Founded in 1850, this small, well-regarded liberal arts college made a major investment in their facilities with the renovation of Tucci Stadium, home to their football, lacrosse and track teams. Among the larger aspects of the renovation project was the installation of new field turf as well as a new barrier netting system that would provide protection to the area around the field.Their primary goal was to contain stray lacrosse balls from every shot angle, so a 15-foot high inline lift & tension barrier system with 1-3/16″ square lacrosse mesh netting would give them the protection they needed, but also afford them the flexibility to easily take down and remove. The ability to easily adjust tension from the ground would also ensure very little sag between poles, while maintaining clean lines and the professional aesthetic they valued.
Working with Beacon was so easy. We opted for onsite assistance from a Beacon rep during installation and he was incredibly hardworking. He took the time to make sure we understood all the ins and outs of our new system. From beginning to end, Beacon was great partner.
Maintaining Player Safety
University officials knew they needed an easy-up, easy-down system so the lift & tension method of raising and lowering would give them a trouble-free process for taking the nets down to enable off-season storage. However, another request involving take down needed to be addressed. They not only needed to be able to easily remove the netting panels, for player safety they also needed to have the option to completely remove the poles as well. The space is fairly tight between the corners and sides of the end zone and the surrounding track, so university officials wanted to be sure football players would not have any accidental collisions with the poles.
At Beacon, we routinely stress player safety as well, so we agreed this was an area that absolutely needed to be addressed. A customized solution included a hardware package that allowed the sides of the U-shaped design to raise and lower independently from areas behind the end zone. Employing aluminum poles set in ground sleeves would mean only two people would be needed to lift and remove the lightweight poles entirely, ensuring players would not be at risk when running through the end zone.
Seeing It Through
Helping and guiding our customers throughout the entire process is something we take great pride in. An investment like this is something we do not take lightly, and the size of the project alone can cause a lot of anxiety for our customers. From the designing phase to coordinating installation, we make sure the customer is empowered with everything they need to know throughout every step, including the option for onsite assistance.
Our focus on client education and making sure they understand every aspect of their netting system and best practices for using and maintaining it left a very positive impression on the athletic department at Illinois Wesleyan. Associate Athletic Director Tony Bankston explains:“Beacon walked us through every important detail that we needed consider and was very responsive whenever we had any questions. Our facility managers, coaches and student-athletes are all very excited about the results from the Beacon netting system.”
Lilly Broadcasting’s owner and three other partners acquired the Erie Bank Sports Park properties in Summit Township, PA. Thursday afternoon.
The group is buying the building, which houses the two ice rinks, four basketball/volleyball courts and a fitness center. It is located at 8159 Oliver Rd.
The goal of the new owners is to increase the number of kids playing hockey and basketball in the area.
“What’s exciting is that now our youth don’t have to leave the community to perform or compete in their sports,” said Tyler Travis, one of the four partners and director of ESN Fitness and Performance Center. “They can train here. They can compete here. We host all the big events that can be right here in Erie. It’s right off I-90; it’s very convenient. We’re going to bring more people into our community also that will also invest in what we have to offer.”
“We’re super excited,” said Tim Pagano, one of the four partners. “We saw this place as a great opportunity to give back to the community and bring people in from out-of-town, as well to have large tournaments here and stuff like that. Going back to the Junior Tournament we had here a couple of months ago, it’s just a great opportunity to to bring people to the area.”
The name – Erie Bank Sports Park – is staying the same. The existing facilities inside the building will also remain.
Two other partners purchased the sports dome, fun park and outdoor fields. They also completed their acquisition Thursday afternoon.
Work is now underway to remove the driving range in the dome and install a synthetic turf, which will be used for two baseball/softball fields or three indoor soccer fields.
The new, indoor fields are expected to be ready in about three weeks.
They also plan to start work on bringing the fun park, which includes go-carts, batting cages and mini-golf, back to life. It is expected to be ready in spring 2022.
The mini-bumper boats are being removed. Instead, a beach area will be installed for beach sports like volleyball.
Erie Bank Sports Park and its properties were bought from Greater Regional Erie Athletic Team Training (GREATT). It purchased the former Family First Sports Park in December 2017.
Budget limitations are commonplace for many small communities. This was the case for the township of West Bloomfield, Michigan, as they began planning for improved dugouts for players and coaches.
Initial quotes for block and metal dugouts were proving to be too expensive, so they turned to Beacon Athletics to see if there were other options. What West Bloomfield was looking for were dugouts that would be strong, provide shade for teams, and be easy for park staff to add and remove shade coverings — all while still remaining low in cost. They needed a fresh look at things, an innovative solution.
