Sports Facilities and Buildings Soccer Dome

Overview of Sports Buildings

Sports buildings are structures specifically designed and constructed to accommodate various sports activities, offering athletes, coaches, and spectators an enhanced experience. These buildings are not only used for sports events, but also function as recreational facilities where people can gather, socialize, and exercise.

Types of sports buildings:

  • Stadiums: Often the largest sports facilities, stadiums are built to host major events such as football, soccer, baseball, and track and field competitions. These buildings usually have a large field area, surrounded by tiered seating for spectators.
  • Arenas: These indoor facilities are designed for sports like basketball, ice hockey, and other competitive events. Arenas often have a central playing area, with seating for fans and additional space for amenities such as concession stands and locker rooms.
  • Gymnasiums: Usually smaller than stadiums and arenas, gymnasiums can host sports like basketball, volleyball, and indoor soccer. Gymnasiums often include various exercise equipment, changing rooms, and storage areas.
  • Aquatic centers: These facilities cater to water sports such as swimming, diving, and water polo. Aquatic centers usually house a large pool, as well as additional amenities like locker rooms and spectator seating.
  • Training centers: Designed to provide athletes and coaches with a dedicated space for practice and skill development, training centers can include facilities like weight rooms, turf fields, and running tracks.

Each type of sports building is tailored to meet the specific requirements of its users. For instance, the size of the playing surface, the seating capacity, and the types of amenities provided can greatly vary by the sport and the level of competition. The architecture and design of the sports buildings also aim to provide the best environment for athletes to perform and for spectators to enjoy the event.

When building a sports facility, architects consider various factors such as the desired usage, the intended audience, and the building’s potential impact on the surrounding community. These factors guide the design and construction process, as well as the selection of materials and technology solutions. Overall, sports buildings and recreational facilities contribute to the economic and social growth of the communities they serve.

Sports Architects and Their Influence

As an aspiring sports architect, it is essential to understand the role architects play in designing buildings for sports as well as the clearspan structures often seen in these facilities. Sports architecture combines function, aesthetics and sustainability, ensuring that buildings cater to the specific needs of athletes and spectators alike while promoting a sense of community and pride.

Sports architects focus their expertise on designing a variety of facilities for different sports. These can include stadiums, arenas, aquatic centers, gymnasiums, and even smaller-scale structures such as community courts and fields. In all of these projects, the main goal is to provide a space that promotes both the athletes’ performance and the spectators’ enjoyment.

One critical aspect of sports architecture is clearspan construction. Clearspan structures offer various benefits in the design of sports facilities, as they provide large, obstruction-free spaces that are essential for most sports. By using advanced materials, techniques and design features, architects can create open spaces that allow for unobstructed views and the flexibility to accommodate various sports and events.

Moreover, sports architects must focus on integrating facilities seamlessly with their surrounding environment. This can involve considering the impact on existing infrastructure, transportation systems, and the broader urban context to ensure that the facility is both accessible and contributes positively to the community.

Finally, sustainability in sports architecture has gained increasing importance in recent years. Architects have the responsibility to design environmentally responsible sports facilities by incorporating energy-efficient systems, selecting sustainable materials, and ensuring minimal impact on local ecosystems.

Remember, as a sports architect, your influence on how a sports facility functions, appears, and impacts the environment is immense. By focusing on the needs of athletes, spectators, and the broader community, you can create versatile and sustainable sports facilities that will stand the test of time.

Major Types of Sports Buildings


Stadiums are large outdoor venues designed to host sporting competitions and events. They typically consist of a field or stage surrounded by tiered seating structures that allow spectators to view the event comfortably. Stadiums are often used for sports like football, baseball, and soccer.


Arenas are similar to stadiums but are usually built indoors and can accommodate a wide range of sports, including basketball, ice hockey, and various other events. They feature a large, flat central area surrounded by tiered seating or standing spaces for spectators.

Hockey Buildings

Hockey buildings are specialized sports facilities specifically designed for ice hockey. They often include an indoor ice rink, bleacher or stadium-style seating, changing rooms, and other amenities required for the sport like skate sharpening stations and equipment storage.

