Much has been made recently of Ed Hale’s struggle to keep up with the mortgage on his prized 1st Mariner Tower in Canton, but Hale has assured indoor soccer fans in Baltimore that the Blast will not suffer at all. About a month ago news leaked that Hale had defaulted on loans he received to fund the Tower, the top of which is his penthouse home, and it became clear he would not be able to pay them back in time to save the building. A proposed auction was canceled at the 11th hour, only for news of the Tower’s sale to emerge in the days that followed.
Hale has owned the blast on-off-and on again since 1989 and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the NISL continues to operate. Each season rumors fly that the league will have to fold, but Hale’s work with the Blast, the league’s most financially successful franchise, has been vital in keeping the NISL alive. Hale is also at the forefront of an effort to expand the NISL and include more teams throughout the country.
Most Baltimoreans have probably never been to a Blast game, but this winter I would urge each of you to change that. Indoor soccer, although without the same level of physicality, is similar to indoor lacrosse with constant action, players always moving swiftly around the field, and displays of superior control of the ball. The fast-paced action makes it a great sport to watch live and from the seats of 1st Mariner Arena you can see the whole field and how each play is set up progressing forward at the goal. Shots come from all angles and goalies are constantly tested by powerful shots and finessed passes off of the curved corner walls. The Blast also knows how to put on a show. Every goal is a party with the crowd erupting together to sing “Celebration” while the goal scorer throws t-shirts into the crowd. With the home opener just two weeks away and the games continuing through March there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to experience a Baltimore Blast game, one of the city’s most underrated live experiences.