TagsEverything Tennis Soccer Components Multi-Sport Domes History Infomation Sports Domes Golf News Volleyball Basketball
TagsEverything Tennis Soccer Components Multi-Sport Domes History Infomation Sports Domes Golf News Volleyball Basketball
Even if it is a huge part of what they’ve done, the vision has always been a grander one for Noah Welch.
The President and GM of The Dome Red Deer is immensely proud of the facility his team brought to central Alberta, a one-of-a-kind in the province to be sure and a remarkable structure to draw in local athletes.
In the four months since it’s opened, while the dome has drawn in thousands of athletes from across the province, there is one area where Welch thought they’d be moving a bit faster.
His ultimate dream in this venture is to inspire athletes to reach for their goals, use the state-of-the-art facility in Gasoline Alley as the springboard for those dreams. Big dreams.
If you’ve recently visited or even walked near Drexel University’s Vidas Athletic Complex or Buckley Recreational Field, then you’ve probably seen the “bubbles.”
These massive, stark white dome structures are now inflated over the tennis courts at the Vidas Athletic Complex and the turf field at Buckley Field — and they are pretty hard to miss. But why, exactly, are they there?
It’s what the Harvard Crimson are doing.
You might not have noticed, but more and more of North America’s best and brightest young athletes are practicing ‒ and even competing ‒ under air-supported sports domes.
And it’s not only collegiate teams who are embracing a new way to train. They’re following in the footsteps of professional superstars like the Toronto FC, who’ve been training under their own 88,000-square foot dome since 2011.
Want to know why? Let’s take a closer look at this trend.
Sports and domes are pretty ubiquitous. You’ve got the record-breaking Louisiana Superdome; Syracuse University’s massive Carrier Dome; and, of course, the venue formerly known as the SkyDome.
But here, we’re focusing squarely on a specific category of sports dome: the humble structures known as air-supported domes. Depending on where you’re from, you might know them better as sports bubbles.
Air domes aren’t made out of steel or concrete. They consist of a heavy-duty fabric membrane propped up entirely by air ‒ no posts or cross beams required. A 24/7 fresh-air ventilation system and specialized airlocks take care of maintaining the right air pressure.
You might not have had a chance to step inside a dome yet (which is an “amazing” and “awesome” first-time experience), but you’ve probably seen them from the outside. They’re hard not to miss when drive past! You can find giant, white air domes emblazoned with a colourful logo in campuses all across North America.
Some of these domes are inflated and used year-round, with air conditioning in the summer and heating in winter. Others are installed on a seasonal basis to bring an outdoor sport indoors for the frigid, cold months.
Of course, there’s no reason why a dome can only be used for sports! Many post-secondary institutions rent out their domes for all sorts of functions, from conventions to concerts.
But there’s a very good reason for their popular with sports...and that’s clear-span space.
Since air domes don’t use beams or columns, they can cover huge amounts of completely open space. There are no beams or columns to get in the way of the ball (or the participants!) which is crucial for any field sports like soccer or football.
Historically, very few post-secondary institutions could offer their athletes a full-size, indoor sports field of this calibre. That’s because the price tag on this kind of facility ‒ one that offers clear-span space in the tens of thousands of square feet ‒ would have been astronomical.
This is where air domes have really changed the game.
Colleges and universities can easily install a full-size sports dome at a fraction of the cost of a brick-and-mortar athletics facility.
The cost of a dome is well within the reach of practically any post-secondary institution that wants to build one, from big public colleges like Seneca to small, private institutions like Thiel College.
And don’t go thinking that sports domes are just the ‘budget’ option. We’ve also had the pleasure of installing domes at prestigious schools like Princeton and Harvard University. Whether you’re a state college or the Ivy League, domes just make good sense!
Admittedly, playing and practicing under the dome isn’t exactly like being outdoors.
A dome can easily cover a full-size football or soccer field, but there’s obviously a bit less room on the sidelines. Playing in a space that’s heated or air conditioned might take some getting used to. And, of course, you’ll miss the breeze in your hair and the sounds of a bustling campus around you.
However, it doesn’t take long for coaches and collegiate athletes to embrace the benefits of playing and practicing in a dome ‒ especially when they live in a colder climate.
Winter is a polarizing season. But whether you love it or hate it, you can’t argue with the toll it can take on your athletes.
Put simply, cold weather puts field sport athletes at a big disadvantage. It limits their ability to make gains in their training and improve their skills.
Besides, who really enjoys doing drills in the freezing cold?
Having your teams to practice outside in the winter puts them at considerable risk of injury.
Studies have linked colder temperatures to higher rates of injury in athletes. This is because the body’s natural shiver responses, combined with reduced circulation, ramps up the risk of muscle tearing or straining.
Not only that, but the transition from fall to winter means your field will be covered in frost, then snow. You’ll have players slipping, sliding and taking a spill on the wet grass ‒ which is all fun and games until somebody breaks a wrist or an ankle.
It just isn’t worth the risk.
Rain or snow, there’s still one place your athletes can go to train: the gym. By now, even if your campus hasn’t got a rec center, there’s a good chance someone has built one nearby.
No argument here. All athletes, from quarterbacks to gymnasts, can and should supplement their field practice with good old-fashioned conditioning.