Recreational Buildings

Recreational buildings are multipurpose facilities that accommodate a variety of sports and activities, such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, and more. These buildings may feature courts, fields, or other playing surfaces, as well as seating and other necessary amenities like locker rooms, offices, or concession areas.

Soccer Domes

Soccer domes are indoor sports facilities tailored for soccer events, providing a controlled environment that allows players to practice and compete year-round. They typically consist of a large playing field enclosed by a domed or tension fabric structure, ensuring protection from weather elements.

Indoor Curling Rinks

Indoor curling rinks are designed specifically for the sport of curling, featuring a smooth, flat ice surface with designated areas for playing and spectator seating. These facilities may also incorporate locker rooms, equipment storage, and lounge areas.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are aquatic sports facilities dedicated to swimming, diving, and other water-based activities. They can be found in a variety of types—indoor, outdoor, public, or private—and may include additional amenities like spectator seating, changing rooms, or concession stands.

Fitness Center Buildings

Fitness center buildings are specialized facilities aiming to provide a variety of fitness activities and equipment to users. These structures often house gyms, exercise studios, weight rooms, and other specialized spaces for different types of workouts and classes.

Temporary Sports Buildings

Temporary sports buildings are structures that can be quickly assembled and disassembled for use in short-term or seasonal sports events. These spaces might include tents, inflatable domes, or other portable structures that can support a wide range of sports and activities.

Materials Used in Sports Building Construction

When constructing sports buildings, choosing the right materials can heavily impact the functionality and aesthetics of the facility. Let’s explore a few key materials commonly used in sports building construction.

Fabric is often used for sports facilities with a need for open, flexible spaces and natural light, such as indoor tennis courts or swimming pools. Tensile fabric structures offer improved acoustics, as well as weather resistance and durability. They can also be designed to include customized graphics or branding for a unique look.

Glass is another popular material, particularly in modern sports building designs that emphasize transparency and natural light. Glass walls or windows can create a visually appealing aesthetic and connect indoor spaces with the outdoors, improving the overall ambiance. Depending on the purpose of the facility, different types of glass – such as tempered, laminated, or insulated – can be chosen for added safety and energy efficiency.

Metal components, like steel and aluminum, play an essential role in sports building construction. Steel framing provides strong support and is both lightweight and resistant to corrosion. Aluminum, on the other hand, can be used for roofing, cladding, or other decorative aspects, offering a combination of durability and cost-effectiveness.

Steel cables are a crucial element in sports structures like suspension bridges and cable-stayed roofs. They offer high tensile strength and flexibility, allowing for the creation of elegant and efficient long-span structures. Steel cables can be combined with other construction materials like glass or fabric to create visually stunning and innovative sports buildings.

When planning your sports building, consider the above materials and how each can contribute to a facility that is not only functional but also sustainable, eye-catching, and inspiring for athletes and spectators alike.

Key Elements of Sports Building Design

When designing a sports building, several factors contribute to creating an efficient and versatile facility. Here are the key elements you should consider:

Natural Light and Ventilation: Incorporating natural light and ventilation into your design helps reduce energy costs and creates a comfortable environment for athletes and spectators. Large windows and skylights allow natural light to enter, while vents and windows help circulate fresh air.

Size and Layout of Playing Field: The playing field’s size and layout should accommodate various sports activities and adhere to regulations and standards. Depending on the sports being played, there should be enough space for equipment, spectators, and players.

Seating: Providing comfortable seating for spectators is crucial for sports facilities. Ensure there are enough seats for the expected audience and that the seating areas provide clear views of the playing field. Adjustable or collapsible seating can offer flexibility for different event sizes.

Locker Rooms: Design locker rooms with enough space for athletes and teams, considering their storage needs and privacy requirements. Good circulation and separate areas for changing, showering, and restroom facilities are essential.

Roof and Structural Elements: Choose a roof design that complements the rest of the building, protects the interior from weather conditions, and supports any necessary equipment like lighting or scoreboards. Structural elements should be strong and durable to withstand constant use and movement.

