A sense of community should be a constant goal everyone is striving to achieve at all times, not only during crises and unfortunate events but in times of peace as well. Improving a local community in every possible way needs to be understood as an investment for future generations. Having a sports complex increases activities and socialization in a neighborhood, therefore making a community healthier and benefiting everyone. But where to begin? Will the local government support and finance it, what are the other options if it won’t? Is it better to renovate an existing space or make a new one, what are the most important safety measures to implement…. these are just some of the questions this article will answer.
Gathering people and information
The first step of being up to any task is being well informed. The obvious and ideal case for funding is local government, but the truth is they will not even consider your idea if it’s not presented properly. Make a detailed business plan with estimated costs and time frame of works that will include justification and emphasize benefits for the community.
You need to gather people who would support the idea, ask around if they would be willing to sign a supporting petition. Start looking for adequate spaces and find several potential locations. Check if someone had previous experience with such projects and collect valuable information, ask about the details what they did correctly and in which aspects they failed, so you can learn from other people’s mistakes.
What follows is meticulously going over relevant laws and regulations of both your country and municipality. Be aware that even in the case of government realizing all the benefits of a multi-sports complex, it is unlikely they will have enough money in the budget for sole financing. Gather a group of people who will be looking for investors, from both the public and private sectors. Make the idea appealing to each individual arrangement, focus on the promotion of a certain institution or a company. Furthermore, talk about numerous possibilities of them using the complex for team building activities and similar.
Consider a partnership with other people and a bank loan if every other option fails. Consultations with a lawyer and an accountant are highly recommended. They will introduce you to some aspects and potential threats you just aren’t aware of.
When deciding about a contractor, you shouldn’t even consider a firm without previous experience in building sports complexes. Ask them for useful tips and advice for cost reduction. Think about all the questions you have about draining, irrigation and alarm systems before meeting with the contractor. Depending on the location, you might want to ensure enough parking space near the facility. Make sure there will be enough storage space for all your equipment. Have an evacuation plan prepared in case of an emergency.
If possible, have security cameras installed. Large events, especially when they involve sports and team rivalry, can attract a lot of commotion and even fights. You want to make sure everyone’s safety is a priority at all times. In the same vein, consider hiring safety personnel, if not on a regular basis, at least for larger events.
Facilities of such a nature will require adequate lightning, also for safety reasons. Especially if evening activities and tournaments were part of the original plan. Having quality sports field lighting will not only lower your utility bill but also increase safety levels. This applies particularly to outdoor spaces, Low-quality lighting and electrical systems can be a serious safety risk.
The perfect combination
Think about what kind of activities would you like to equip this complex for. Will it be all open space or just one open section? What combination of sports would be ideal to provide the most options and attract the most people? Know that everything else regarding construction work and necessary equipment will depend on this exact decision.
Think about the things that are common for baseball, soccer, rugby football, volleyball, and many other sports, so you cover the most important equipment including nets, goals, fences etc. first. Consider what kind of flooring is the best option for your combination of sports. For example, learn about the differences between real and artificial grass, and make a decision based on benefits and maintenance needs.
Understanding of the complexity of such a project is crucial because many aspects will not be in your area of expertise. Consult with people who are experts, trust their opinions, accept their suggestions and act accordingly. The end result might not be exactly what you had in mind in every minor detail, but remember it is not about your vision of the place and every aspect changed is an improvement. You shouldn’t complain about the project being better or safer than you originally had in mind.