Up until his death in 2000, Willie B. the gorilla was the most popular attraction at Zoo Atlanta. Instead of a mere statue or winding highway in the shape of his silhouette, Willie's legacy lives on in the form of a professional soccer team: the Atlanta Silverbacks. The Silverbacks, who were called the Atlanta Ruckus before changing their name in 1998, originally played as part of the USL from 1999–2009, at which point the team announced its departure to become co-founders of the North American Soccer Association. Today, the Silverbacks draw fans to the 5,000-seat stadium at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, a sprawling complex with four full-size soccer fields for professional, semi-pro, and amateur play.
The home of its titular pro soccer team, the Atlanta Silverbacks Camps arranges four full-sized fields around a sprawling, 48,000-foot indoor facility. When the team isn’t defending its home turf, the 5,000-seat stadium sits open for use by other local teams, including the Atlanta Renegades Rugby Club, local high school teams, and professional field-rushing squads. Nets and glass surround two enclosed fields, which often host indoor soccer and flag football games. The complex also houses a 50-seat event room capable of containing meetings, parties, and seminars.
Sports A Rama East Cobb’s multisport facility encompasses 30,000 square feet of batting and pitching cages, a 3,000 square foot indoor turf field, and a half-court basketball gym. Athletes can train with the facility’s coaches to fine-tune sport-specific skills in baseball, basketball, football, softball, and lacrosse, or focus on all-around speed, strength, and endurance for improved cow-tipping techniques. Two large party rooms, an inflatable moonwalk, and an arcade create a welcoming, family-friendly environment for birthday parties or youth athletic teams.
Wall to Wall Sports Center's tree-lined facility stages athletic activities on a quartet of 40-by-25-yard artificial turf courts and a 70-by-50-yard grass field. Experienced coaches preach fundamentals during soccer, lacrosse, and multi-point camps that include flag football, handball, backyard baseball, and zero-gravity dodgeball. Seasonal leagues for children and adults pit teams against similarly skilled players during friendly, spirited competitions. The facility augments pre- and post-game play with locker rooms, a café, and an air-conditioned clubhouse with video games.
Open throughout the year, Beat Time Sports Center encourages both kids and their parents to stay active and teaches healthy habits and life skills. During lessons and casual practices, pint-size feet scurry on the facility's kid-size indoor tennis courts and soccer fields, helping young athletes develop confidence, coordination, and cooperation. As children occupy themselves with sports, parents can take advantage of their newfound freedom by sipping coffee in the caf? or sneaking home to jump on the bed and eat dirt in peace.