Making capital improvements, such as adding an indoor sports center, requires a significant upfront investment. And with taxpayers and investors demanding accountability for all dollars spent, it’s critical to make smart decisions to realize a return on that investment. Fortunately, engineered fabric structures have several advantages that allow building owners to recoup costs more quickly.
Lowering Ongoing Costs with a Fabric Structure
Even after construction, there will be routine overhead costs in any building – including climate control and electrical. These costs will vary depending on a variety of factors – among them weather, building use and construction materials.
Fabric structures lower these overhead costs by allowing the building owner to take advantage of natural light and a climate-responsive design to better maintain a consistent interior temperature. By allowing the building owner to reduce the amount of electricity needed for lighting, heating and cooling, fabric structures keep maintenance costs low while keeping the building useable in all conditions.
Fabric Structures Are Suitable for Multiple Uses
Occupied buildings, such as concert venues or indoor sports centers, can increase their profit with more frequent use. By collecting rental fees or ticket sales from events – not to mention concession or merchandise sales – the building owner recoups overhead costs and eventually turns a profit.
"People are looking for more flexibility in their structure to do things beyond sports," says Rennie Turner, niche consultant with Legacy Building Solutions. "Most clients don't have that cash in their pocket; they have to get a loan, provide a performance package, and they will want to show that the structure's going to be viable, which depends on getting as many people paying to use that building as possible. If you're going to spend this much money, don't just do it thinking you're just going to play tennis."
Rather than letting a single-use building remain empty, building owners can open their building for alternate types of events. For example, sports centers can be used to host tournaments, rec leagues and individual or team practices. Because the building is designed to meet high-occupancy requirements, it can also host banquets or recognition events for local sports leagues.
However, the building also has creative possibilities for the offseason. Rental options include hosting concerts or special events, open gyms, or community meetings, fundraisers, corporate retreats or weddings. While it might require a building owner to make a small investment, such as tables or floor coverings, hosting these events can pay off big in the long term.
Using a Sports Center as a Multi-Purpose Venue
To truly reap the benefits of a year-round rental venue, there are a few steps to take before construction begins.
- Build to Code. Safety codes, such as ADA compliance, adequate doors and fire suppression systems will be required for most high-occupancy buildings. While in some cases these items can be added post-construction, it will be easier and less expensive to add them during the initial mobilization.
- Consider Your Space. Of course, a sports venue will need to meet sport-specific guidelines. But by adding auxiliary space such as lean-tos or covered canopies, there will be additional space that can be used later for a retail shop, concession area or ticket booth. Mezzanines and raised platforms constructed as press boxes and viewing platforms can double as extra seating or VIP areas for concerts and events.
- Ensure your community knows about your facility. You may have the best rental building in the area – now make sure everyone knows it. Use your social media accounts and your network of regular users to help everyone learn about your event options.
Even without altering your vision of a sport-specific venue, there are ways to increase the profitability of a sports center. Using a fabric structure is a great way to recoup an initial investment and add a revenue stream throughout the life of a building.
Want to start designing a sports center or multi-use vendor? Contact us to learn more and receive a custom quote.