Demand For Indoor Sports Facilities On The Rise

March 15, 2013 / Lacrosse
Democrat And Chronicle

After school in the late afternoon, teenage lacrosse players begin marching through the doors of Total Sports Experience in Gates carrying equipments bags on their shoulders and heading for a massive indoor playing field.

Outside the sky is gray and the temperature is in the 30s. But inside the complex, the lights are bright and the temperature is a comfortable 30 degrees warmer.

“Places like this are good especially when the weather is not cooperating,” said Jake Johnson, a lacrosse coach at Gates Chili High School. “Our kids get more work year-round and it’s better than being in the gym.”

Twenty years ago, kids would play and practice their favorite outdoor sports in season. Baseball was played in the summer, football and soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring. But like grocery shoppers expecting fresh watermelon in the case all winter, athletes, coaches and parents are creating more demand for indoor sports fields to accommodate outdoor sports even when fields outside are covered with snow.

Total Sports Experience is a 115,000-square-foot facility with three indoor fields, basketball court, fitness center, locker rooms and food court. Across town, in Webster, is Premier Sports with a large artificial turf field inside and outside batting cages and beach volleyball courts. There are also smaller indoor facilities in Irondequoit, Pittsford, Spencerport, East Rochester and Brighton.

But even with a number of sports facilities already in operation, several local developers are proposing new complexes in Victor and Walworth to meet a demand for indoor fields. The question is, is the demand in the Rochester area enough to support all the indoor complexes?

“I think there is some interest from parents and coaches,” said Andy Gallina, owner of Total Sports Experience. “But it will be the design, the financing and the sustainability that will carry the day. You can’t simply go on the basis that if you build it, they will come.”

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