Northwest News

Outdoor sports go under cover at remodeled venue

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Paul Vernon/ThisWeekNEWS
Dublin residents Amanda Horning (left), with Livewire FC, and Scott Hundley, with Irishcast, work for the ball during an indoor soccer match Thursday, Sept. 27, at Stars Indoor Sports. The Busch Boulevard facility, which is under new management, will hold an open house Sunday, Oct. 7.
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Roger Abbitt, general manager of the newly renamed and remodeled Stars Indoor Sports facility on Busch Boulevard, put the goals of the new owner, AXS Opportunity Fund LLC, and management team succinctly:

"We are going to try to provide space indoors for basically anything that can be played outdoors on the grass," he said.

In other words, soccer and softball and even lacrosse don't necessarily have to give way to basketball when summer turns to fall and winter.

Located at 6124 Busch Blvd. in the Northland area, Stars Indoor Sports takes the place of Allstars Family Sports. The new owner of the facility took over April 1 after the previous tenant lost the lease at the end of March, said Abbitt, who was recruited to central Ohio from a similar but smaller facility in Springfield, Ill.

Since the acquisition, what was originally built in about 1972 as a tennis club has been undergoing cleaning, remodeling and updating, he said.

"A little longer than the owner wanted," Abbitt acknowledged.

The facility is now ready and offering leagues, tournaments and training in soccer, football, softball, baseball, flag football and even dodgeball.

An open house to put the "new look, new management, new attitude" of Stars Indoor Sports on display is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Food, beverages and games will be available.

"We're looking to provide as many different services as we can," Abbitt said last week, including setting up T-ball, baseball and flag football leagues for young people, and possibly flag-football leagues for adults.

The main building includes two fields with boards around the perimeter and a turf field without boards in a separate building that provides practice space and a place for children's games.

The different sports "kind of configure to the shape of the field," Abbitt said.

"I don't think anybody knows how big it is," he said of the overall square footage of the main and auxiliary structures.

Some leagues come to Stars Indoor Sports already formed, although employees at the facility can assist in creating leagues and forming teams, Abbitt said. Some organizations want referees to be supplied, another service offered at the business, while others just want a place to play.

"We just basically provide the field and turn on the lights," Abbitt said.

These include some rabid Hispanic soccer squads that play deep into the night on Saturdays and Sundays, he said.

"Some of the leagues are 30-plus, 40-plus, co-ed teams, and they're looking to get just a little exercise, run up and down the field," Abbitt said. "As is the case with people those ages, things happen. People fall. These are not 100 percent noncontact sports.

"We try to keep that to a minimum, but there's no way to keep that 100 percent safe."

Stars Indoor Sports currently has a staff of four people, but during the anticipated busiest period of January, February and March, it will employ between 12 and 15, he said.

"We'll have a pretty good-sized staff once we're up to full speed," Abbitt said.

For more information, visit starsindoorsports.com or call 614-985-3003.

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