The training ground needs to be secured at the perimeter, usually by high fences, and at the pitch, often with a spectator rail around the playing area to discourage spectators encroaching. Larger clubs employ barrier crowd control and provide spectator seating. This opens up the concept of allowing training session attendance to card-carrying fans as part of their membership fee, or separate ticketing to mobile phone or print at home ticket.
A big part of a training centre is the maintenance of the many pitches, usually a mix of natural and artificial. The main challenge for any groundsman is keeping up with re-instating the damage after each session or game. A good maintenance programme has some flexibility built in for weather or games required at short notice. Line marking is a regular activity and, different paints are needed for the main match lines in white and special exercise lines in other colours. The groundskeeping department therefore needs temperature-controlled storage to keep large quantities of line marking paint on standby.
All day and all night
Training facilities cater for all levels of player at a club, from juniors to reserves and first team. Employing floodlights allows use of pitches in the evenings, which is especially useful for juniors who are in school during the day. Floodlights also open up time slots for wider community use and potential revenue streams.
All foundations and cable trenching for lighting should be carried out by the pitch contractors. Floodlights should be fitted with reflector systems to ensure tight beam control, reducing overspill and directing light only onto the pitch. Be nice to the neighbours.
500 lux floodlighting is normal for the main practice pitch and 300 lux for other pitches. Don’t forget lighting for pathways and any goal keeping training area. Normally a club will enter into a maintenance contract for regular cleaning, floodlight alignment check and inspection of masts on a biannual basis.
Clubs can provide more hours of training for all levels of player by adding synthetic turf pitches to the mix of facilities. Groundsmen now train to maintain both natural and artificial side by side to prolong the lives of both. Around a sensible maintenance regime, synthetic pitches can provide the playing hours needed, even in bad weather. The club can also house the synthetic pitch indoors and many new stadiums now incorporate a training ‘barn’ next door.
An indoor pitch of 60 x 40 yards can obtain academy status and host first team training which has been curtailed by weather-affected outdoor pitches. You’ll require a building that meets with all local building codes and with weatherproof materials such as galvanised steel, aluminium or plastics, which can be in the club colours. A translucent roof provides a bright airy atmosphere within and a reduction of energy costs because artificial lighting is not required. Where there’s room, seating can be added to the edge of the playing area for coaching staff.
Arenas like to be busy and often host multiple tenant teams so team training facilities at separate sites are most practical, also offering the potential for larger and more spacious facilities. Reducing team facilities at the arena can benefit the project’s bottom line but the team has the cost to construct and operate a remote facility. If an arena can have some flexible space nearby then it can help its ability to host incoming events, adding to its value to the city.
PLANNING YOUR NEXT STADIUM – TRAINING FACILITIES PART ONE
A facility for basketball usually requires a full-size practice court, weight and cardio training, hydrotherapy, locker facilities, player’s lounges, and team staff offices.