Beacon’s dugout shade screens look great. And they are holding up great, as well.
Working closely with the West Bloomfield Parks team, we designed a solution for both the top and sides of their existing chain-link dugouts. To do so, we needed to utilize customized windscreen materials to provide a highly-effective shade result but at a fraction of the cost of the block and metal dugouts. The Beacon team of engineers and designers provided a plan that added custom lines sewn to the screen for added strength, along with extra hemmed and grommeted lines sewn to the bottom of the structure. This corresponded with the support structure for the screen.
Innovative smaller cutouts in the corners of the shade screens made them very easy to install. To attach the windscreen shade coverings, cable ties were used so that the parks staff could easily remove them at the end of the season for safe, indoor storage. During the final steps of installation, Beacon reps arrived on site to assist and verify the custom windscreen shade structures were installed correctly and fit accurately to the design.
Weeks after the screens were in place, Chris Frey, the parks supervisor for West Bloomfield, reported back, “The shade screens look great and are holding up great as well.” The customized Beacon solution was a confirmed success for West Bloomfield — the perfect fit at the right price.
Player safety begins in the dugout.A poorly conceived dugout can leave players at risk from overthrows and lined fouls. Consider these recommendations when planning or improving your facility’s dugouts.
Determine their location.
Using the 3rd base dugout as an example,the area where your dugout should be located can be represented by two string lines, from 2nd to 3rd and beyond, and from 1st to home. Placing dugouts in this range will help prevent injuries from overthrows should the dugout drift too far “up the line.”
The corner of the dugout closest to home plate should have a minimum distance of 35′ for softball and 45′ minimum for baseball. This will provide ondeck hitters and players in open dugouts with adequate protection from foul balls. The angle can deviate from parallel to the baseline to accommodate site constraints and placement of amenities. Always make your dugouts symmetrical.
Choose at-grade or below grade.
Big league dugouts typically are sunken and they are designed that way to maximize seating and visibility for fans. Most other facilities find at-grade dugout elevation to be the way to go. If you do install sunken dugouts, include large drains with catch basins to filter the garbage and seeds ahead of the drain line to prevent clogging and flooding.
Determine dugout length.
Dugout length is determined by the oldest age groupof players using the field, and the size of team rosters. For various ages, we recommend these lengths:
6-12 yrs: minimum 20‘ long
13-21 yrs: minimum 30‘ long
Over 21 yrs: 30′ – 40‘ long
Determine dugout depth.
Your options for depth are 8′ to 12′. If the front face of the dugout is fully fenced or netted, then 8′-10′ is deep enough, as players will typically hang on the fence. Dugouts with half walls and room to lean or sit in front, and a second bench along the back of the dugout, will require more depth (10′-12′).
Determine dugout height.
Your options for height are 8′ to 12′. Our recommendation: go taller. Even youth leagues will have adults in the dugouts. Anyone standing on the lower step of the bench should have clearance without hitting their head on the roof.
Select back side closure.
Choose from chain link fencing (with or without windscreen and roof system), poured concrete, concrete block, brick or decorative stone. Chain link with roof kit and windscreen is the most economical option to allow player privacy. Poured concrete can be a quick solution, but requires crane rental. Stylish, branded dugouts use a hybrid of materials and texture, but also have the highest cost.
Select front face closure.
Check the league governing body rules for any safety requirements with the front of your dugouts. While baseball has many options (full-height fencing; half-fencing / half-netting; bottom half padded rail and netting combo), softball fields should always have full protection due to the close proximity of home plate. Also consider extending backstop netting over the top of the dugout to protect fans, as well as extending the netting in front of the dugout. At least two, but not more than three, points of entry to the playing field should be designed into your dugouts.
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has released its 2021 State of the Industry Report, an in-depth analysis of the trends and issues affecting the sports and fitness industry, including participation, economy and industry environment for 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unique challenges to the sports and fitness world. Even in the worst of recessions, the industry has never experienced anything like the unprecedented, immediate global shutdown of retail, operations, workplaces, travel, and sports and fitness facilities. Following the initial shock, the industry pivoted, and in turn, persevered, adapting to focus on ecommerce and responding to the demand for new products, such as home fitness and cycling products.
Despite the challenges COVID-19 presented, the overall number of sports and fitness participants in the United States still saw an increase, with a participation rate of 75.6%–the highest seen over the past six years, with inactivity dropping by 2.4%, with the trend leaning toward activities that were more favorable to participate in during the pandemic.
