Skyline Sports gives players a place to play when the weather is poor
No more playing soccer on a wood gym floor.
No more constantly moving batting cages to available buildings.
No more hoping for a warm winter weekend so a baseball team can get a jump-start on the season.
From a building that one year ago housed tile and carpet samples came Skyline Sports, an indoor facility that caters to sports that might be played outside, but have athletes who want to play year-round.
“The slogan is the sky is the limit because that’s how we feel,” said TJ Hines, Skyline Sports’ general manager. “Who knows where we can take this?”
The large, white building on Highway 6 & 50 features a 75-by-100-foot synthetic field.
Skyline Sports has been operating since December. The first portion of the facility to open was for baseball, including two batting cage areas with pitching mounds and a pitching machine.
The cages belong to the Mavs Sports Club, a local competitive youth club. The Mavs started four years ago and have been in four different indoor facilities before joining Skyline.
“It was hard to find indoor places to work out, so we had been pretty nomadic,” Mavs President Brian Shaver said. “It’s been nice to be in a centralized location, and it’s nice for continuity.
“Those things have helped us get in a better routine.”
A year ago, Skyline Sports was Skyline Warehouse and Handling. The building housed inventory from tile to carpets to clothing.
Skyline Warehouse and Handling fell victim to the recession.
“As the recession hit, companies got rid of overhead, which dampened our business, and we were unable to sustain what we were doing,” Hines said. “We always had this idea in the back of our mind, so we put the numbers together and there was a need for Western Colorado to have another option.”
The removal of what was in the warehouse began in July of 2010. Hines said it took six months to transform the warehouse into a sports facility.
“This is an old building and we filled four or five huge yard Dumpsters full of trash,” Hines said. “It took that long, but now we are in the process of getting the word out.”
The first step in that process was contacting soccer players, who have never had a place to call home when it came to playing indoors. Skyline’s field, Hines said, is the first of its kind in Grand Junction.
Mandee Crosby organizes many of Skyline’s indoor soccer leagues for men’s, women’s and coed teams.
“Around the end of October, I got an email out of the blue and it said ‘We are going to open in December, come check us out,’ ” Crosby said. “We’ve needed this for a long time.”
Crosby, 34, said she’s been playing soccer since she was 4 years old, and began playing indoor soccer when she was 14. She said Grand Junction never had the proper facilities, so indoor soccer teams had to be creative.
“We’ve played in an indoor hardwood floor gym, and we’d have to travel to Denver to play on a field because nobody would come over here,” Crosby said. “This is the closest thing we’ve had to an indoor facility.”
Skyline had 11 teams for its winter soccer leagues, but hopes to grow that number in the summer and fall leagues.
Bryan Huff played during the coed winter league, and said he enjoyed getting to play on a synthetic grass surface rather than a gym floor.
“It was fine working on hard court, but it was a different type of simulation,” Huff said. “(Skyline) makes it nice during the winter to get ready for the outdoor season where we can get in and get touches on the ball.”
The field is for more than soccer, though. Skyline has leagues ranging from flag football to dodgeball.
“We’ve had men’s and women’s lacrosse in here, Grand Junction rugby, one person rented it out for a couple hours and played flag football,” Hines said. “There are all kinds of different things that can be done.”