The final touches are being applied to the multimillion-pound Ballerz dome, a pioneering competitive socialising venue that has garnered support from renowned figures in the football community.

This new venture is spearheaded by ex-professional footballers Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Roberto Carlos, and Mark Noble, alongside property expert Nick Weir and a dedicated team of sports and hospitality specialists. Ballerz is set to redefine football-focused entertainment, positioning itself as the UK’s most captivating competitive socialising space.

Spanning 30,000 square feet, the Ballerz arena is situated at Landsec’s Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent. The project has seen a £3 million investment into the Ballerz concept and its fit-out, incorporating bespoke technology to deliver a unique immersive experience.


The venue boasts a 500-person capacity all-weather dome, featuring an interactive skill zone and a 5G pitch equipped with stadium-style seating, a players’ tunnel, professional changing rooms, and advanced pitch technology including big screen action replays. Additionally, the Ballerz Café and Players’ Lounge will serve a variety of snacks, main courses, cocktails, and beverages. The arena is also designed to accommodate evening entertainment and corporate events.

Nick Weir, Ballerz co-founder and managing partner at Shelley Sandzer, commented on the fusion of football passion with leading-edge entertainment: “We’ve merged a love for the game with a top-tier all-day entertainment venue and cutting-edge technology to craft a novel concept for both children and adults.

With competitive socialising gaining momentum within the hospitality sector, yet a noticeable void in football-themed offerings, Ballerz aims to fill this gap. Plans are in place for expanding the Ballerz brand across the UK and internationally, capitalizing on the growing trend over the next five years.

Rio Ferdinand shared his enthusiasm: “Ballerz brings the excitement of the game to life. It’s engineered to offer competitive entertainment and inspire the next generation of footballers to have fun, stay active, and enhance their skills.”

Mark Warne, Brand Account Director for Hospitality and Leisure at Landsec, highlighted the value of innovative leisure concepts: “They enrich retail destinations by offering guests more reasons to visit and engage in an all-day experience. The rise of competitive socialising venues is particularly notable, with visitors eager for new experiences.

“Ballerz stands out as a distinctive concept that merges competitive socialising with fitness and skill training, appealing to a broad audience. Its opening will significantly bolster the leisure options available at the centre, providing guests with additional reasons to visit.”

The operational development team includes former Groucho Club Managing Director Matt Hobbs and ex-Chelsea FC development coach Sam Hubert. Ben Childs, previously of Puttshack, takes the helm as Operations Director, while marketing and sales strategy are led by Bums On Seats, focusing on securing pre-booked business ahead of the launch.

Anticipated to draw 250,000 visitors in its first year, Ballerz is set to create 50 new jobs in preparation for its opening in May, spanning roles in food and beverage, football coaching, technology, and event management.

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