Feature Article - June 2008
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A Look at What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

Less than 10 percent of respondents included amenities for winter recreation and skiing (4.5 percent), waterparks (5.4 percent), amusements such as rides and arcades (5.8 percent), synthetic turf sports fields (8.8 percent) and ice rinks (9.9 percent). (See Figure 16.)

The top 10 amenities respondents said they are planning to add to their facilities include:

  • Bleachers and seating
  • Climbing walls
  • Playgrounds
  • Park structures, such as shelters and restroom buildings
  • Dog parks
  • Fitness centers
  • Splash play areas
  • Trails and open spaces, such as gardens and natural areas
  • Concession areas
  • Classrooms and meeting rooms

Bleachers and seating were the most commonly planned addition at colleges and universities, as well as at schools and school districts. Among both of these groups, the second most common item planned for addition in the next three years was synthetic turf fields for sports like football, soccer and baseball. In fact, nearly 18 percent of schools and school district respondents said they planned to add synthetic turf fields in the next three years. Fitness centers and classrooms were also popular choices for this group.

Climbing walls were the top choice among YMCAs and health clubs. In fact, nearly 20 percent of YMCA respondents said they were planning to add a climbing wall to their facilities in the next three years. Exercise studio rooms were the second most commonly planned amenity for both of these groups, and challenge courses and classrooms and meeting rooms were also common choices.

Among parks and recreation respondents, more than a quarter (25.1 percent) said they were planning to add a dog park in the next three years, and more than 20 percent said they were planning to add playgrounds and park structures. Just under 20 percent were planning to add splash play areas and trails and open spaces.