The Mtown Sports Complex celebrated its first anniversary this month by growing even bigger.
Last week, the indoor sports facility officially opened its new fitness center, a 4,000-square-foot room where trainer Kristy Duman is now offering a host of classes ranging from Zumba to cardio boxing five days a week.
“Ever since we opened, we’ve been trying out new things and listening to the community when they tell us what they want,” said Scott Lobdell, one of the facility’s three founding owners along with Brian Laity and Brian Ellis. “This is one of those things, and we think it will add a lot to our facility by providing the athletes who come here with strength and endurance training, while also bringing in an additional customer base whom might not have otherwise come here.”
Mtown Sports Complex first opened its doors on Sept. 8, 2012, in a building it continues to share with Bob Wagner’s Flooring America Design Center at 938 Middletown-Warwick Road.
The original concept was to provide the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area with a venue where youth and adult sports leagues could play indoors throughout the year, Lobdell said.
“Before we opened, anyone who wanted to play in an indoor soccer league, for instance, would have to play in a school gym where you might be kicking the ball off of some bleachers,” he said. “It was either that or travel to Newark or Wilmington, so we said why not create something here.”
When the new sports complex first launched, it offered four pitching machines, a party room for birthday celebrations and two turf fields for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and other league play.
Since then, Mtown Sports has added a “pre-kickers” program for kids between the ages of 18 months and five years, Nerf battles with obstacle courses, as well as an ever-growing range of leagues and tournaments for adults and youth that now includes dodgeball, flag football and even cornhole.
“For us, the response was so much greater than what we expected that we’ve been able to try out things even faster than we thought, which has just been great,” Lobdell said. “Now we see some parents in here with their kids so often that we joke about putting them on our payroll.”
Middletown resident Blaine Boyles says he’s one of those parents.
Between soccer, dodgeball and Nerf tournaments, he estimates he and his two boys – ages 11 and 8 – visit the Mtown Sports Complex three to four times a week between September and April.
“It makes for a great family night and it gives the kids something different to do other than playing video games all the time,” he said. “And because it’s indoors, year-round and so close to home, there’s no excuse for me not to some exercise, too.”
Page 2 of 2 - As the Mtown Sports Complex enters its second year, Lobdell and his co-owners say they plan to continue expanding the facility’s offerings in the hopes of providing new and unique opportunities for local residents.
“We’d really like to have full-size outdoor fields to accommodate league play,” he said. “We’re also examining some opportunities for future growth further down the road.”
In the immediate future, Mtown Sports also will be playing host to its first-ever mixed martial arts event.
An 11-bout card produced by Laurel, Del.-based Stellar Fights, which usually holds its fights at the Harrington Raceway and Casino, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. this Saturday. Advance general admission tickets to the bouts are $30 with front row seats available for $60.
“One of our chief sponsors, Delaware National Guard, has been pushing us to hold a show upstate and Mtown Sports Complex seemed like the perfect fit,” Stellar Fights owner Brad Dalton said. “They have plenty of room and the perfect set up for MMA, so we’re excited to be coming there.”