Bocce balls take to the court during a March 21 ribbon-cutting event at Sterling Heights’ new Bocce Barn, located behind the Sterling Heights Senior Center.

Bocce balls take to the court during a March 21 ribbon-cutting event at Sterling Heights’ new Bocce Barn, located behind the Sterling Heights Senior Center.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Sterling Heights Bocce Barn rolls into action

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published March 31, 2023


STERLING HEIGHTS — After years of expectation, the rollout of an indoor area for bocce games has finally happened.

On March 21, Sterling Heights city officials held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of the new Bocce Barn, which is located behind the Sterling Heights Senior Center.

According to the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department, the barn facility is 40 feet by 90 feet in size, and it shelters two indoor bocce courts with artificial turf.

The city is celebrating the bocce barn’s completion as the final project of the city’s Recreating Recreation campaign. Voters approved that campaign in 2016 to — among many things — refurbish park equipment and play courts, as well as build a skatepark, a splash pad, a farmers market pavilion, a mini-soccer field and a community center near the intersection of Utica and Dodge Park roads.

Other amenities that the initiative paid for include Clinton River kayak and canoe landings, a Delia Park dog park, and a new nature trail near the border of Troy, by the Corewell Health hospital campus.

In a statement, Mayor Michael Taylor praised the recreation initiative for building interest in the city’s parks and recreation amenities.

“We’re an active community, and it’s obvious that investing in our recreational amenities is a huge factor in offering an exceptional quality of life to our residents,” he said. “It’s nice to put a bow on this initiative, and I’m proud we have provided so many opportunities for our residents to connect in unique and active ways.”

Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Langlois explained that the city previously had outdoor bocce amenities for seniors, but the summer heat and mosquitos sometimes detracted from the ability to enjoy the game.

Langlois estimated the cost to build the facility at about $450,000. He told the Sentry that the facility was a hit during its first weekend of use, when it was warmer outside, though recent cold weather has temporarily chilled its use.

“Conceptually, everybody likes it. Unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated greatly with us, being that it’s not heated,” he said March 30. “It is pretty chilly in there right now. We can probably expect the use to pick up as the weather moves to get warmer.”

City officials said the bocce facility’s season runs March 20-Nov. 20 — three seasons a year. The facility will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays for senior center patrons ages 50 and older. Langlois said the general public will typically be able to play in the evening starting at 5 p.m. on weekdays, as well as for periods on weekends.

While some walk-in availability may sometimes be available, advance registration is encouraged, since the facility’s capacity is limited, with room for only around 20 people, he added.

Learn more about the Bocce Barn behind the Sterling Heights Senior Center, 40200 Utica Road in Sterling Heights, and how to register to play by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2700.