Have you noticed more and more white bubble sports domes popping up recently? It’s not just you. Communities are increasingly investing in building air supported structures for sports rather than the traditional brick-and-stone community center.
Some people have decried this trend, asking why local governments aren’t spending that money on permanent, multi-use structures instead. They also raise the point that domes lack the aesthetic appeal of a traditional community building.
This point is valid — a dome is a dome, and while it’s neat to watch one go up, they don’t have much in the way of architectural flair.
However, there are many points in favour of building air supported structures at the municipal level.
Community Benefits of Air Supported Structures for Sports
- Cost Savings
With local government facing increasing pressure to tighten their belts financially, the cost savings offered by a dome is a big part of its appeal. Air supported domes are far more affordable than stick-built community buildings. The ongoing maintenance is also less of an expense.
Air supported structures for sports can stay open year-round or be taken down in the summer to free up the space for other things. Obviously, this isn’t an option with permanent structures.
- Multi-Use Potential
When they aren’t being used to for local sports, the space inside a dome can easily be employed for other types of community gatherings. They’re air conditioned in the summer, heated in the winter, and offer ample space. Movie screenings, festivals, craft sales, yoga classes, flea markets, dances, music shows, and fundraisers are among the many potential uses of an air dome.
- Year-Round Sports
For isolated communities with few amenities, the ability to offer affordable sports like soccer, football, tennis, and rugby year-round is a boon to the young people who live there.
Uses for Air Supported Structures for Sports
The two most popular sports played under air-supported structures are tennis and soccer/football. However, it is possible to use air domes for all kinds of physical activities, including:
- American football
- Swimming (domes can be placed over a pools)
- Roller skating
- Track and field