Coliseum in Pace... Coliseum is much smaller & airball only but much better run and set up. Hurlburt Paintball near Hurlburt Field... far superior in most every way but about 1 hour from Pensacola.
Directions to the Field:
Easy to find on Google maps, be prepared to pay $1-3 per person at the park gate.
Danger Zone paintball is technically the oldest paintball field in Pensacola, established sometime before I started playing way back in the day around 1994. It used to be on the military base on Corry Station, but probably due to security concerns it was moved to its current location at Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area. Expect to pay 1-3 bucks per person at the park entrance (I swear they charge me something different every time), and abide by Navy rules while “aboard base” (no cell phone use while driving and no passengers in the back of pickup trucks).
In its current incarnation, Danger Zone is a sprawling woods ball field with a “speedball” field rumored to exist although in 3 visits so far I’ve yet to see said field, much less play it. Still, DZ is BIG… so big in fact that every time I visit I find something new.
DZ is one of the few remaining old-school woods ball fields. It’s large, probably in the neighborhood of 3-4 acres or so, bounded by fairly easy to see tape and decorated with a smattering of random bunkers. Cover is primarily provided by small trees and heavy brush. There’s an even larger field, known as the “elephant grass” that’s a grassy expanse with a few stands of young pine trees and a single “fort” consisting of a very small wooden structure that can shelter perhaps 2-3 players.
Most game play takes the form of “capture the fort” games on the main field. Forts Apache and Ivan form the starting points and the objective is to capture the opposing fort and ring the large bell that is situated behind each fort. One of these forts is rather nice with room inside for several players and includes a few windows. The other fort is basically a pine log split rail fence with three sides.
Game play is generally very casual. There’s a good mix of new players including many young military members, and more experienced players. Egos are low and game intensity is generally relaxed. Typically games run 20 minutes or until the “bell” is rung. DZ plays respawn and “body/head hits only.” The practical point of this being that during most games players only exit the field if they run out of paint or air. If a player is hit in the body or head, he or she merely walks (or runs) back to the fort and is back in the game. The only exception to this rule is if the fort is “under attack.”
Rental equipment is plentiful (60+ Tippmann 98’s) and seems to be in decent shape. Gas fills come with the rental or field fee and consist of 2K nitrogen. If you don’t have a HP tank, you can borrow one for free; unfortunately it’s only a 47ci tank which at 2000 psi is only good for a couple hundred shots.
Management is extremely relaxed; too relaxed in my opinion. One or two MWR employees run the show, mainly filling bottles and selling paint (again, very reasonably priced). Referees are nonexistent; players are expected to police themselves and for the large part they do: Fair play is the watchword here, mostly. Sometimes more experienced players step in to act as referees, but it’s rarely needed.
My one major issue with this field is safety. Safety violations are rife, and as a former field owner, literally give me nightmares. Players freely remove their masks on the field not only after games but during the games, even if they are being shot at. Barrel plug rules are not enforced except by other players. Case in point, during my last visit I witnessed someone get shot in the chest in the staging area by a kid who was fiddling with his gun. I immediately ask the manager to reiterate the “barrel plug rule” but he told me that he had run out of barrel plugs. Unfortunately since this is a Navy run field, management probably can get away with some these blatant safety violations with little fear of repercussions.
Overall, DZ is a good field if you’re looking for some old school, relaxed woods ball fun. If you’re looking for high speed, high intensity ball, look elsewhere (Check out the Coliseum in Pace).
Edit 10/18/10 - Having played at DZ now for three years, and at least 8 times over the past year, I can say without reservation that it is my favorite field in the Pensacola area. HOWEVER, I have a very particular reason for saying this. As a 15+ year veteran of the game, this field takes me back to the older and simpler days of paintball, when bragging about your $1000 setup would just get you laughed off the field and casual play and having fun was the objective. I absolutely adore the combination of mentoring complete n00bs to the sport while also stomping all over the egos of a seemingly endless supply of "PRO TOURNEY PLAYERS!!!!111" with ridiculously priced gear who wouldn't know tactics if it walked up behind them and tagged them out by hand... which can and does happen in the woods. This is a WOODS BALL field, and has its warts for sure. However, it certainly has earned a special place in my heart, and in the hearts of several of my "old school" friends who enjoy a slightly more relaxed and, dare I say, FUN version of paintball as opposed to the WIN AT ALL COSTS!!!!!111 brand pushed by so many kids these days.
Edit 11/5/11 - This is still my go-to field in Pensacola. Coliseum is too small and is strictly airball, and though Hurlburt Field is a great field, it's over an hour drive each way from my house. For casual woods-ball fun, DZ is the place to beat.
Last edited on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 at 4:28 pm PST