Ultimate Checklist for Building the Perfect Sports Facility

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • Whether it’s school-aged kids competing in tournaments or adults playing in local recreational sports leagues, it’s no secret that sporting facilities are popular places for people of all ages. From timeless sports like basketball to up-and-coming activities like pickleball, people need a place to:

    • Train 🏃‍♀️
    • Compete 🏆
    • Spectate 👀

    Are you considering building a sporting facility in your community? It’s a great idea! But before you break ground, reference this checklist of 9 things to consider to ensure you build an optimal facility.

    sporting facility checklist

    1) Decide Which Sports Will Be Played

    Is your sporting facility going to be dedicated to one sport? Or do you want to be able to host multiple sports under one roof? While a standard gymnasium can host basketball, volleyball, and cheerleading, you’ll need separate fields and courts for sports like:

    • Soccer ⚽
    • Baseball ⚾
    • Ice hockey 🏒
    • Flag football 🏈
    • Tennis 🎾
    • Boxing 🥊

    Additionally, consider the age groups you want to support. Youth sports have different size fields and courts compared to professional, regulation-size courts. If you want to maximize your space, you can paint different lines onto the same court for different age groups.

    2) Plan the Layout Beyond the Courts

    The best sporting facilities have more than just courts and fields. You also need ample space and resources to support the athletes and spectators. Your layout should account for:

    • Locker rooms
    • Janitorial/equipment storage
    • Ticketing office
    • Concessions stand
    • Restrooms
    • Athletic trainer’s/first aid room
    • Area to sell gear
    • Staff offices
    • Laundry facilities
    • Spectator seating
    • Parking

    With this list, you can quickly tell that your floor plan may end up being bigger than you originally anticipated! Of course, these items are more applicable for a facility that hosts tournaments and regular practices and games. If you’re imagining a small facility that only hosts weekly recreational games in one sport, you won’t need all of the bells and whistles.

    Parking is a major consideration that should be planned for, regardless of your facility’s size. No one wants to lug bags full of athletic gear to and from their car that’s parked many blocks away.

    3) Choose the Flooring Materials

    sporting facility choosing flooring

    One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make is the flooring materials you want. It may not seem important, but flooring makes a huge difference in three important details:

    • Upfront cost
    • Athlete comfort/safety
    • Maintenance costs

    Choose between hardwood or synthetic surfaces for basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. For indoor facilities, it’s safe to assume that artificial turf is the best for soccer and football fields, as live grass would be too difficult to maintain indoors.

    You’ll also need to consider the flooring for non-sporting areas as well. Use this as an opportunity to build visual interest for guests.

    4) Decide How to Divide the Courts

    If you want to support multiple sports, will you budget for each court to be in a completely different room? Or will you try to consolidate and have multiple fields and courts all in one area?

    If you plan to have multiple fields in one space, think about how you’ll divide them and separate them from each other. You can use netting, gym dividers, and fencing to host multiple games at once and protect spectators and machinery.

    5) Lighting Can’t Be an After-Thought

    sporting facility using natural lighting

    No one wants to strain their eyes to play or watch a sport. Lighting might seem like another detail that doesn’t need a lot of attention, but we beg to differ! Having a well-lit sporting facility is key for the comfort of the athletes, employees, and spectators.

    Many studies have proven that natural light helps boost energy and lower depression. Incorporate as many natural light sources as possible through skylights and windows. For supportive light, consider installing LED lights, as they’re not only easy on the eyes but also incredibly energy efficient.

    6) Make an Equipment List for Each Sport

    There’s a lot of equipment needed to support a sporting facility. Depending on the sports you plan to host in your structure, you’ll need:

    • Bleachers
    • Team benches
    • Scoreboards
    • Basketball hoops
    • Volleyball & tennis nets
    • Baseball plates & batting cages
    • Soccer goals
    • Pinnies & scrimmage vests
    • Helmets
    • Balls, bats, and racquets

    7) Consider Airflow and Sanitation

    There are two things pretty much guaranteed in sporting facilities: people are going to have fun, and people are going to get sweaty. No one wants to be stuck in a room that smells like sweat for a few hours. 🦨

    And with so many (sweaty) people walking around your facility and breathing heavily, you want to make sure you can keep your guests as healthy as possible. Plan to optimize the airflow and air filtration in your building and make sanitation easy by installing nonporous surfaces or antimicrobial-treated laminate floors.

    8) Find a Specialized General Contractor

    sporting facility finding general contractor

    Building a sporting facility is a lot different than building a house. You may notice in your initial research stages that a lot of general contractors primarily work in residential spaces. For this project, it’s vital to work with a contracting company that specializes in commercial construction.

    They’ll have the experience and knowledge necessary to take on a project of your size and scope. A commercial contractor will also have first-hand advice about the unique considerations of your building, such as average timelines, lighting needs, and energy costs.

    9) Location, Location, Location!

    You want your sporting facility to be easily accessible for everyone, no matter where they’re coming from. If possible, choose a location that’s close to major highways and public transportation. And as we mentioned earlier, make sure there’s enough room to build a parking lot.

    If you don’t plan to serve food and drinks at your facility, try to pick a location that is near restaurants and other amenities. Athletes get hungry, after all!

    APX Can Bring Your Sporting Facility to Life!

    Are you feeling more and more excited to get the ball rolling on your new sports facility? As we mentioned in checkpoint #8, it’s essential to partner with a construction company that specializes in commercial construction.

    Here at APX Construction Group, we do just that! Our commercial-specialized team knows exactly how to help you build a sporting facility— and keep your project on time and on budget.No questions are off the table. Contact APX today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you build the sports complex you’re dreaming about.

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