November 22, 2014

Elyria
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Ohio Vortex to play at complex in Oberlin

PITTSFIELD TWP. — A new pro sports team has landed in Lorain County.

Ohio Vortex, a professional arena soccer league, is moving from the Canton Civic Center to Gameday Sports Center near the Walmart in Oberlin.

The first game is at 7:35 p.m. Nov. 3 against the Rockford Rampage, said Jodi Wayble, the team’s executive director. Admission is $10.

Wayble said people who have never seen arena soccer will be surprised at its fast pace.

“The best way to describe it for people who have only seen outdoor soccer is that it is very fast-paced,” she said. “I like to describe it as hockey on grass.”

Wayble said the team’s move to Lorain County should not be that much of a problem for players.

“Our players are from all over the state of Ohio, and one is from Indianapolis and another comes from West Virginia,” she said.

Two players, brothers John and Jordan Zapotechne, are from the Oberlin area and encouraged the team to look at Gameday as a prospective new home, she said.

Tickets may be purchased the day of the game or in advance at Gameday, 46789 U.S. Route 20.

“By Wednesday, they can stop by Gameday and buy tickets,” she said. “We’re hoping we pack it out.”

Twenty players are on the roster and 14 dress for the game, she said.

The team has been in Canton three years and drew crowds up to 1,100, Wayble said.

Gameday’s general manager, Jim Toth, said he’s excited about the opportunity to welcome the Ohio Vortex, because soccer is quite popular in Greater Cleveland.

Gameday now has seating for a couple hundred people, and Toth said he plans to bring in more bleachers.

“We’ll be able to seat more than 800 people,” he said.

There’s also hope of starting a women’s team at Gameday, Toth said.

Pittsfield Township Trustee Mark Diedrick said Friday that he had not yet heard about the Ohio Vortex coming to Gameday.

“It will be very interesting,” Diedrick said. “My kids did batting practice at Gameday and my son practiced soccer there — they keep it up very well.”

The team announced the move on its Facebook page late Thursday night, thanking the Canton community for its support and asking fans to continue to support the club in the Oberlin area.

Wayble said the team was looking forward to playing in a venue that is dedicated to arena soccer instead of one shared with a basketball team like the Canton Civic Center.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.