Athletic center set to open in January

The public got its first look at the fitness facility on Sunday.
Monday, December 15, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:30 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

“It looks amazing,” William Johnson said as he watched his two children, Matthew and Scott, run around the soccer field. “These indoor soccer fields are going to allow the kids to play even in the winter.”

On Sunday, the public got its first glimpse of the two soccer fields located inside the new Missouri Athletic Center. The center is a subsidiary of Wilson’s Total Fitness, which bought the Woodrail Tennis Center and converted it into the MAC.

The MAC, 2900 Forum Blvd., will open to the public on Jan. 5. In addition to the soccer fields, the center offers members an indoor swimming pool and workout facilities.

The two indoor soccer fields made of Kiefer turf are the center’s main feature.

“The turf creates a more real and safe playing environment,” said Leigh Neier, the center’s director.

On Sunday, children covered the two fields, exhausting themselves as members of the Mizzou women’s soccer team and the Columbia College men’s soccer team challenged them to score.

Joining the children on the field was James Abrams, vice president of Wilson’s Total Fitness and the MAC.

“We’re really excited here to provide this facility for Columbia,” Abrams said. “The new facility really has so much to offer.”

The MAC will offer soccer leagues and instructional clinics for players of all ages. It will also sponsor swim teams, offer swim lessons and elite cheer squad classes. Leagues and lessons begin Jan. 5.

The MAC will also open Columbia’s first ever all-women’s fitness club.

Abrams said she hopes the women’s fitness center will appeal to many women in the Columbia area.

“The new women’s fitness center is equipped with a variety of cardiovascular machines, each having its own fan and TV, so each woman can watch what she wants,” Abrams said.

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