Among the most popular Bowlers Journal features in recent years have been the “travel” pieces that have transported readers to historic and/or interesting bowling venues in Detroit, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and along historic Route 66. The next travel feature is scheduled for the May issue.
Unfortunately, putting together such a piece on Southern California is becoming increasingly difficult because so many history-steeped centers have been bulldozed to make room for commercial and residential developments on the ever-more-expensive property.
Now, Bowlers Journal has learned that another historic “bowling” site in the Southland has been designated for redevelopment. According to the L.A. Curbed website, the Sportsmen’s Lodge Event Center will soon give way to a nearly-100,000-square-foot mixed use development to include retail stores, restaurants and a health club.
For many years during the 1970s and ’80s, the Sportsmen’s Lodge Events Center was home to the annual All-Star Awards Banquet staged by the Southern California Bowling Writers Association. At that banquet, the Southern California All-Star Teams and Bowlers of the Year for men, women and youth bowlers were announced, bowlers and contributors were inducted into the Southern California Bowling Hall of Fame, and industry leaders were honored.
It was considered the bowling social event of the year in the Southland, and attendance regularly topped 500.
But soon, the facility that hosted so many of those banquets and helped create so many memories for bowlers and bowling center owners and employees will be but a memory — just like dozens and dozens of Southland bowling centers.
The renovation plan does have some opposition in the community, but according to L.A. Curbed, the developer is expected to prevail.