Other Facilities: Including additional facilities like concession stands, administrative offices, storage rooms, and first-aid stations will enhance your sports facility’s usability and functionality. These areas should be easily accessible and appropriately sized to accommodate their specific needs.

Ground Level and Accessibility: Ensuring your sports facility is accessible to visitors and athletes with varying needs is crucial. Ground-level entrances, ramps, and elevators make the building more inclusive. Also, consider the accessibility of parking and transportation options for attendees.

Keep these elements in mind when designing your sports building, and you will create a functional, enjoyable space for athletes and spectators alike.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Sports Buildings

In recent years, energy efficiency and sustainability have become increasingly important in the design and construction of sports buildings. As a builder or planner of sports facilities, you should strive to incorporate these principles into your projects. By doing so, you can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your structures and make them more cost-effective.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is a leading example of a sustainable sports facility with energy-efficient features. This 2 million-square-foot project is LEED Platinum certified and boasts 4,000 solar panels, which help power its operations. This stadium demonstrates that incorporating renewable energy sources such as solar power is both feasible and efficient in sports buildings.

In addition to renewable energy, energy-efficient technologies can greatly enhance a building’s sustainability. For instance, many contemporary sports buildings have implemented LED lighting, energy-efficient air conditioning systems, and dehumidifiers. These technologies not only reduce the energy consumption of the facilities, but they also contribute to a better indoor environment for athletes and spectators.

Moreover, integrating features that have a low environmental impact is crucial for sustainable sports buildings. These may include rainwater harvesting systems, native landscaping, and the use of low-impact building materials. These elements help to not only minimize the environmental footprint of the construction and operation of your sports buildings but also showcase the importance of protecting nature.

Furthermore, partnerships with companies like Johnson Controls can provide turnkey access to successful net zero building roadmaps, OpenBlue sustainability innovations, and real-time performance dashboards. These resources allow you to track your building’s performance and analyze metrics such as energy and water consumption, materials usage, and greenhouse gas emissions.

In summary, to create energy-efficient and sustainable sports buildings, it is essential to integrate renewable energy sources, employ energy-efficient technologies, and incorporate low-impact environmental features. By doing so, you can enhance the performance and reputation of your facilities while making a positive impact on both the environment and the people who use them.

Investment and Value in Sports Buildings

Investing in sports buildings can greatly impact the value they bring to your community. Depending on the type of facility, costs can vary greatly, forcing you to consider your budget and the long-term goals for your sports building. By understanding the various aspects of sports building investments, you can make informed decisions regarding which projects are both affordable and valuable for your community.

When planning your sports building project, consider the initial construction costs. These expenses include materials, labor, and any other fees associated with building the facility. For example, the construction cost of an indoor sports facility can be quite high, with timelines extending up to two years before completion. On the other hand, outdoor tracks or playing fields may require less investment in comparison.

In addition to construction costs, make sure to account for ongoing expenses, such as maintenance, utility costs, and staffing. These factors contribute to the overall affordability of a sports facility, and must be balanced against the expected value from the project. For instance, a community with a strong focus on aquatic programs may invest more resources into maintaining an indoor pool, recognizing the importance of these facilities for the community’s needs.

The value of sports buildings is not just limited to their direct impact on users; they also benefit your community in several ways. Facilities that are carefully designed and maintained can boost local economies by attracting events, such as tournaments and community gatherings. Moreover, excellent sports facilities can foster a sense of pride among residents, creating a positive atmosphere and strong community bonds.

Another factor that affects the value of sports buildings is their accessibility and adaptability. Ensure that your facility is built in a location that is easily accessible to users, and consider incorporating features that allow it to serve multiple purposes.

To maximize the value of your sports building, consider pursuing funding from various sources, such as federal, regional, and local governments. Grants and subsidies can help offset the costs of construction and operation, making your project more affordable in the long term.

In conclusion, when planning your sports building project, consider the balance between investment, affordability, and value. By keeping these factors in mind, you can confidently create a facility that meets the needs of your community while maximizing the return on your investment.

