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Feature Article - June 2010


What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

When it comes to the amenities included in their facilities, the top seven amenities included changed little this year. More than half of respondents include bleachers and seating (60.9 percent), classrooms and meeting rooms (59.5 percent), locker rooms (59 percent), outdoor sports courts (57.1 percent), concession areas (57 percent), playgrounds (56.6 percent) and natural turf sports fields (54.9 percent), all of which also appeared in the top seven amenities included among last year's survey respondents. More than half of this year's respondents also said their facilities feature indoor sports courts (52.8 percent), a fitness center (51.4 percent), open spaces like gardens and natural areas (51.3 percent) and park structures like shelters, gazebos and restroom buildings (50.5 percent). (See Figure 21.)

Last year's respondents were most likely to be planning to add splash play areas, park structures, playgrounds, bleachers and trails. And, in fact, most of these areas saw an increase in the number of participants who indicated they included those features, though it should be noted that many of those planning to add any features might also already have had them. Splash play areas, included by 14.6 percent of last year's respondents, were included in the facilities of 14.9 percent of this year's respondents. Playgrounds, bleachers and trails all also saw a jump, from 55.1 percent to 56.6 percent, 57 percent to 60.9 percent, and 45.7 percent to 46.6 percent, respectively. Park structures, on the other hand, while included by 51.7 percent of last year's respondents, were only included by 50.5 percent this year. This change could be explained by the higher percentage of respondents from non-park facilities this year, such as colleges and schools, which are less likely to include park shelters as part of their facilities.

Other areas also saw significant growth. Dog parks were included by 12.5 percent this year, compared with 10.6 percent last year. Synthetic turf sports fields were included by 14 percent this year, versus 11.3 percent last year. Disc golf courses were included by 14.7 percent this year, versus 13.3 percent last year.

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