Improving communities through sport

3 Design Considerations to Increase Sport Facility Use During Non-Peak Times

Kids in FEC

Guest post written by Cameron Connelly, Content Marketing Intern, The Sports Facilities Companies. 

A major concern for anyone interested in bringing a new sports complex into their community is driving visits from Monday-Thursday (typically non-peak hours for sports tourism venues). You can develop a beautifully designed venue but if it sits empty part of the week, it’s a net loss. Even if the facility is being used often for tournaments. While it is always a possibility that a certain day or time slot is less busy than the rest, there are a few design options that can help to minimize those moments and make sure that your facility always has happy faces running around.

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Multi-Use Space and Private Rooms

It is important to research your community’s needs to find out which activities garner the greatest interest. From this information you can plan out your multi-use space to accommodate those needs, but it is important to keep in mind that designing a space to be useful for every activity is not feasible and that you will have to narrow down your list to ensure operational efficiency.

If you plan on having an indoor basketball and volleyball court, it is recommended that the basketball hoops and volleyball nets be suspended from the roof for easy transitions and storage. With that equipment out of the way, you are then left with a large, air-conditioned space that is perfect for trade shows, corporate events and dinners, camps, proms, or large family reunions and social gatherings. In addition to renting out the large open spaces, you can also design the facility to feature one or more small private rooms with tables and chairs that can be rented out for business meetings and birthday parties or set up to be an esports gaming area. Allotting just a few hundred square feet for these smaller rooms can bring in revenue and showcase your facility to people who might not have known about it had they not attended a special event there.

Incorporating Technology

One of the best ways to improve guest experience while increasing use is the incorporation of technology. By adding a virtual reality component or fitness tracking equipment, including wearable technology, to your recreation or fitness areas, you can bring a sense of fun and/or competition into a workout. Instead of working hard in order to play hard, guests can now do both at the same time!

With the option to rent out certain areas of your sport or recreation complex, it is crucial to incorporate technology so that people can check the availability of and reserve those spaces from the facility’s website. Using the website to offer rentable spaces makes it convenient and easy to check available times and plan an event or meeting accordingly. By having the schedule online, you can also advertise activities, events, and classes being offered so that everyone in the community can easily learn about anything happening at the facility that might interest them.

Family Entertainment Centers

When designing a sports facility, most of the planning is centered around the sports itself. However, when a family comes to the facility to attend a game or tournament, they are often looking for activities between game and for children that are not participating in the tournament.  The addition of a family event center (FEC) to your sport facility can greatly improve the guest experience at peak times and bring in the community during the week. Some of the most common FEC activities include arcade games, laser tag, and climbing walls but the list of activities being offered by FEC continues to grow daily. The amount of space required for an FEC varies greatly from activity to activity with something like laser tag needing a lot of horizontal space while a climbing wall requires more vertical space.

Here at the Sports Facilities Companies, we have a team of knowledgeable individuals that can help you at any step of the sports facility design or management process. If you are interested in bringing a new sport facility to your community, contact us at 727-474-3845.

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