ARLINGTON, WA — Soccer First Indoor Sports in Arlington is up for sale, and the successful men’s indoor team the Arlington Aviators could be part of the package.
Operator (and Aviators head coach) Phil Bartlow has put the business on market as his life priorities shift.
“An indoor sports facility is a great place to go to work every day,” Bartlow tells goalWA.net. “Unfortunately, three surgeries in the last 14 months have ended my playing career and watching the teams and friends I used to play with is incredibly difficult. I am also returning to coaching, something I quit doing when I bought Soccer First because I didn’t have time to do both, and have realized how much I missed working with players and helping them to get better.”
Bartlow’s time as operator could be ending after seven years. “I am the third owner of this indoor facility and have been for the last seven years, it’s been a part of this community for 17 years now. Many, many kids have grown up here playing in youth leagues and are now playing in adult leagues, I can think of a couple of Aviators players that have done this. Every year old friends return to play and new kids start on this path.”
He’s overseen many improvements in the facility. “Certainly that two-toned turf and glass wall were a huge improvement that needed to be done when I bought the facility. We also invested in a brand new kitchen/snack bar shortly after the field was completed. We have a great and loyal customer base at Soccer First. We’ve also managed to keep good relationships with all of the local youth soccer clubs and stay out of any club against club politics.”
The Aviators, a men’s indoor team in the PASL Northwest North Division, will host their biggest regular season contest in their two-year history when they play the Kitsap Pumas this Saturday February 8th. A win for Arlington would put them into first place with one match to go for Kitsap.
“It is my intention that the Arlington Aviators will stay there and be part of the sale,” Bartlow says. “I would certainly enjoy the opportunity to continue coaching them if a new owner would like me to.”
Bartlow knows that community and business make for a special place. He says the center has a broad reach in sports and beyond. “Soccer First Indoor Sports is more than just an indoor soccer facility,” he says. “We have youth and adult lacrosse including the professional Stealth team that comes in to play. We’ve got youth arena football practicing and playing in our facility as well as the Arlington High School football team offseason training. Four or five times a year we have wrestling tournaments and mixed martial arts events that bring in hundreds of spectators. We do field trips and graduation parties for the local schools. And we have our own set of bounce houses for birthday or other special parties.”
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