It’s all about fun and games.
A team of Frenchmen opened a new indoor soccer facility last month in Sunset Park that boasts ten fields and two rooftop lounges with views of the distant isle of Manhattan. The soccer lovers hope that Socceroof’s swanky amenities will encourage Brooklynites who have never kicked a ball before to give the game a try, according to the facility’s general manager.
“The concept is to open the game of soccer to anyone,” said Jonathan Lupinelli, who originally hails from the Bourdeaux region of France.
The space — in the Whale Building, on 53rd Street between the waterfront and First Avenue — features ten fields fit for ten players each, along with locker rooms, and a lounge with a bar serving drinks and snacks, where players can hang out after a game or book special events.
Parisian co-founders Jean-David Tartour — who created “Le Five,” a similar chain of nearly 30 indoor soccer spaces across Europe — and Jerome Meary, a former European recruiter for Major League Soccer, wanted to create a spot where players could socialize before and after hitting the field, Lupinelli said.
“We realized in the U.S. people really like to get together after playing, and that it was important to not only have soccer fields but a real place for the soccer community to connect, spend time, hang out,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we had more than just a soccer facility.”
Up to three fields can be combined to accommodate up to 30 players, and rates for the turf start at $110 for an hour-long game with up to twelve players. Socceroof also offers packages for kids’ birthday parties and corporate events, and plans to unveil more dedicated event spaces in January, according to Lupinelli, who added that they also plan to debut a free app and online community where players can connect with each other and book fields.
In the meantime, prospective players can consider joining the space’s soon-to-start kids and business leagues, or even contact the owners to talk about creating their own. And night owls can flock to the site whenever their hearts desire: the Socceroof team is willing to open the facilities 24 hours a day — and did so recently for a team of restaurateurs who played an after-work game at 3 am, Lupinelli said.
Daytime players can rest their legs on free shuttle busses that will transport them to the waterfront facility from the 36th Street subway station — where straphangers can catch the D, N, and R trains — along with hourly pickups at the nearby Brooklyn Army Terminal Ferry.
The trio hopes to expand with more facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey, Lupinelli said.
Socceroof (14b 53rd St. between the water and First Avenue in Sunset Park, www.socce
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