A {paintballers} Dream Come True

by: Dave Pando – Owner of LVL UP Sports

On this Memorial Day, May 30th 2016, I’m incredibly proud to announce that in just a few short weeks, LVL UP Sports – Columbus, Ohio’s newest paintball and airsoft adventure park will be opening in Grove City!

Hard work doesn’t even begin to explain what it took to make this dream a reality, but after hundreds of hours on the phone and thousands of hours in coffee shops, juggling my full time position with DYE Paintball and doing freelance web design with Pando Creative, the pieces are all in place and LVL UP Sports is a GO.   With the help of my realtor Ben Layman, my partner John Wicks, the NXL’s park-building master Burt Wright, and dozens of mentors I’m lucky enough to have in my life (see below), LVL UP Sports has officially begun construction.


Why did I leave my beach house in San Diego to pursue this project in Ohio?

Since I was a little kid, opening a paintball park has always been my goal in life. It started with turning the woods around my house into a sketchy paintball ‘business’ at the age of 14 (sorry, not sorry Mom), then working with my OU Bobcat brothers to build a park near campus so we didn’t have to drive hours to practice, eventually working for legendary parks like Camp Pendleton, building killer websites and marketing DYE’s incredible brands, and now all of that experience has brought me back to my home state to finally build a park from scratch; the right way.


What Will LVL UP Be?

-A colassal big-game camping site

-A pristine tournament venue for any NCPA, MSXL, MiLP, UPL, NXL or any other league that wants to visit

-A place where Ohio Mom & Dads can bring their entire families and make unforgettable memories together

-The official home field of The Ohio State University Buckeyes and Ohio University Bobcat paintball clubs (UC, Akron, Dayton, Miami, Toledo, you’re welcome to join)

-A place where we can do our part to grow the industry; providing the paintball experience that any first timer deserves and working hard to convert them into avid players

-A place to test new ideas and push the boundaries of what paintball is



LVL UP Sports, pronounced “Level Up”, embraces what it means to get ‘the paintball bug’.  All of us players started with a birthday party or just having fun in the backyard, but once you get that first rush… moving up the ranks and getting that next big win, that new big-game patch, that shiny gun upgrade, quickly becomes all you can think about.  I want everyone that plays paintball, airsoft or X-Ball at LVL UP Sports to go home with the same bug and uncontrollable yearning to go from ‘newbie’ all the way up to a sponsored professional player.  In addition, LVL UP Sports will be trying something completely different in the realm of competitive paintball.  More details on that coming soon.


Who’s on the LVL UP Sports Team?

This is my favorite part of the entire LVL UP project.  The team around LVL UP Sports is bad ass from every angle; all passionate about creating something unique and special.  John Wicks, a local Columbus real estate developer, has brought this project to life with his zoning magic and construction expertise.  Then comes Burt Wright, the guy behind the scenes making sure every PSP and NXL you’ve ever played at and loved has existed.  Burt will be handling the build-out of LVL UP Sports, along with some helpers like Mike Paxson, Tom Cole, and members of the NXL crew.  All graphic design, like our awesome logo, will be done by one of my best friends in the world and brilliant human Joe Baucco from Arras Keathley in Cleveland Ohio.  In addition to these core members, a LOT of people have contributed to this project that I am truly grateful to have in my life as mentors.  Special thanks in no particular order goes out to: Todd & Mike Peverill, Dave DeHaan, Chris Williamson, Kevin Bredthauer, Trucker Billy Robertson,  Will Lumpkin, Chris Brophy, Matty Marshall, Darren Cesena, Debra Blaushild, Megan Sharbaugh, Carl Hammer, Paul & Mike Dagnino, Gio D’Egidio, Shawn Walker, Davey Williamson, Rob Staudinger, Todd Martinez, Ben & Dave Layman, Justin Polliti, John Moorhead, Brad Friedlander, and anyone else that’s given me even a text message of advice over the last two years. I could not have done this without all of you.

If you’d like to join our team, we’re hiring, just head to our Jobs Page

If you have any ideas on playing fields, marketing, or future endeavors e-mail

Your first entry is on me, get it e-mailed to you by clicking this link.

Check us out on Facebook & Instagram for more updates and photos of the construction process.

See you soon! #LVLUPSPORTS

-Dave Pando