“The pandemic changed the way of life for so many Americans, and especially the way that we stay mentally and physically healthy—leading a lot of Americans to take up being physically active as a way to cope, adapting to the pandemic by participating in ‘COVID-acceptable’ activities,” said Tom Cove, president and CEO, SFIA.
Since the start of the pandemic, the sports and fitness industry outperformed other sectors of the U.S. economy. Despite COVID restrictions, sporting goods sales overall were able to recover to a small, but positive, growth rate of 0.6%. While the sporting goods industry and GDP almost always trend in the same direction, in 2020, the industry grew while the overall economy saw a 3.5% hit. This hit to the GDP was greater than the impact of the stock market crash in 2009, when the sporting goods industry contracted by more than 4%. 2018 was the only year in the past decade besides 2020 where GDP grew faster than sporting goods.
Additionally, almost two-thirds of businesses expect sales to recover to at least pre-COVID predictions by the end of 2021, and 73% of businesses predict a strong future for the sports industry, substantially higher than in 2018 and 2019. While the top industry concerns are product sourcing and material cost/availability, businesses will continue to rely heavily on online sales in 2021.
‘Even during such a unique time, the sports and fitness industry was able to adapt and persevere, with more capabilities to be physically active from our own homes and the use of digital tools to connect, partnered with the ability to participate in socially distanced outdoor activities,” Cove said. “The increase we saw in participation has led to more industry optimism for the rest of 2021 and 2022—and the industry is primed to respond.”
SALINA, N.Y. — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon on Tuesday announced plans for the $25 million Hopkins Sports Complex, a multi-sports athletic venue focused on soccer and lacrosse at 4821 Hopkins Road in the town of Salina.
The location is the current site of the Hopkins Road Softball Park.
Onondaga County had commissioned a market study to prove that it would be a feasible project “that would drive great outcomes for our community,” McMahon said in announcing the project at the Hopkins Road Softball Park on Tuesday morning.
The Onondaga County Legislature must still sign off on the project, and if it does, the county will begin design work this year and construction work in 2022.
“We’ll pay for this project in cash, essentially using American Rescue Plan funds that replaced our lost revenue, so there will be no debt service on this,” McMahon said.
He noted that the expected economic impact would be the creation of 31,000 new room nights at area hotels by year four.
McMahon cited the “tough,” fiscal decisions that his administration and the county legislature made in 2020 and 2021 for enabling the county to pay for the project using cash.
County officials studied “various” locations throughout the county determined that “for many reasons” the Hopkins Road location was the best spot.
“We can fit all 10 fields here. And out of the 10 fields, we would essentially have all of them being turf with one bubble and then one championship field,” McMahon said. “And that’s important. The market study said for you to have your best success, you need all the fields to be here.”
As for any concerns about the existing softball fields at the Hopkins Road complex, McMahon said he plans to include $2 million in his next county budget proposal in October to replace the softball fields at another venue in Onondaga County.
“We are very much committed to sports tourism, not just with soccer and lacrosse … but with baseball and softball looking to collaborate potentially with another venue moving forward,” McMahon said.
In his remarks, McMahon noted that county officials were talking about sports tourism in 2019. He said he had mentioned the possibility in a previous State of the County address about creating a venue that would help the county take advantage of sports tourism in a centrally located region of New York. However, the pandemic arrived in March 2020 and shifted the focus elsewhere.
“But now, as we continue to manage this pandemic and we continue to now look to recover, part of our strategy has been very intentional. We have looked at where businesses have been impacted in targeted industries and what can we do to make investments that will provide long-term revenue opportunities. And that’s what this project is,” McMahon said.
Only one game was played at the MLB at Field of Dreams park in Dyersville, Iowa, but that was enough to do the following:
Be the first big-league game ever played in Iowa;
Generate the highest TV ratings for any regular-season baseball game on any network since 2005;
Prompt Des Moines Register writer Randy Peterson to declare that the game “was a big-league event, historic for Iowa. It all seemed unbelievable. But it was more than that. It was perfect;”
Bring Kevin Costner back to the site where he filmed the Field of Dreams movie;
Cause the 32-year-old movie to become the most-ordered DVD on Amazon;
Convince MLB to play another game there on August 11, 2022, when the Cubs will tangle with the Reds;
Win the 21st annual BaseballParks.com Ballpark of the Year Award
That’s right. Even though there were nine new parks in the running, the one with the smallest construction budget of them all won the coveted award. The one that drew the fewest fans this year (8,000) won. The one that only hosted a single game won.
Paducha, KY – The McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission is searching for a manager for the outdoor sports complex. The commission will hold two meetings next week to hear presentations from management companies.
