A new sports and social destination has opened at Dallas Farmers Market, breathing new life into an abandoned tunnel and parking lot.
Called City Futsal, it's a family-owned facility that specializes in futsal, a game similar to soccer and whose popularity is rapidly growing around the world.
The club opened in June in a former parking lot at 1224 S. Cesar Chavez Blvd. and is one of the final properties to be redeveloped in the Farmers Market neighborhood by Brian Bergersen of Spectrum Properties.
Four brothers are behind the enterprise: Manuel, Esteban, Felipe, and Federico Mariel, who grew up playing futsal in Brazil.
They started their company in 2011, giving futsal lessons in public parks, before founding four facilities with indoor courts focused primarily on student athletes in suburbs such as Richardson and Carrollton.
The one at the farmers market is their first to be centered on activities for adults: It features an outdoor turf field, sand volleyball, and bar.
"This is the ultimate adult playground right on the edge of downtown," Esteban says. "It is a true family effort introducing North Texas to this fun, competitive sport."
Popular in South America and Europe, futsal is played like soccer, five-on-five on a hard court that's smaller than a traditional soccer field.
City Futsal offers professional-grade fields for futsal, soccer, and sand volleyball, including an indoor/outdoor futsal surface with a hard-top court laid outdoors beneath a pavilion. "No one has done anything like this anywhere," Esteban says.
The complex also has a plush turf field measuring 180 feet by 70 feet for futsal and informal matches.
There are three full-size sand volleyball courts, stocked with extra fluffy sand. "It's easier to dive and fall in," Esteban says.
Each surface has its own sound system to give a different vibe to each activity, from intense futsal matches to a chill beach volleyball game.
In the center: a cantina selling beer, wine, and boozy popsicles, as well as protein bars and other grab-and-go snacks. Anyone can come and have a drink, and they offer outdoor seating and picnic tables with games like corn hole and giant Jenga, plus big-screen TVs for watch parties.
You can rent the court or field for $85 an hour during off times, and $110 an hour during prime weeknights and weekends, with discount rates if you join their membership program. They host tournaments, company events, and private parties. There are leagues and also pickup games.
But if you have a membership, you can use one of the sand courts for free whenever they're open, as long as it is not being rented out for an event. And if you don't have a membership, guest passes are available at the concession for $5.