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First look inside Bluewater’s £3m football dome backed by footballing legends

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Additional reporting by Finn Macdiarmid

Take a first look inside a multi-million-pound football entertianment centre before it launches this weekend.

Ballerz, which is backed by footballing legends Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Roberto Carlos and Mark Noble, opens tomorrow (May 18) at Bluewater Shopping Centre, in Greenhithe.

Bobby Zamora, Roberto Carlos and Rio Ferdinand are behind the football dome. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.
Bobby Zamora, Roberto Carlos and Rio Ferdinand are behind the football dome. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.

The former English and Brazil Internationals played in a star-studded tournament last night (May 17) to mark the launch of the first Ballerz football dome in the country.

Speaking to KentOnline ahead of the match, Bobby Zamora, said: “I am here to have fun. It is about staying healthy and staying fit.

“I am getting old now, so I just want to be out there and enjoy myself.

“Anyone can come [to Ballerz] to enjoy themselves, challenge themselves, have some fun and hopefully learn one or two things as well whilst using the coaching.

“It is about having an amazing time, getting out being active and having fun.”

Jules Lopez-Cascante, from sports podcast GOAL’s Front Three, added: “I am buzzing, it is going to be unbelievable.

“If you look anywhere, everything is hi-tech and perfect. It is going to be good fun.”

The new 30,000 sq ft arena has been designed by top former professional football players and coaches and promises to be one of the most immersive, competitive socialising experiences in the country.

Players take part in a game at the event. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.Players take part in a game at the event. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.
Players take part in a game at the event. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.
Inside the new Ballerz football domeInside the new Ballerz football dome
Inside the new Ballerz football dome

It features a six-a-side 5G football pitch complete with Premier League-style changing rooms, stadium-style seating and players’ tunnel and has the ability to show instant replays pitch-side.

Mark Noble added: “The response we have had to the development of Ballerz has been phenomenal.

“We are striking the balance between entertainment, tech and sport. Grassroots football is a massive part of the footballing community.”

Roberto Carlos played at the dome before it opens on Saturday, May 18. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.Roberto Carlos played at the dome before it opens on Saturday, May 18. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.
Roberto Carlos played at the dome before it opens on Saturday, May 18. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Media Assignments.
The dome offers different game modes such as a robo keeperThe dome offers different game modes such as a robo keeper
The dome offers different game modes such as a robo keeper

Around £3 million has been spent on creating the centre which is expected to attract 250,000 visitors in the first year and create 50 new jobs.

Ballerz will be open from 8am to midnight seven days a week from Saturday (May 18).

It can be found on the Upper Thames Walk car park, next to the entrance to the Showcase Cinema and Gravity trampoline park.

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