The meetings will both be at 9 a.m., one on Sept. 7 and the other on Sept. 8, in the Kennedy Room of the Julian M. Carroll Convention Center.
The Sept. 7 meeting’s agenda includes a presentation from Pinnacle/Eastern Sports Management. Then, at the Sept. 8 meeting, the commission will hear presentations from Vieste and Sports Facility Management.
The commission says it has four qualities it’s looking for in a manager for the sports complex, including tournament development, sponsorship sales and daily operations. The goal is to have the outdoor sports complex open and able to host tournaments by 2024.
The Sept. 7 agenda also includes items regarding the Department for Local Government — Special Purpose Governmental Entities annual payment and audit requirement. The Sept. 8 meeting will include a financial report on the complex.
Dry line products used for marking lines on ballfields usually come from one of two types of stone, limestone or marble. Limestone is a sedimentary rock while marble is a metamorphic rock that is formed when heat and pressure are exerted on a limestone deposit, such as during the formation of mountains, and the limestone transforms into marble.
Both of these stone products are high in calcium carbonate, which helps to give these materials a white or off-white color. Dry line marking material that is produced from sedimentary limestone is generally a softer material and flows more slowly through a dry line chalker. Limestone-based chalk is produced in many areas all across the United States which tends to make it more widely available. Conversely, marble is a harder, purer marking material that tends to flow faster in a chalker. Marble chalk is produced in more mountainous areas of the US, primarily in northern Georgia and western Colorado.
► How to Prevent Line Chalk from ‘Bridging’
Since both chalking materials are stone products, their particles will be fairly angular when crushed down to fine powder. This angularity usually is not visible to the naked eye, yet has a significant effect on flowability of the fine powder through a dry line marker. Frequently, groundskeepers will blame moisture as the culprit for their chalking material bridging in the hopper of their chalker. However, the main reason chalk bridges is because the angular particles will slowly interlock with each other as the chalk slowly settles out in the hopper.
When you first pour a bag of marking chalkinto the hopper, air is infused into the chalk powder, which makes it flow more easily as the air takes up space between the particles. As the chalking unit is pushed along the ground, the vibration shakes the hopper and slowly the air is removed from the chalk. This allows the material to settle and interlock, thereby impeding the flow of the chalk through the hopper. It is always Beacon’s recommendation to fill your chalker’s hopper at the home plate circle and only place the amount of chalk needed to line that particular field. Usually 25 to 35 lbs. of marking chalk is sufficient enough to properly line a ball field.
As mentioned earlier, the different marking chalks move at different speeds through a chalker. Marble flows faster than limestone chalk. To correct for this, it is critical to have a chalker that has an adjustable flow control to enable the operator to meter out the desired thickness of chalk. Many dry line markers only have an on-off lever to control the chalk. These are either open or closed with no additional adjustment for chalk flow control.
The Streamliner Dry Line Marker is one of the very few that allows a range of openings in the drop slot to allow the operator full control of the chalk flow (no matter which type is used) and the quality of the line produced. A chalker like the Streamliner with the variable flow control will likely end up helping an organization cut their marking chalk needs by as much as 1/3 while improving the quality of the chalk lines they apply.
Bryan Multi-Sports Complex Generates $1.5M In Visitor Spending In 2020
Visit Goldsboro, the travel and tourism department for the City of Goldsboro and Wayne County, has published an economic impact report on the 2020 calendar year of Bryan Multi-Sports Complex in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Normally, the purpose of this annual report is to determine and track how the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex impacts the Wayne County economy by generating new revenue from visitor expenditures related to an event at the sports venue. Due to the pandemic, 2020 was a devastating year for sports travel, as travel and tourism was one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy across the world. While this report documents the economic impact of the sports complex, the report will also show how the coronavirus significantly affected the complex’s performance in 2020 and will serve as a benchmark for Wayne County’s recovering visitor economy. Click here to read the full report.
Despite the drop in sporting events taking place last year, sports tourists still spent an estimated $1,534,509 in 2020 during their trips to Goldsboro-Wayne County for events at the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex. Visitors spent money on lodging, dining, entertainment, gas, and retail, which translated into $103,579 of estimated sales tax generation and $7,437 of hotel occupancy taxes. This is a 60% decrease in economic impact, when compared to 2019’s figures. The sports complex hosted 145 event days, which is 50% less than the 236 event days held in 2019.
“Our numbers are down for 2020, and that was to be expected with COVID-19,” said Felicia Brown, parks & recreation director for the City of Goldsboro. “Our ability to successfully host events during this time speaks to the professionalism and dedication of our staff and their focus to provide a safe playing environment. We are looking forward to increasing our events in 2021 at our Bryan Multi-Sports Complex.”
