JUST IN: Dayton’s ‘New Challenger’ game arcade to shut down for good by end of March

The owner of New Challenger, a “classic” video-game arcade in Dayton, has announced it will have to close its doors permanently after more than two years.

Matt Payne, owner of New Challenger arcade inside Mike’s Indoor Bike Park at 1300 E. First St., said the arcade will shut down for good by the end of March. Some of the arcade’s games have already been removed, and more will be taken out this week and next, Payne said.

“I had a blast during NC’s run!” Payne wrote in a Facebook post about the closure Monday morning, March 15. “It was great to have a space to gather all of my games and play the crap out of them like they were made to do. I loved being a part of Mike’s Bike Park—the vibe gave off a certain ‘Foot Clan recruiting kids to fight the ninja turtles’ feel, which was rad.”

Payne said it was the people who made him love running the arcade.

“I got to meet some truly awesome folks who I will never forget,” Payne wrote in the Facebook post. “First of all, Mike is one of the best people I have met in life. Period. This guy single-handedly kept the arcade on life-support and open.”

New Challenger opened in Nov. 2019, soon after Payne had started an arcade club at Kettering Middle School where he is a teacher. Payne described it as “a family-friendly arcade with a nostalgic vibe designed to bring you and your kids back to the ’80s and ’90s.”

“Arcade games will always be a part of me,” Payne wrote. “Maybe I am just an incredibly nostalgic person, but they bring to me a sense of joy and wonder — that same feeling they gave me all those years back. It was great to see that joy in the faces of people at NC. Even if just for a short time.”

Payne could not be reached Monday for additional comments. We will update this story as soon as more information is available.

Well, everyone, it is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that New Challenger will be shutting down for good by...

Posted by New Challenger Arcade on Monday, March 15, 2021

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