What do we love most about soccer?
We certainly love the games, which are always full of excitement. We love watching the professional players, who are often graceful in the way they play the game.
We love working with the next generation of soccer players and seeing the inspiration and passion they bring to the sport.
But what we love more than anything else is the community around soccer. It’s unlike any other sport we’ve ever seen, and this past weekend we got a front row seat as we helped thecelebrate the game between Dortmund and Liverpool in Charlotte.
The tailgate party was held atin Charlotte, and set-up was a breeze. We only had a small space to set up our , but small spaces are what we’re all about, right?
“Between myself and my other helper, I think it took us less than five minutes to get this whole thing set up and ready for the kids,” said Eric Fransen, our marketing director. “It couldn’t have been easier.”
The tailgate was a smash, with hundreds of Dortmund fans (and a few Liverpool fans) spending time at Draught eating, playing cornhole, meeting former players from the Dortmund team and playing soccer.
From the second the rink was up, it was full. Kids ranging in age from 7 years old to 16 years old were in the rink playing together. Even Emma, Dortmund’s mascot, hopped in to play goalie for a bit.
“It was great because you could meet other kids and play football,” said 15-year-old Max Toften, who’s originally from Sweden and was visiting the Charlotte area.
These kids had never met each other before. They ranged wildly in ages and in skill level. Many played soccer in their home towns, but many more didn’t. No matter what, everyone was welcomed. Even a few adults hopped in, only to be embarrassed by the younger ones.
“It’s awesome,” said BVB Fan Club President Carsten Tembaak. “It’s great to see the kids playing.”
The joy on the kids’ faces was palpable. They were simply having fun, and doing so safely despite playing a pickup soccer game in a parking lot in the middle of a city. The enclosed space kept the ball inside for the majority of the games and out of any potential traffic.
And though many kids didn’t play soccer outside of the impromptu games they participated in on Sunday, the ones who did loved the skills practice they got in the small space.
“It’s fun, I like that the ball doesn’t go out and it’s very stable,” said 15-year-old John Wagner, who plays soccer in Georgia and travelled to the Queen City for the soccer game.
We asked him if he’d want one for his soccer practices at home.
“Oh, definitely,” he said, before running back to the game he was playing.
Interested in having a sports rink at your event? Contact us.