenty to do, she said of the area’s multitude of opportunities to hike, bike and walk along the Susquehanna River Walk.

Bars and restaurants also are starting to have seating in patios outside, and the warmer days ahead offer time to lounge with friends.

But the arena, she said, would make the long wait until spring a little more palatable.