Sports are more than exciting games or competitive challenges. For many individuals, the ability to play a sport in a safe, clean and controlled environment is an essential part of their everyday lives. Athletes strive to improve their stats and define their own success. Adults use recreational pick-up games and club leagues as their source of exercise, stress-relief and excitement. Children step up to the plate and swing for the fences, hoping to one day live their dream in the major leagues.
Sports are a priority, and the design of your indoor sports complex needs to cater to the importance these children, women and men place on their performance.
Grand Slam Safety knows the sports facility planning and design process is a difficult task that requires thorough attention to detail in every corner of the complex. As the sports fencing solutions that sports complex managers trust, we're here to offer our advice and help you design an indoor layout that is versatile, practical and most importantly, safe.
Sports Complex Design Considerations
Designing a multipurpose sports facility can't be done overnight. We recommend that before you even think about breaking ground on a new facility or undertaking a complex remodel, you first take a moment to identify your goals, prioritize the needs of your clients and imagine what future needs you may have to accommodate for them. Here are five key points you should consider when designing an indoor sporting complex:
The types of sports and programming your complex will facilitate
The planning required to host players, spectators and vendors during diverse events
The design necessary to maximize space and enhance the versatility of the complex
The layout design needed for convenient guest and employee movement between areas of the complex
All elements of player, employee and spectator safety that must be addressed throughout the facility design process
Each of these items is important individually and collectively. Ideally, your sports complex design will adequately address these points as well as integrate them together to form a cohesive concept. Knowing which sports you'll facilitate enables you to plan for these events. Anticipating the needs during these events will enable you to devote adequate space to each area which will create a convenient and easy-to-navigate layout. Safety is a keystone in the success of this design — without safety as a priority, the design will fail.
Programming and Sports You Will Offer
The wide world of sports is getting larger by the day. If there was a "traditional" sports complex, those limited gymnasiums are far from what is needed and expected now. Sports complexes are as diverse as their clientele. Basketball, racquetball and court volleyball are being played next to yoga, dodge ball and mixed martial arts. Soccer, baseball, football and even golf are moving indoors. Amenities and activities such as tanning beds, rock climbing walls, dance studios and arcades demand their own space.
There is no longer a distinction between sports you need to offer, programs you could offer and activities you will want to offer. Athletes and casual fans alike crave variety which means that the more you can accommodate, the more people will want to use your complex. Instead of waiting out the winter wishing it was spring, baseball players and golfers can enjoy your indoor baseball field and golf simulator any time of the year. Consider which sports your multipurpose facility could offer.
Traditional indoor sports
Floor and roller hockey
Additional sports and activities
Martial arts and boxing
Locker rooms with showers
Your complex may cater to some or all of these programs and sports throughout the year, many even simultaneously. As you list these diverse activities, you must also consider how you'll offer use of your facility. Members and guests can use indoor sports complexes for recreation or training. They can also be used to host tournaments, championship games and leagues. Consider the following questions as you finalize your list of potential events:
Will you be able to host external events while members or local guests continue to use the space?
Can any area be designed to accommodate multiple sports? For instance, can a multipurpose area function as a dance and yoga studio or wrestling and martial arts space?
If a versatile area acts as a space for multiple activities, can the equipment needed for each activity be adequately moved and stored or will these supplies constantly be in the space?
Will each area be large enough to safely accommodate those who engage in these sports and activities?
Choosing which programming and sports to offer at your facility can be challenging. An indoor soccer facility could be configured to double as an indoor football field. However, an indoor baseball and indoor softball area might each need a separate field to accommodate your needs. Once you have an idea of which events you will offer, consider how your sports facility design will cater to the players, spectators and visitors who frequent your complex.
Planning for Players and Spectators
After you've determined which programming and sporting events your complex will offer, you need to design these spaces with your players in mind. However, before you begin mapping out the general fields, courts and arenas, consider the other necessary areas that the complex requires. Spectators may outnumber the players, which will require an adequate seating area for audiences. Vendors may also need space to serve these fans. Your sporting complex might need additional space for special events like championships and award ceremonies.
Consider how many events you may host throughout a single day then try to anticipate the number of spectators who may attend these games. Friends and family members will attend these competitions, and more importantly, will need places to congregate before and after their player's game. Your spectator seating needs to accommodate a large audience consisting of visitors attending games throughout the day.
Players and spectators make up the majority of those attending your sports complex, but there's another important group of people you cannot neglect. Vendors are often overlooked in the complex design planning process even though their presence is meaningful to the players and spectators. Sectioning off dedicated areas for vendors allows local and traveling attendees to purchase sporting equipment, commemorative merchandise and other promotional items.
