How to Maximize Space When Designing an Indoor Sports Facility
When planning an indoor sports facility – especially a baseball and softball facility – the biggest concern and most time spent during planning often goes to the batting cages and indoor fields that players will be working on. While this is one of the vital parts of running a successful facility, often times it leads to other areas of the facility being forgotten or overlooked.
At On Deck Sports, our team of indoor facility design experts make sure your whole building gets the attention it needs while ensuring you will have a safe, efficient space to run your business.
Some of the important areas of facilities that are often overlooked include entrances, offices, pro shops, concession stands, weight rooms, walkways and other rooms. All these areas can factor in when maximizing the space in your facility, and we know how to help you plan for them.
“Many of the facilities we see are not built with some of these areas planned out,” Gordon said when asked about planning for these other areas. “They’re there for the training – using every available inch of area for that. We want to make sure the people working in the building have somewhere to go that is away from the cages. Whether it is for a pro shop, a room to break down film in a quiet space or somewhere to keep important files or a storage area to keep their equipment safe – we want to make sure they get that space if they have the room for it.”
One recent example is a baseball facility that we have been working on that was over 48,000 square feet. It had three separate batting cage areas and a full field for the coaches and athletes to work on. They also knew they needed a wide variety of other areas to run a successful facility.
Gordon worked with this facility to properly lay out a plan to maximize the space while still leaving enough room for the training areas. In the picture below, the red box area is a 36-foot wide area that Gordon and the facility owners carved out for a pro shop. This area would have been left as empty space by many new facility owners, but became a new revenue stream within the facility area after careful consultation. This pro shop works well with the existing area that has bathrooms, a storage closet and concession stand that is the same width and immediately next to the pro shop area (circled).
In an adjacent area, there were existing offices (pointed out by red arrows). By placing the pro shop in the same hallway as the check in area, the facility can direct players, parents and coaches past the pro shop as they make their way to the batting cages and field.
In another area of the facility, Gordon made sure to plan for walkways between two of the batting cage areas that would safely allow people to walk past the cages. The red line in the upper portion of the image (below) represents an existing wall that houses the weight room. As has been discussed in other blog posts, many facilities place cages too close to the existing walls and can cause damage. Gordon and the facility owners made sure to leave close to 12 feet of clearance between the edge of the last cage and that existing wall – allowing for coaches and athletes to safely wait outside the cage and keep the cage from hitting the existing wall.
Gordon also worked to ensure the safety through the middle walkway, an area that goes between the ends of both batting cage areas. Gordon and the facility owners accounted for the nets movement when they are hit on either side, leaving more than 13 feet for people to safely walk through the area and to the full field. This is an area that could have easily been crowded with batting cages on either side, but we made sure to use our experience in other facilities to create a safe walkway.
“We’re in the business of making sure these owners get the most out of their facility,” Gordon said. “We are going to maximize the training areas and batting cages – but we are also going to make sure that there is a common area that allows for a safe, beneficial space for everyone that isn’t in the cages.”