The words “indoor” and “football” aren’t seen together very often. Why is that? Is it because football just isn’t football unless it’s played outdoors? Do indoor venues simply not work for football?
First thing’s first, let’s be clear which football we’re talking about. Most of the world knows football as the game where you try to score goals in the opponent’s net using only your feet. In North America, we call that game soccer. And based on the amount of soccer domes The Farley Group manufactures each year, soccer is exploding in popularity, especially with the newest generation.
No, we aren’t talking soccer, we’re talking football. Sunday afternoon, invite your buddies, paint-your-face, good ‘ole American football.
Football is the largest sport in the United States. Impressively, the most watched television event in the United States is the Super Bowl. The big game usually falls at the end of January/beginning of February—smack dab in the middle of winter. As any football fan has experience, it’s not uncommon to watch late season games with snow peppering the field.
Seems crazy, right?
Well football players are die-hard and sometimes play in brutal winter conditions because, for some reason, indoor football doesn’t seem to be something the NFL is too interested in. That doesn’t mean that indoor football can’t exist, or that it can’t be great.
Most don’t realize that indoor football can, and does, exist. After all, a football field is as big as a… well as big as a football field. It’s no wonder that a playing field of 360 feet long and 160 feet wide is synonymous with a huge space. An indoor venue for football would need to be large enough to house an open field as large as this, as well as be tall enough to provide room to lob or kick a football the entire length.
Indoor football is actually a lot more viable than you might imagine when you consider that an air dome could easily fit everything you need for a full size football field. Air supported structures, or bubbles, with the space to fit a full size football field are not unheard of and huge domes like this are actually quite common.
In fact, the enormous amounts of open indoor space provided by air domes create more uses everyday including golf, swimming pools, velodromes, and anything else that can be imagined.
All at a fraction of the investment of building a brick and mortar venue with the same dimensions. It will likely go up quicker, too.
So the next time you’re watching an NFL game in the winter and see the players huddling together for warmth—pretending that they are strategizing—know that they could instead be warm and toasty if they had chosen to host that game in a dome. It might not make sense to NFL players that make millions, but it makes complete sense for younger and lower level athletes to focus on the sport and not have to worry about snow or rain. Indoor football is a no-brainer.