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
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!
Tennis enthusiasts will now have a well-lit place to play and keep warm next winter.
With support from the Province of BC, the City of Richmond and its membership, the
Richmond Tennis Club will be replacing its 28-year-old bubble in the fall of 2020. It will provide access to indoor tennis during the winter months for members, the public at large, wheelchair athletes and youth in the community.
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.
Historically, Canada hasn’t exactly been known for its tennis cred. If you thought to name Canada’s Top Ten Sports, tennis probably wouldn’t have made the list - even after naming hockey, lacrosse, baseball, skiing and ice fishing.
But things are changing fast.
Tennis now ranks as the 8th most-played sport in the country, with 6.6 million Canadians hitting the courts last year. The number of frequent plays (meaning people playing four or more times over 12 months) has risen 36%. What’s more, the rise in tennis participation among young Canadians is even stronger, with over 510,000 kids between 6 and 11 taking up the racquet.
Not to mention the growing list of young Canadian tennis superstars like Dennis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassme and Bianca Andreescu. The future of tennis in this country - both professionally and recreationally - looks brighter than ever.
There’s just one little problem: winter. To be specific, it’s the bone-chilling, bus-cancelling, 30ᵒ-below-freezing-style winters we get here in Canada.
Despite popular belief, it’s not impossible to play tennis outdoors in the winter. For tennis diehards, it could even present a bit of a fun challenge. However, most municipalities don’t maintain their outdoor courts in the winter, and the supply of indoor tennis courts is seriously lacking.
Of the 7,500 tennis courts open for use in the warmer months, only 10% get covered with an air dome during the winter. That’s only one covered tennis court for every 50,000 Canadians...and 85% of those courts are in either Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.
Why are there so few? The CEO of Tennis Canada, Michael Downey, put it best. “We’re fighting this perception that tennis is a summer sport,” he says in an interview with the Globe and Mail.
That perception might’ve been true once, but times have changed, and 51% of Canadians now say they would play more tennis if they had access to convenient and affordable covered courts nearby.
Michael continues, “Many municipalities aren’t thinking about tennis in the winters – they just think ‘yeah we’ve got some courts, people use them in the summers.’ So we have to change that mindset.”
Cost is another major factor, according to Michael and Tennis Canada. Brick and mortar tennis facilities cost millions of dollars to build, so they’re a tough sell to municipalities.
The good news is, there’s an easier and much more affordable option out there, and Tennis Canada has made it a mission to get municipalities on board. In fact, they’re planning to hit the road and visited 50 cities and towns (armed with a hundred pages of information) to spread the word about a cost-effective way to provide year-round tennis.
As you might have guessed, we’re talking about air-supported domes!
Inflatable domes (also known as ‘bubbles’, which is the term used by Tennis Canada) are incredibly versatile. They can be used to cover tennis courts, soccer fields, or any number of other field sports. We’ve also seen municipalities use them for other community spaces, like gyms, party venues and swimming pools. Just about anything you do outdoors can be done under a dome!
Domes can be permanent or temporary. You could have a year-round tennis bubble that offers air-conditioned play in the summer and warmth in the winter - or, a seasonal dome that covers the court only from fall to spring.
You might wonder what it’s like to play tennis in a bubble. It’s hardly any different from playing on a regular court - the only point of interest is that domes will offer a cooler playing temperature in the summer (since they’re climate-controlled), which can cause the ball to bounce a bit slower. Fortunately, this isn’t a major adjustment and most players can adapt their game quickly!
As for the height of the bubble? Not a problem, unless your game involves hitting the ball dozens of feet in the air and having it rain down on your opponents! You won’t ever have to worry about scraping the ceiling.
Once people see what’s possible with a dome - along with the skyrocketing interest in tennis - we’re confident that more and more municipalities will get on board with building a tennis bubble of their own.
It’s exciting to see Tennis Canada take an active role in promoting the cause across the country. We wish them the very best of luck and our full support!
We’ll leave it at that for now, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to learn more about what air-supported structures can do!
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.
(Victoria, BC – October 27, 2018) The newest and best place to play tennis on Vancouver Island is opening its doors for the indoor season. The Bear Mountain Tennis Centre and Director of Tennis Russ Hartley welcomes members of the public and all tennis enthusiasts to be the guests and experience the Resort’s brand new four-court tennis bubble from 12 noon to 6 PM on Saturday, October 27th.
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.