One of the greatest assets that a Farley air-supported structure can offer is its ability to make sports a pastime where seasons are never a problem. Those of us in the northern hemisphere who deal with six months of winter every year used to reluctantly kiss baseball and tennis goodbye until springtime. Now the magic of domes makes it possible to enjoy these beloved sports 365 days a year in a degree of comfort that often even surpasses what nature offers in the summertime.
Another athletic craze that has benefitted tremendously from indoor play is soccer, one of the fastest growing sports in North America. There are now a number of permanent and temporary domes throughout the United States and Canada that devote much of their year to hosting soccer games and team practices.
One of the shining examples of this type of facility is the PrivateBank Fire Pitch in Chicago. The Windy City has many attractions, but its long and bitter winters are definitely not among them. Once the acceptable chills of late fall transitioned into the harsh bite of winter, soccer simply became a spectator sport suitable only for your den or local sports bar.
A solution was needed that would allow the Chicago Fire Soccer Club players to continue sharpening their skills when it was simply too cold to play outdoors. The same problem also existed for the city’s various adult and youth recreational soccer leagues. Virtually every Chicagoan would like to shut winter out and now the PrivateBank Fire Pitch does exactly that.
A year in the making, this is the first dual facility of its type in Chicago. The Fire Pitch operates two outdoor soccer pitches from April through November. Once the temperature drops, an easily erected 100,000 square foot dome brings everyone indoors. The dome layout offers multiple field configurations, allowing for many participants to use it at any given time. In fact, more than 150 teams took to the field each week at the Fire Pitch dome during its first season of operation.
Featuring excellent illumination, the climate controlled sports bubble allows athletes the chance to practice their moving and dribbling any month of the year. It is now entirely possible that stellar soccer careers could result from the Chicago-area talent that can now be honed and nurtured for twice as long each year. Whether the players are young children eager to learn about the game or older players looking for a way to stay in shape, everyone needs a place to play.
In addition to soccer, the indoor facility has also expanded to host other endeavours, including individual and group fitness programming, private group rentals, and even birthday parties. When springtime comes, the dome deflates in very little time and the two fields take over for the warmer months.
You’ll see that it combines the professionally maintained fields that soccer requires with the cleanliness and comfort that players and coaches deserve. Hosting more than 250,000 visitors expected annually, this is the first combination facility of its type in the Chicago area. Based on the reception it has received, more will undoubtedly follow.