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Massapequa BIZ Q&A: Massapequa Soccer and Sport Shop

The Park Boulevard shop has been helping players get their kicks for decades.

They were selling soccer gear before soccer was considered cool in America.

opened it's doors in 1973, two years before Brazilian great Pele arrived to play in New York and started an explosion in the sport's popularity.

The soccer shop boasts the largest inventory of soccer gear on Long island and has been a staple of the business scene on Park Boulevard for many years.

We recently talked to the store's founder Gene Bodenstein.

What Made you want to go into this business in 1973? At the time soccer wasn't as popular.

At the time it was very difficult to get equipment, especially in kids sizes. There was a need to fill.

How has the business changed over the years?

The competition has increased. Manufacturers have lost they're minds. They're dollar hungry. Kid 's get pressured into buying things which are not worth it and not necessary.

So you feel you have more expertise than bigger sporting goods chains?

Oh absolutely. Some of those larger sporting good chains send customers here. We are a specialist destination store.

How else are you different from other stores that sell soccer gear?

We're honest. We do a lot of business with schools. We realize their limitations and we try very hard not to take advantage of the situation. We do business with schools in Long Island, Westchester and the state of New Jersey.

What would you like people who have kids in youth soccer programs to know that they don't already know?

Price does not make it good. Name does not necessarily make it good.

Massa February 29, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I am not a soccer fan or was ever a player of the sport, but that store has been there as long as I lived here, and it is great to see it as a smaller store that has survived all these years and has given to the community.I wish them all the luck in the future.
Dick Blair February 29, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Went there from the beginning before they expanded from that cramped little store...from corner flags, nets, shin guards, cleats, referee cards, whistles, books, videos, uniforms, balls, sports drinks, pins, jackets, head gear, eye gear, to the plastic brightly colored cones...they had it all and still do. Miss seeing the little dog and I wonder if they still have that couch that used to be in Gene's office.

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