New business to open Friday at Upper Valley Mall


A new business scheduled to open at the Upper Valley Mall this week will allow customers to step inside inflatable balls and play games like human pool and foosball.

Bill McConaha will open Knockerball Plus in a former bingo hall across from Spencer’s Gifts on Friday, Oct. 20. The business will also host a soft opening for mall employees a day earlier.

READ MORE: Store closing at Upper Valley Mall, moving to Bechtle Avenue

Knockerball allows customers to strap themselves inside large, inflatable spheres and play a variety of games including a version of soccer. The business will also offer games like foot pool and human foosball, but McConaha said he’s also considering offering dodge ball if there’s enough demand from customers.

He saw a similar concept at a mall in Alabama, and decided Springfield would be a good location in part because of its inexpensive rent. McConaha grew up in Enon and also wanted to try to find a way to bring foot traffic back into the mall.

MORE: Upper Valley Mall movie theater closes after decades

“The more people that come, if we can attract corporations and bigger crowds, maybe we can attract not necessarily retailers, but more businesses to come into the mall,” McConaha said. “People don’t come because there are so many empty spaces. If the mall was full and didn’t look so empty, I feel like people would come back.”

Knockerball Plus will be located in a roughly 5,500-square-foot space most recently occupied by Wings of Love Bingo, said Carla Finney, a leasing agent for the mall. Deb Shops, a women’s clothing store, held that space for years before the bingo hall, she said.

RELATED: Clark County youth sports complex could be part of $15B industry

The goal will be to host parties and team-building events for area businesses, but smaller groups and individuals will be able to play as well whenever it isn’t booked for events. It could also host league events throughout the year. It will focus on hosting weekend events and be open by appointment during the week.

“We’ve got hockey and soccer leagues and those kinds of things, but this is different and I think people would be interested in trying it,” he said.

DETAILS: 4 new stores move into Upper Valley Mall

Wherever possible, he said his business supports other area businesses, including working with local contractors and buying supplies from local companies. The Barn Pizza, a longtime Upper Valley Pike business, will cater parties and events at Knockerball Plus.

While he has several games in mind for the first few months, McConaha said he plans to be flexible and make changes depending on what customers are looking for.

“There’s not a lot of things for kids to do and we’re hoping it gives them another avenue,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Recall Roundup: Hair dryers, blending containers and more
Recall Roundup: Hair dryers, blending containers and more

Dangerous hair dryers and blender cups are among the new recalls announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Xtava is recalling nearly a quarter of a million Allure and Allure Pro hair dryers after 18 people reported burns — one case was severe — and two people reported a mild electrical shock. There are 193 reports of the...
Ohio job growth pace finally beats nation’s
Ohio job growth pace finally beats nation’s

Ohio employers are hiring, with the state’s pace of job growth is finally matching and even exceeding the national pace. Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in July 2018, up from 4.5 percent in June, the state reported Friday. But the state’s non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 7,600 over the month, from a revised...
Dayton-area firms pull in millions in new defense work
Dayton-area firms pull in millions in new defense work

Several area companies have landed millions in new Department of Defense and federal contract awards. RDC/John Poe Architects in Miamisburg claimed a $5,332,055 federal contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for architectural and engineering services at the Ann Arbor Health Care System. G.E. Aviation Systems in Vandalia won a $577,920...
After tax cut, Ohio utilities fight PUCO to maintain rates
After tax cut, Ohio utilities fight PUCO to maintain rates

Ohio electric utilities and state regulators are still butting heads over whether the utilities should pass on savings from last year’s tax cut to their customers. Late last year, the U.S. government lowered the federal tax rate for corporations from 35 to 21 percent. In a filing this week with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO),...
In the UAS/UAV race, China is beating the U.S.
In the UAS/UAV race, China is beating the U.S.

While the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) market is on a strong growth track — nationally and here in Dayton — there are still concerns and challenges. One concern: China is well ahead of the United States in the production of unmanned aerial vehicles and in building a supply chain of components for those vehicles, including motors. &ldquo...
More Stories