But you and I both know that it cannot replace field time.
Running on a treadmill isn’t the same as running as a team on the grass. Indoor soccer drills, while useful, aren’t the same as practicing with teammates.
Any team that can continue their field training throughout the winter will always have an advantage against those who cannot.
Here’s the thing: sports domes aren’t meant to replace field time, either. Rather, a dome can actually extend your field time from 5 or 6 months to a full year!
In fact, many post-secondary institutions (like Princeton University) put up a dome over their field as soon as the football season ends. The team doesn’t miss a beat.
It’s not only sports teams and fans who are cheering for domes.
College and university administrations have also recognized how installing a dome can powerfully benefit campus culture, bring in new revenue, and help recruit student athletes and non-athletes alike.
We’ve created a guide that shows you how 3 top colleges are realizing these benefits right now. Click to find out how to get your free copy today!
At 80 feet high, and 107,000 square feet, the new sports dome in Red Deer County is quite the sight to behold, both from the inside and outside.
Noah Welch, an American hockey Olympian turned Red Deer resident, is behind Dome Sports, which held an open house on Saturday at its 334 Energy Way location.
Central Okanagan residents will have a brand new indoor home to play outdoor sports year-round beginning next weekend.
A grand opening has been announced for the multi-sport dome on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 10 am.
Dozens of construction workers are hustling to install temporary basketball courts at Montana State University and get the main fitness center ready for students’ return in three weeks, all part of a major effort to replace two gyms lost last winter when the roofs collapsed in record snowfall.
MSU’s insurance companies have paid out about $2.5 million for the work so far and the final total is likely to be “considerably more,” Dan Stevenson, associate vice president for university services, said during a tour of the construction area Monday.
Workers have demolished the old gyms, reinforced exposed interior walls of the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center and laid foundations for two new “bubble” structures.
Glacier Ridge Sports Park, the home to many area golf events and youth soccer clubs, was officially reinflated last week after an eight-month hiatus.
Located at 4618 W. Ridge Road, Parma, and owned by former Rochester Rhinos forward and current Rochester Lancers head coach Doug Miller, the dome complex was destroyed during a windstorm on New Year’s Day.
We were recently featured in “World’s Greatest” Episode 266 - The Farley Group Air Supported Structures. With a focus on design, technology, and customer satisfaction, we’re committed to providing only the best air dome structures and ensuring that our customer experiences the best that The Farley Group has to offer. Production: How2Media.
High-school teams from across the region came to the Bradford Sports Dome to play in a one-day qualifier for bocce ball competition
Those are by-words of the Special Olympics, an organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, through sports. Special Olympics athletes discover new abilities, new skills, and new friendships through competition.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter sports like skiing and ice hockey are just as beloved as field sports. But not everyone is eager to switch out the cleats for snowshoes come fall. Good news: there are plenty of awesome summer sports you probably didn’t know you could play in the winter!
Who says you need a beach to play beach volleyball? Although the game may have originated as a summer pastime, it has evolved into a sanctioned Olympic sport practiced by serious athletes.
There are now indoor beach volleyball facilities (sand and all) built for year-round play. Sports domes like the Volleydome in Calgary boast courts for traditional indoor volleyball and the two-on-two beach game.
A little snow on the ground isn’t enough to stop the world’s game. With the right gear, it is possible to play soccer in the wintertime.
Of course, the game changes quite a bit when the green turns to white, and not necessarily for the better. The ball skips and glides across the snowy pitch with ease but is much harder to keep in control. The low-friction playing surface also puts players at risk of injury.
Playing soccer outdoors in the cold isn’t ideal unless the season runs long or winter comes early. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: the soccer dome.
Failing that, there are plenty of soccer drills you can practice almost anywhere, with or without a soccer dome.
Why play a sport associated with short shorts and miniskirts in the winter?
Because it’s surprisingly awesome.
Tennis becomes a whole different game when the temperature drops, demanding a new playstyle and tweaks to your equipment. It’s a great challenge for seasoned tennis players who want to try something new.
Just be sure to dress for the weather with a moisture-wicking base layer and lots of insulating layers on top.
Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to experience the joys of cycling in the winter.
If you’re brave enough to venture outdoors, it’s possible to outfit your regular commuter bicycle to tackle the slippery roads ahead. However, it does require some extra maintenance; MEC recommends that you wipe down the chain after every ride, apply lube to the chain at least three times a month, and spray aerosol lube on all the moving parts once another.
Winter mountain biking is another option. This heart-pounding winter sport is one of the best ways to soak in the breathtaking snow-covered wilderness.
For cyclists who prefer to stay warm, there’s track cycling, a lesser-known Olympic event that provides an incredible workout and a great show for spectators. Thanks to air-supported structures like the Team USA Velodrome, you can pick up this sport at any time of year.
It might not have made the Olympics yet, but Ultimate Frisbee has been soaring in popularity ever since its inception in the 1960s. It’s become a favourite of college students and rec leagues around North America.
Trouble is, it’s not easy to catch and throw a plastic disc with mittens on.
That’s why we’re excited to see more and more Ultimate Frisbee leagues making use of indoor facilities like sports domes. Hopefully, there will come a day when frisbee domes are as ubiquitous as soccer domes!