Marble and granite supplier creating football complex in Hanover warehouse
Valdeci Ribeiro has had two careers in his life: playing football professionally in Europe and running granite and marble companies in the United States.
Now these two paths collide in a warehouse in Hanover.
Ribeiro is preparing to open a football sports complex at 11211 Washington Highway in an aftermarket warehouse that was once the home of his company, Absolute Stone Design, which supplies marble and granite for residential and commercial construction.
Brazilian by birth, Ribeiro left his native country at the age of 17 to go and play football professionally abroad.
“I played for seven years in Spain and Portugal. I didn’t play in the first division, I played in the second and third division, ”he said.
He traveled to the United States in 1994 when he came to attend the World Cup with his brother, who lived in the United States.
“He was here doing construction and said, ‘When you retire from football, why don’t you come here to work for me?’ I quit playing football in 1996 and then moved to Boston, ”said Ribeiro.
Over the next several years, he started and sold a granite business in Boston. After moving to Richmond, he started Absolute Stone Design and led it for over 20 years.
“I came to Virginia to visit a friend and I said, ‘I’m going to move here.’ The weather is better, the people are nicer and the cost of living is cheaper, ”said Ribeiro.
About five years ago, he purchased and opened a new, larger showroom for Absolute Stone Design across the street at 11200 Washington Highway, while retaining ownership of the old warehouse to be used for storage. Ribeiro has now decided to turn him into what he believes to be Hanover’s premier indoor football center.
The soccer field will house an indoor court that is slightly smaller than a full-size field and will host 7v7 matches.
“It’s not a full-sized field, but it will be 120 feet by 80 feet and have walls and everything,” said Ribeiro. “My workers all play football, so we’ll finish working and come and play every night.”
Ribeiro has said he intends to host both pickup matches and leagues. Futsal, a type of football played with a smaller and slightly heavier ball, will also be played at the sportsplex.
The facility will also include a hall for Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a small shop that will sell football equipment, and a bar.
“We’re going to be making Brazilian and Spanish cuisine like empanadas and tacos,” said Ribeiro, who also co-owns the Ashland Meat Co. at Cross Brothers.
Ribeiro said he was self-financing the construction, which he said will cost around $ 500,000.
The facility, which is slated to open in May, is called Val’s Sportsplex for now, but Ribeiro has said he plans to change its name.