Gillis Gilkerson purchases Crown Sports Center in Fruitland


The family complex that transformed the recreational experiences of thousands of youngsters and adults over the past decade has new ownership.

NAI Coastal and Gillis Gilkerson Principal Brad Gillis this week announced Gillis Gilkerson’s purchase of Crown Sports Center, an indoor athletic and entertainment facility located in Fruitland.

After 16 years of ownership, founder Bill Hearne sold the business and real estate to Gillis Gilkerson’s development team, a group well-known for its ability to add value to existing properties across the Delmarva Peninsula.

Crown Sports Center — once a huge Crown Cork and Seal manufacturing plant -- is one of the largest athletic facilities in the region. With indoor and outdoor turf fields and multipurpose courts, the center hosts countless leagues, tournaments, clinics, and player showcases each year. Additionally, Crown offers the community full-scale childcare and summer camp programs.

“Since opening in 2005, Crown has made a huge impact on our community. It is the only facility of its kind in our region and its presence is invaluable,” said Gillis.

“Our goal with this acquisition remains consistent with that of our prior investments — we aim to enrich our community. So long as there is demand for a facility like Crown, our team will work to deliver,” Gillis said.

Gillis Gilkerson plans to work alongside the Delmarva community to ensure a smooth transition of ownership and continued facility operation.

In the coming months, the team will seek input from local stakeholders in effort to  identify areas in which the facility can improve.

This feedback will act as a catalyst, helping to modernize and strengthen Crown’s service to its community.

“Crown is a multifaceted, dynamic business,” said Gillis. “Our team is looking forward to digging in and making signaled adjustments as we navigate facility ownership.”

Gillis collaborated with Henry Hanna of SVN | Miller Commercial Real Estate, representative of the seller.