Arlington puts “Soccer First” in indoor sports facility

Phil Bartlow owns and operates Soccer First Indoor Sports in Arlington, Washington.

We checked in with him to learn more about the venue and how it serves soccer in northern Snohomish County.

by David Falk

“This place has been here as an indoor soccer facility for almost 15 years now, I am the third owner,” begins Phil Bartlow, as he looks back at the history of what is now called Soccer First Indoor Sports. “It was originally called the Arlington Soccer Dome and was opened by a husband and wife who I have never met and only know that her name is Jan. It was her husband’s goal to open the place and unfortunately he died shortly after it was opened. Jan ran it for about five years and sold it to Bill and Gayle Bluhm and they changed the name to Boomer’s Arlington Soccer Dome because that is his nickname.”

The number five seems to run prominently through the ownership of Soccer First. “The Bluhm’s ran it for five years and sold it to me, it will be five years on April 1st. I don’t know if that means it’s time for me to sell or not! I took over on April 1st, 2007 and changed the name to Soccer First Indoor Sports mostly because my nickname is not Boomer but also because I wanted to add other sports such as lacrosse and arena football.”

The old turf at Soccer First, circa 2007.

Phil made major changes as the new owner. “It was strictly indoor soccer before I took over. In August of 2007 I tore out a wall and the turf (the story I heard was that it was used turf from the Kingdome when they put it in). The wall had to come out anyway to get the turf out so it was replaced with a very nice floor to eight foot high glass wall, great for viewing. The turf had to come out because it was old Astroturf, the seams were coming apart and you could see the concrete floor. I played on it for only three months and my knees and ankles were killing me, I don’t know how people played on it for years. We now have rubber infilled turf and it’s much better on the knees and ankles.

The old walls...
...made way for the new.

Soccer remains a driving force in Phil’s business. “We offer both youth and adult leagues all year round. Youth league typically starting at U9 up to high school for both boys and girls. Younger than that we have our Future Stars Youth Instructional clinics, weekly classes for ages 3-9. Adult leagues for Men’s, Women’s and Coed open as well as over 30 versions of each of those.”

Soccer First has some big events in the near future. The Holiday Challenge Cup indoor soccer tournament is for youth and adult. The tournament is actually a regional qualifier for the National Indoor Championships (more info on that at After that, the first week in January they start youth and adult leagues.

Phil talks about the northern Snohomish area soccer community. “(We’ve got a) good soccer community up here. Our local youth club is North Sound Soccer Club (which was a merger of the Arlington Soccer Club and Lakewood Soccer Club a year or two ago) and their select program Legacy.”

Soccer First's indoor pitch as it appears today.

“We also see kids teams from Stanwood/Camano, GraniteFalls, Marysville, and Everett clubs as well as select and premier teams from FC Alliance, NW Nationals, Washington Rush and NW United. A lot of my adult teams play in the SCASA or San Carlos leagues in addition to playing in here. I probably get about 25 percent of my teams from the good-sized Hispanic community up here.”


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