The report is based on data collected from multiple sources, including the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex’s internal reports for events in 2020, Goldsboro-Wayne County Travel and Tourism market research, Visit NC’s Visitor Profile Study, and Sports ETA’s Sports Tourism Industry Report. Additionally, the Travel and Tourism Department collaborated with local hotels to document actualized room nights based on events held at the venue to ensure the data was as robust as possible.
The Bryan Multi Sports complex opened April 23, 2018. Dubbed one of the most unique sports complexes in the country, Connect Sports ranked the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex as one of the top soccer facilities in the U.S. in its September 2018 magazine article. Read the full article here. Five days after the grand opening, the City of Goldsboro and Wayne County United Soccer Club co-hosted the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association (NCYSA) Kepner President’s State Cup, which brought in thousands of visitors from across the state. The success of this tournament led to a continued partnership between the City, Wayne County United Soccer, and NC Youth Soccer that has brought countless state and national soccer tournaments to the complex, as well as the attention of other national sports organizations, like U.S. Quidditch, to bring their tournaments to the Goldsboro venue.
While the complex experienced a decrease in tournaments last year, a silver lining was the decision of Raleigh LaxFest, formerly branded as NC LaxFest, to relocate their boys youth lacrosse tournament to Goldsboro. Raleigh LaxFest has been recognized as the second largest youth lacrosse event in the state. With only three weeks to plan, Goldsboro Parks & Rec and Visit Goldsboro worked around the clock with the LaxFest directors to ensure a safe and successful tournament for the nearly 6,000 visitors. The lacrosse event brought 108 teams from as far away as Colorado into Wayne County for the three-day tournament weekend in November 2020 causing over $900,000 worth of visitor expenditures at area businesses. The success of the event has led to Goldsboro being the new home for the NC LaxFest. The girls LaxFest tournament is scheduled for the weekend of October 23, and the boys tournament is scheduled for the November 13 weekend.
“Despite numerous shutdowns and mandates, the 2021 outlook looks strong having already hosted one multi-day tournament and three more scheduled for the fall,” said Trey Meek, manager of the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex. “As a staff, we will continue to chase every lead and interest in hosting an event here and continue to place the complex in a position to host highly regarded tournaments that meet the city and county’s vision.”
The report released by Visit Goldsboro also gives some deeper insight as to how the complex benefits Wayne County tourism. It reveals that out of the 145 event days, approximately 13 events held at the sports venue generated overnight stays in Wayne County. Of the 55,000 patrons that visited the venue, roughly 13,016 of those patrons traveled from outside Wayne County and 3,432 visitors spent the night. The study estimates that just over 1,100 hotel room nights stemmed from activity at the sports complex in 2020. The average cost for a hotel stay in Wayne County’s top rated hotels was $97.50 in 2020, and travel parties spent an average of $781 per overnight trip and $217 for a day trip.
“The report proves that sports tourism has become a critical piece of our economy. While many sports venues remained closed last year due to the pandemic, the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex was able to safely reopen by the summer using guidance outlined by NCDHHS and NCHSAA for youth sports,” said Ashlin Glatthar, director of travel & tourism for Goldsboro-Wayne County. “Having proved to successfully host large sporting events during these times, the sports complex will be an important tool on our road to recovery, as we continue recruiting new events to our market.”
Commenting on the success of the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex, Randy Guthrie, Goldsboro assistant city manager, said “it’s all thanks to the persistent efforts of Seymour Johnson AFB, the U.S. Air Force, and the generous sponsors, such as the Bryan Foundation and Southern Bank. With their help, Goldsboro continues on its course towards economic growth and improved quality of life.”
Located on 63 acres of Seymour Johnson AFB at 501 South Oak Forest Road, the complex was built with the intent of growing the local tourism economy and enhancing the quality of life throughout the region. A product of the first joint P4 partnerships between a military base and its home community, the City of Goldsboro and Seymour Johnson AFB began this pilot project to share resources and reach common goals. The project set new precedence for how military installations can work with their host community, and furthermore, the successful performance of the complex outlined in the economic impact report proves that this collaborative model strengthens a community.
Current amenities of the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex include eight all-weather playing fields—six irrigated natural Bermuda hybrid and two artificial turf fields all installed on engineered soils. Additional amenities include a cutting edge fieldhouse with meeting space and concessions, premium restroom facilities, walking trails, over 700 parking spots, and a retired F-4E Phantom on static display welcoming visitors to the site. Currently, a custom splash pad and sheltered picnic areas are under construction and expected to be complete by the end of September 2021.