TAMPA - Hidden inside a warehouse on Linebaugh Avenue is one of Tampa's most vibrant sports arenas.
GoalLine Sports is a one-of-a-kind sports complex that specializes in soccer - for now. Owned by Juan Briceno and managed by John Angee, the complex has been open since February, but it is already making a big splash in Tampa athletics. The huge warehouse features three indoor soccer fields, a party room, game room, and place for baseball batting cages. There is also a bounce house for little kids.
Angee said that while the place is normally packed Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have plans for even more.
"This is the kind of facility we needed around here," Angee said. "There's no telling how big this can be."
The soccer fields take up most of the space, thanks to one regulation indoor soccer field and two smaller ones. Angee said the fields are also used for dodgeball events after 10 p.m. and there is a growing interest in having box lacrosse, a much smaller version of the outdoor game that is catching on in Florida.
As for soccer, there are no leagues. At the moment, things are done more in the style of a pickup basketball game. Teams come in and play against anyone who wants to play. If a person comes in alone or with fewer than six players, they are teamed up with other players. Games last seven minutes or two goals, whichever comes first, unless there is no one waiting; then players can keep the field as long as they want. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the crowded nights, and on those nights it's just like pickup basketball where winners hold the court, or, in this case, the field. Oh, and while there is air conditioning in the party and game rooms, there isn't on the fields. Angee said the idea is to simulate real soccer, which tends to be played in hot weather.
Angee said there are no similar facilities in Tampa Bay. The players are usually high schoolers, young adults, or older athletes who want to keep playing soccer, but every age is welcome. Sunday is a great night for younger kids since the big field is usually wide open.
GoalLine also will offer a summer camp. The fields can be reserved at any time of the day, including mornings; and GoalLine hosts private birthday parties.
"We are starting to get the word out," Angee said. "We have a lot of interest and everyone is enjoying it."
GoalLine Sports is located at 5824 West Linebaugh Ave. Call (813) 402-2930.