Field: Mighty Sports Center http://www.mightysports.com/
Address: 3700 Smith Farm Rd, Matthews, NC 28104
Phone: (704) 296-2222
Field types: 2 airball fields, 1 hyperball "tactical" field
Entry cost: $20 admission for full day including air, $5 for one hour play and one refill, $3 for one air refill alone, $15 for basic rental equipment (mask, marker with tank and hopper, chest protector, neck protector)
Entry deals: $70 Groupon for two person entry, air, rental, and 500 paintballs
Rental Equipment: BT-4 markers, Empire/ER Thermo masks, gravity fed loader, and 48/3000 HPA tanks are standard for rent. As of December, they've been offering marker upgrades to use either the BT Omega, BT Delta Elite, or MP-PM-1031 pump markers instead of the BT-4. 48/3000 HPA tanks can be rented for $5.
Paint: XO Spectrum, field paint only, $50 per case, $28 per 1000, or $15 per 500 paintballs. Reballs are $100 but includes rental of the hyperball field for 1 hour. Reball is BYOG (bring your own gear) only - no rentals.
Special Rules: Semi-auto only. 8 and up can play with waiver. Open Saturdays and Sundays.
Mighty Sports Center is the newest addition to the Charlotte paintball community, having just opened in August 2012. Billed as an extreme sports playground, the center boasts more than just paintball activities. This includes nerf gun wars, laser tag, human bumper ball, human foosball, dodgeball, table tennis, and putt putt inflatables. It appears that the paintball fields are co-used with the nerfgun wars, but the laser tag and other activities are located nearby in covered shelters. The entire complex was formerly light industrial and warehouse space, so there is an excess of pavement to be aware of when doing any of the center's activities
Alright, let's start with what happened on my visit to the field. The Mighty Sports Center is just about five minutes from my house, so I decided to take a weekend trip over to check it out one Saturday. I pulled into the parking lot and noticed that there were only two airball fields and at the time, no woods/hyperball/scenario fields. While the inflatable layout seemed decent enough, the speedball fields were a mix of turf types - mulch, rocks, concrete, sand, and light grass/weeds on the edges. For a woodsy player, this is just not the type of field for me. For a speedball-like approach, there is no way I was going to slide into the snake through crushed rock and wood mulch. Rather than fork over the field fees for a few short sessions on the airball fields, I decided to call it an early day and go visit another paintball field.
Since that time, they've constructed what they call their Scenario Tactical field. It consists of a couple of cars, stacked tires, and large 55 gallon drums. One end of the field is very grassy while the other sits on gravel with a huge stretch of open pavement in the middle. It appears from the pictures that this is still very much a field in progress that could be improved as they continue to add more obstacles to it. There is also plenty of room on the property site for 1-2 more fields to be added to the right of the main building at entrance. I would imagine they will expand into those semi-grassed areas sometime in 2013.
This is one of the few local fields that uses reballs for play, though at a steep cost of $100 per hour and all equipment must come from home. They recommend it for local teams that want to practice on Sundays.
Players are mostly made up of brand new rental players, though a few facebook photos also include shots of two separate players that have brought their own gear. I can't say anything for the refs or safety practices as I didn't stay to play, but I will note that there is a photo on their facebook page showing a player with his mask removed inside the field of play.
Honestly, I'm just not a big fan of fields that allow under 10 year old players to play, as I'm concerned about the interaction of more aggressive players with 8 year olds. While I haven't used it, I've also heard bad things from many local players about the XO Spectrum paint being used. Of course, Spectrum is also the low grade field paint used by BOSS Paintball in Locust, NC. For me, the paint was not the factor that drove me away from the field however. Right now, it's just not what I'm looking for in a paintball experience using just the two airball and one hyperball fields. Perhaps as they expand into their next open field areas they will add more physical obstacles like the scenario field.
However, I'm going to assume that this center is going to continue its focus on primarily walk-in rec players and airball teams. The price is reasonable compared to other local fields for a walk-on speedball player, and with the layout so close to the staging area I'd imagine that games are routinely flipped to start often (provided they aren't alternatiting paintball with Nerf Guns). For families, I'd recommend checking out the laser tag and other activities at the center under the covered shelters. For people that like to play in the woods, I think like me you'll find that there just isn't much here for you to do. Make the drive to BOSS or Paintball Kingdom instead.
Mighty Sports Center Field Review
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