Although you've planned your indoor complex design to host multiple tournaments featuring diverse sports simultaneously, you need to make sure you've planned for the most critical part of these events — the championship match and victory celebration. Creating a special field for championship events that includes extra seating and high-quality features gives the players a special place to play that highlights the significance of the game. Adding an amphitheater or stage area for award ceremonies, special announcements and other showcasing moments enhances every event that your complex hosts.
Maximizing Space and Versatility
Space and versatility — without these at your disposal, you either won't be able to accommodate the programs and sports you desire or you won't be able to accommodate those who want to engage in these activities. Imagine this — your complex is hosting a club volleyball tournament, a summer youth soccer league, postseason baseball practice and a competitive dance showcase all in one weekend. Proper planning means you'll have the space and versatile to seamlessly accommodate each event. Poor planning, however, could lead to cancellations, rescheduling and unhappy guests.
While massive facilities may have plenty of space at their disposal, complexes with limited space need to be creative in their design approach. Thankfully, there are tools that can modify any space to make it as versatile as possible. Removable netting and divider curtains are perfect resources that are easy to use and adjustable to your needs.
Sports netting curtain systems are designed to enable sports complexes to separate their space into designated areas. They can fit any size and shape, making them ideal for spaces that need to accommodate room for different types of sports like volleyball and basketball. Imagine being able to rearrange a space from a tournament configuration back into regular operations with minimal effort. These divider curtains provide defined boundaries for players and spectators while also containing balls and increasing the safety of players and audience members.
Maintaining a Smooth Flow
How your guests use your space is just as important as what they use it for. Think about the layout of any high-traffic area such as a shopping mall, department store or amusement park. These areas create convenient pathways to the guest's intended destination. They're also enhanced by featuring specific amenities in appropriate areas to serve these individuals as best as possible. These spaces keep the flow of the facility moving smoothly. Your indoor sports complex design needs to maintain this smooth flow.
A multipurpose sports facility flows correctly when it accomplishes three key goals:
Its design is easy to navigate for people of all abilities
There is adequate visibility throughout the facility and wayfinding devices posted to help individuals find their destination
The facility is safe and secure in all areas to reduce chances of injury or theft and ensure visitors are properly supervised
Your visitors will expect more from your facility than access to activities. They'll want to feel welcomed and comfortable in your space. Your layout should be influenced by how your guests will use the different areas of the complex. For instance, the locker room should be close to the front entrance to allow guests to change clothing quickly. A swimming pool should also be near this area to cut down on wet guests roaming the hallways. Indoor tracks should be located near weight rooms or exercise equipment.
As your facility grows and offers more diverse services, the layout should help guests quickly get from one area to another. Also make sure restrooms, drinking fountains and maintenance closets are spread throughout the facility in convenient locations. You want all guests to have easy access to the bathroom, and your facility staff should have quick access to custodial supplies or tools should they need to tend to a problem in the area.
Do you want to maximize your space, create versatile environments and enhance the overall flow of your multipurpose facility? Use dividing curtains and indoor fencing solutions from Grand Slam Safety. Available in Double Wall, Elecrafold, Form-Fold, Full Acoustic Double Wall and Walkdraw variants, our curtains and netting can cater to any space, even pitched or sloped ceilings. Most importantly, our products deliver the reliable safety your facility needs.
Safety First in the Design Process
All elements of player, spectator and vendor safety should be addressed throughout the facility design process. Unfortunately, some sports complex designers leave safety as an afterthought. They won't consider safety fences or netting until the end of the project. Many sports complexes find out too late the true cost of retrofitting a new construction with netting, curtains, and fencing. Change orders to accommodate last minute netting on the ceiling or fencing around a perimeter can add up to costs that will drive construction over budget.
Remember — even though your ability to facilitate programming and sports for guests is your top priority, your efforts will fail if you don't prioritize safety as well. Keep a focus on safety throughout your layout design and prioritize safety and protection features into the facility during the early planning stages.
Whether you're adding an indoor softball facility or renovating your indoor soccer facility design, this project is a significant investment that you need to rely on for years. Don't let safety neglect blow up your budget, extend your deadline and jeopardize the safety of your guests and staff. Integrate indoor safety solutions from Grand Slam Safety into your design from the start.
Keep Your Indoor Sports Complex Safe With Help From Grand Slam Safety
Grand Slam Safety can help you strategically plan for the safety of your sports complex from the outset of the design process. Our experts will sit down with you and map your vision, paying close attention to areas where you can maximize space, offer versatile activities and maintain a smooth flow throughout the facility.