Midtown Indoor soccer: games, music and friendship
Since 2007, in this "home", he welcomes his players who are now his friends along with bright stars of the soccer’s world. What is his recipe for success? He delivers the ingredients here!
- e-Toile: Hello Michael Athéa, almost a decade ago you had the idea to open an indoor facility solely dedicated to soccer.
Since then you have been largely imitated but remain an all-time favorite among soccer players in the region. What is your secret?
Michael Athéa: Hello, first of all I wanted to thank you for thinking of me, it gives me great pleasure to share with you my professional experience in Miami.
I actually opened my soccer facility on 07/07/07....yes, a nice time to start a business, which therefore makes it 6 years.
First "indoor soccer" in Miami, that is my pride.
Yes it is true that others have tried to copy me or just simply open a similar facility without necessarily wanting to duplicate what I created. I do not have any "copyright" on indoor soccer but on certain points I know that we are unique.
The reason? I think that my players, who are now my friends, can tell you more clearly than I can: Midtown is home. "My home is your home."
I want everyone to feel at home. This requires communication and a very open dialogue on everything and anything with ALL the players.
They come to the facility to erase accumulated stress.
I make sure to support them by being very flexible with good mood and lots of humor.
As in any business, you have to be personally present if not it cannot be kept.
The stability of Midtown, its growth and its expansion are mainly due to the warm welcome I reserve for players and visitors.
In addition, we are the only indoor facility where soccer is played in music, "House" and others, which gives a special atmosphere to the place. It provides a lot of enthusiasm and excitement.
Midtown is known for its good music, it should be noted that my partner is none other than Laurent Scimeca which is the DJ of Opium Group. That’s another part of the secret of Midtown.
I’ve been in Miami for 15 years. Many people also know me because for many years I worked at "La Sandwicherie" on South Beach, a strategic place for the whole French community.
Midtown is also well known for hosting the biggest soccer stars in the world but the question everyone is asking me of course is the following: "Mikeee, what do you do to attract all these players? "
Day in and day out I get this question.
I can give a clear and precise answer: connections!
It all started with Mamadou Niang who at the time was the captain of L’Olympique of Marseille in 2007.
He is now the sponsor of the facility. The pros know one another and the word spreads quickly.
To this we must add that Miami is the number one destination for European soccer players during summertime.
So here’s the recipe: Vacation /soccer for fun/keeping a certain rhythm ... and above all "indoor", away from the summer sun.
- e-Toile: Throughout the year you receive several soccer stars.
Florida well known for its warm sunshine all year long attracts numerous tennis and golf players, does the State have the same magnetism for soccer players?
Michael Athéa: Soccer in Florida is on the rise due to the gathering and mixture of culture that resembles that of South America and of course Europe.
In 6 years, I saw 15 different soccer fields open less than 2 miles away from Midtown.
I don’t think that the weather conditions is the main reason for the development of soccer in Florida unlike tennis or golf, but rather the mixture of soccer cultures in our wonderful city.
- e-Toile: Aside from the stars, who tread upon the soil of Midtown Soccer?
Michael Athéa: Midtown is known for being open to all.
There are no ages, nor hours since we open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and to 0 to 99-year-old with or without a team. Midtown welcomes you and all that is left is the respect for all.
We have developed several formulas: the "pick up game".
With this framework, I form teams for those who do not have them, you just get on a waiting list and give it availability.
Then, the group of friends or colleagues, who usually reserve an hour or two hours per week and / or a year is the most common.
Then we have championships and tournaments that are very popular with girls and boys.
And on weekends we have many children who come to celebrate their birthday.
My youngest player is 3 years old and the oldest is 68.
- e-Toile: What are your next projects, in addition to celebrating your 10 anniversary very soon at the facility?
Michael Athéa: Our projects: expansion of course with the possibility of having more fields in Miami followed by Broward and finally New York.
All this while keeping the same concept, soccer / music / family /good atmosphere and also perhaps continuing to develop this concept by adding services such as massage/ physiotherapy, spa /sauna...fast food ...
In short, this is just the beginning.
Mike, Midtown Indoor Soccer Miami
370 NW 24th St
Miami, FL 33127
Article published on June 27, 2013.