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Rio Ferdinand and Roberto Carlos among famous ex-pros to host tournament at new Ballerz football dome at Bluewater Shopping Centre

Famous names from the world of football will go head-to-head at the launch of a multi-million-pound entertainment centre.

Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Roberto Carlos and Mark Noble previously teamed up for the launch of the first Ballerz air dome at Bluewater Shopping Centre, near Dartford.

From left, Bobby Zamora, Rio Ferdinand and Mark Noble will be playing in the tournament. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire
From left, Bobby Zamora, Rio Ferdinand and Mark Noble will be playing in the tournament. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire

The former England and Brazil internationals are now set to join the lineup in a Battle of the Ballerz tournament on Thursday, May 16 - ahead of the official opening on Saturday, May 18.

They will be joined by the likes of DJ Mark Knight, Lioness legend Fara Williams, professional freestyler Harriet Pavlou and former England player Joe Cole.

The new 30,000 sq ft arena has been designed by top former professional football players and coaches and promises to be one of the most immersive, competitive socialising experiences in the country.

It will feature a state-of-the-art, six-a-side 5G football pitch complete with Premier League-style changing rooms, stadium-style seating and players’ tunnel and have the ability to show instant replays pitch-side.

Speaking ahead of the opening, Rio Ferdinand said: “We are giving the beautiful game a makeover, with a stunning pitch and unique touches that will create an electric atmosphere. Ballerz is designed to make every player feel like a star.”

Mark Noble added: “The response we have had to the development of Ballerz has been phenomenal and we have big plans for the launch.”

More than 1,000 inquiries have already been made and once open the centre is set to deliver coaching for children.

Ballerz is also giving you and six mates the chance to have a kickaround with ex-Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand in a once-in-a-lifetime coaching session. Find out more here.

Around £3 million has been spent on creating the centre which is expected to attract 250,000 visitors in the first year and create 50 new jobs.

Centre director at Bluewater, James Waugh, said: “We have had months of anticipation since the announcement of the Ballerz dome last December.

Ballerz will open ion Saturday, May 18. Picture: Ballerz
Ballerz will open ion Saturday, May 18. Picture: Ballerz

“Our guests are already excited by the addition of Ballerz’s unique concept to our leisure offering here at Bluewater, and we know they will be thrilled to be able to start booking their own time on the pitch.

“We are honoured to be home to the first Ballerz location globally, and the launch will mark another milestone in our 25th anniversary year.”

Read more: How Bluewater has evolved to become a leisure destination.

The football dome can be found on the Upper Thames Walk car park, next to the entrance to the Showcase Cinema and Gravity trampoline park.

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