The Role of Sports Buildings in Major Sporting Events and Concerts

Major Sporting Events

Sports buildings play a crucial role in hosting major sporting events like the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and others. These buildings, such as stadiums and arenas, are specifically designed to accommodate a large number of fans and provide them with a comfortable viewing experience. They are equipped with advanced technologies to support live broadcasting and enhance the overall spectator experience.

These venues often have additional facilities like lounges, restaurants, and shops to cater to the diverse needs of fans and visitors. Additionally, sports buildings contribute to the local economy by attracting tourism, creating jobs, and boosting infrastructure development.


Aside from major sporting events, sports buildings also serve as a venue for concerts and other entertainment events. Multi-purpose stadiums and arenas can easily be transformed into concert venues by setting up a stage and adjusting seating arrangements.

Concert-goers benefit from the amenities and facilities available in such sports buildings, including ample parking spaces, easy access to public transportation, and high-quality sound systems. In many cases, sports venues can offer a unique atmosphere and backdrop for concerts, creating a memorable experience for the attendees.

In conclusion, sports buildings play a vital role in hosting major sporting events and concerts, providing a comfortable and enjoyable experience for fans and attendees while contributing to the local economy and infrastructure development.

Case Study: Soccer Dome in Edmonton

Edmonton is home to a state-of-the-art soccer dome that provides an ideal environment for numerous sports and activities. The Edmonton Soccer Dome, located at 3105 – 101 Street SW, is an air-supported structure that provides a full-sized indoor soccer field for year-round use. The dome is also used for other sports such as softball, rugby, lacrosse, frisbee, and even drone racing.

The dome’s structure is made of an inflatable, tensile fabric skin, and it is fully air-climatized. This unique design ensures that players experience air dynamics better than the outdoors, providing them with a comfortable environment to play in. Furthermore, the indoor soccer facility enables athletes to enjoy their sport regardless of weather conditions.

Inside the Edmonton Soccer Dome, the playing surface can be configured to support various soccer game models. You can find markings for four 7v7 pitches, three 9v9 pitches, or a single 11v11 pitch. This versatility accommodates different practice and competitive needs for soccer enthusiasts in the region.

The soccer dome’s construction was completed in early 2018, making it the first full-sized indoor soccer field in the City of Edmonton. With dimensions of 152 meters long, 82 meters wide, and 25 meters tall, the Edmonton Soccer Dome stands as an outstanding example of a sports facility designed to meet the needs of local athletes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common types of indoor sports facilities?

The most common types of indoor sports facilities include gymnasiums, multi-purpose sport center, and indoor arenas. Gymnasiums often house basketball and volleyball courts, while multi-purpose sport centers offer spaces for various sports and activities such as badminton, wrestling, and martial arts. Indoor arenas cater to events like indoor soccer, ice hockey, and track and field activities.

How do outdoor sports facilities differ from indoor ones?

Outdoor sports facilities cater to sports and activities best suited for the open air. These facilities typically include fields for soccer, baseball, and football, as well as courts for tennis and outdoor basketball. Outdoor facilities might have running tracks, open swimming pools, and dedicated spaces for activities like skateboarding or BMX biking. The main differences from indoor facilities include exposure to weather elements, maintenance requirements, and the types of sports they accommodate.

What architectural considerations are essential for sports facilities?

Key architectural considerations for sports facilities include spatial planning, spectator seating, lighting, and accessibility. For optimal functionality, the facility must have proper dimensions and clearances for each sport. Spectator seating should be comfortable and provide good visibility. Adequate lighting, both natural and artificial, is crucial for safety and performance. Accessibility refers to ensuring the facility accommodates individuals with varied mobility levels, including ramps, elevators, and wheelchair-friendly seating.

What are some eco-friendly options for designing sports buildings?

Eco-friendly options for designing sports buildings include integrating renewable energy sources, like solar panels or wind turbines, using energy-efficient lighting systems, and incorporating sustainable materials in construction. Other options may involve water conservation through rainwater harvesting, green roofs to improve air quality and insulation, and using natural ventilation systems to reduce energy consumption. Implementing these green practices not only contributes to environmental conservation but also helps in reducing operational costs.