ALBANY, N.Y. — Albany Capital Center (ACC) has a new contract with Black Watch Soccer Club Inc./ Black Watch Premier (BWP). The Premier soccer organization will be leasing the facility to operate its futsal training program, providing the boutique club with a new home this winter from December 2020 through March 2021.
Futsal is an indoor soccer game that is, essentially, a scaled-down version of outdoor soccer.
The game is played on a hard-court surface delimited by lines and with a smaller, harder, low bounce ball.
The BWP futsal program will provide elite youth soccer players with a place to develop their technique and speed of play. BWP’s contract with the ACC will enable the club to operate its current futsal programming and provide the opportunity to expand it. The facility will have three hardcourts, enabling the club to play three futsal matches simultaneously. However, the club will only focus on training and internal match play for its members at this time.
“This partnership is just the beginning of a great relationship. The Albany Capital Center is a great venue to hold events — coaching symposiums and workshops — as well as our futsal programming and future events,” said Steve Freeman, CEO and president of BWP, in his first statement since the announcement of the club’s partnership with the Albany Capital Center. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to expand our programming from one night a week with futsal to the entire season — December through March. Our players will be so much better technically, and their speed of play will increase and improve through the play and training of futsal. We absolutely pride ourselves in trying to stay current with our methodologies and training practices, and this is another example of trying to change the market for the better.”
Doug McClaine, general manager of the Albany Capital Center, added: “During this pandemic, we have continued to find ways to use our facility resources to operate safely under NYS guidelines. Using our three basketball floors on the second level, we were able to create 26,000 square feet of training space, completely separated from the lower level where we will continue to hold small business meetings and webinars. Futsal is a moderate-risk sport and currently permitted to train under NYS guidelines. We are happy to be able to use our multi-purpose facility to generate revenues when our traditional core business is limited.”
A multitude of safety protocols have been implemented at the ACC for staff, visitors, contractors and janitorial staff. All visitors and attendees must wear a mask. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the facility along with signage promoting social distancing and proper hygiene. Event staff is onsite at events to enforce the policies.