Indoor sports centers can serve as a showpiece for a community – offering a place to play, practice and gather year-round, as well as generating a consistent revenue stream for the building owner.
But it’s not as simple as “if you build it, they will come.” Choosing the right sports complex is the critical difference between a popular place to play or an abandoned gym.
Think of a sports center as a place to build community. When athletes feel welcome and comfortable, they are likely to keep coming back for games, practices, tournaments and events – and recommend your facility to others.
The bottom line is that you can’t have a premier sports complex without having an optimized building. With the options available on the market today, people will not return to an inadequate sports center.
Before you begin designing and building a sports center, think about the building you want and need. The experts at Legacy Building Solutions are here to guide you through all phases of your sports facility planning and design.
Sports Complex Design Considerations
Buildings can be customized for a wide variety of reasons, both practical and aesthetic. At the very least, a sports center should include:
Adequate space and clearance. The governing bodies of most sports have set requirements for the length and width of the playing surface. Your building needs to accommodate those measurements, plus room for pedestrians and anyone else who will be in the building.
Clearspan area is extremely important for sports centers, as support posts will obstruct the game. Legacy’s fabric buildings on a rigid steel frame have the strength and durability to support widths of 300 or more feet without interior columns.
Overhead clearance is another consideration, especially when balls or equipment will be flying around. This may mean a non-traditional building shape, such as a lean-to or gambrel roof as seen in this trapeze school.
Indoor Sports Complex Features
Of course, the best sports centers are more than just a playing surface. Help people choose your center by adding areas for onlookers, pro shops, changing rooms, trainers, offices, weight rooms and walking tracks to keep people coming back.
Insulation, climate control and ventilation. The interior climate is a primary consideration of sports complex architecture. Indoor sports buildings must maintain a comfortable temperature for year-round use.
Insulation combined with a climate control system keeps the building at the perfect temperature, no matter the outside conditions. All of Legacy’s insulated sports buildings contain a puncture-resistant fabric liner to protect the insulation and provide a polished interior.
Active or passive ventilation allows the building to breathe and can also be a source of fresh air inside the building. Large fans, eave-height air intake and other systems keep air circulating.
Adequate lighting. A bright, clean-looking sports center will be more popular than a dark, shadowy one. Proper lighting makes it possible to see clearly throughout the building, rather than developing bad habits caused by dark areas.
Fabric buildings are well known for having abundant natural light throughout. In an insulated building, the fabric liner covers the insulation and creates a bright interior. White fabric works to reflect the lighting system, creating a bright, glare-free surface.
Code-compliance. Public use buildings such as sports centers need to meet high-occupancy codes, which often mean safety features, sprinklers and fire suppression and specially equipped doors. Sturdy rigid frame technology allows all these systems to be added to the building design along with the other accessories you need and want.
Advanced Design Options for Indoor Sports Centers
To attract and retain players, a sports center needs more than the bare minimum. Other options should be part of your sports complex design space requirements. Legacy Building Solutions offers these custom features, which are popular for sports applications.
Superior acoustics. The soft fabric works to muffle distracting sounds happening elsewhere in the building. You’ll be left with just the sounds of the game, increasing focus and concentration.
Soft walls. When you’re going all out, you’re likely to hit the wall on occasion. Fabric walls naturally have the padding and give necessary to minimize injuries and keep athletes healthy on all wall surfaces.See a case study of a multi-sport building with soft walls.
Custom colors and design. Showcase your team pride with a building exterior that features your team colors and logo. Add your mascot or icon anywhere on the inside or outside of the building with a permanently welded banner.
Complement existing buildings. If your campus includes other structures onsite with brick, steel or glazing walls, your Legacy building can feature those materials as well. This helps the building blend in and create a cohesive look throughout the facility.
The rigid frame design also allows eaves and overhangs on Legacy buildings. Overhangs provide a dry area around the building and protect your landscaping, as well as give the buildings a traditional A-frame shape - as seen on this indoor tennis center.
A new fabric building can also be used to expand an existing sports complex. Legacy crews will attach the new structure to an existing building using a sealed flap, vestibule or corridor.
Add more room with a raised mezzanine. Mezzanines can be used as press boxes, dining areas, storage, additional seating or pro shops. Keeping these additions off the floor keeps them accessible without compromising your playing surface.
Consultative service. No matter where you are in the planning and construction phases of your project, Legacy will work with you to design the best indoor sports complex plan possible. Our team of industry experts will make recommendations that may help cut costs or improve the quality of your structure.
We provide engineered drawings before construction starts to show your stakeholders the possibilities. The factory-trained installation crew handles material unloading, building erection and site clean-up so you have more time to focus on the game and programming.
An indoor sports center is an important investment. Before you buy, consider how you will use the facility. Then choose a builder with experience in sports facility planning and design to optimize the experience for your team and community.