In 1992, Pirelli Veterans Arena in Franklin became FMC’s first rink, starting a 26 year and 23 rink legacy. Pirelli is a Commonwealth of Massachusetts public ice skating facility overseen by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
The rink itself has been part of the community of Franklin since 1973. Arena Manager, Bruce Bertoni, has long since been a facet of the rink, starting his career there in 1978 and joining FMC at its inception in 1992. For over 40 years he has helped create a great environment for adults and children to learn to skate, enjoy public skate, or watch a hockey game. He’s also been around to see many changes for the arena, including a brand new ammonia-based compressor system installed just a few years ago.
Several teams call Pirelli Veterans Arena their home including, the Franklin High School Panthers, Medway High School, Bellingham High School, Medfield High School, Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, and our own Norfolk County Hawks of the New England Future Stars.
In 2008, former Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill to rename the arena Robert R. Pirelli Veterans Memorial Rink. It’s named after Staff sergeant Robert R. Pirelli, a soldier from Franklin that died in combat in Iraq. Prior to his military career, Pirelli was a 1996 graduate of Franklin High. While being only one of two seniors awarded the Booster Club scholarship, Robert was a member of the school’s varsity hockey team.
“He grew up playing hockey and was on the varsity hockey team. He was an avid hockey player, and his dad was a hockey coach. He was an amazing guy, quite a young man,” said Dick O’Conner, spokesman for the state representative of Franklin.
In 2003, Pirelli joined the military, becoming a Green Beret with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) based out of Fort Carson, Colorado. While in the military, Robert received many accommodations such as two Good Conduct Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Service Forces Badge, and a posthumous Medal of Valor, to name a few.
Pirelli Veterans Arena has a historic past, but with a bright future on the horizon, more historic moments are bound to be created in the rink!
Sunday: 2 – 3:50PM
Monday: 12:30 – 2:20PM
Tuesday: 12:30 – 2:20PM
Wednesday: 12:30 – 2:20PM
Thursday: 12:30 – 2:20PM
Friday: 12:30 – 2:20PM, 8 – 9:50PM
Saturday: 2:30 – 4:20PM