ODESSA, Fla. (FOX 13) - By most any definition, it's a dream home. But when Mitzi and Vinny Testaverde were house hunting in 2007, the house found them.
"We were looking at the house next door and this property wasn't even for sale," recalled the former NFL quarterback and 1986 Heisman Trophy winner.
But they made an offer, got the house, and the games began. Their nearly 14,000-square-foot estate on Lake Keystone north of Tampa has a tennis court, putting green, a large gymnasium, pool, spa, billiards, ping-pong, and more.
"We wanted a place where our kids would love to be here and have their friends over. We always wanted to be the house that everybody came to to hang out," explained Mitzi.
Their smartly-decorated bar has an attached wine and cigar room and a lighted case for the Heisman Trophy.
"In 1987, when I was drafted by the Bucs, I was 23 years old; just a young kid," laughed Vinny.
After the Bucs, he would go on to play for six other NFL teams, but retired back to Tampa, although his routine is different from many retirees. "I do enjoy working out. I work out five to six days a week."
He built a gym with numerous machines and weights. It's as large as some gyms that charge for membership.
It's a far cry from their lifestyle in the late 1980's. When they met, Mitzi was a Swashbuckler, a Buccanneer cheerleader. The gals were told not to fraternize with players, so Mitzi and Vinny kept a low profile.
"We were able to stay home, rent movies, and eat pizza," Mitzi said. "We weren't out in the bars dancing."
Together, they raised three children, the youngest of which will soon graduate from high school. "We'll be empty nesters," continued Vinny. "This is a big house for two people to live in and we certainly want to downsize."
The home was previously listed for $6-million, but they've decided to auction the home on April 9. There's a preview on March 30.
Evan Pedone of Engel & Volkers has the listing. He says auctions have become popular for high-end properties and busy sellers. "What they want is a set time to show and a set time to sell, so the auction process offers that.”
The Testaverdes admit selling the home is bittersweet.
"We definitely have mixed emotions about it," offered Mitzi.
"The new owners, whoever that may be, they're going to have just as many great memories as we have," added Vinny.
LINK: For more information and photos, visit the Engel & Volkers listing