Sports are all about teamwork. So play for the day at a sports complex and you'll help build a sense of camaraderie among employees or members of groups and organizations. Sports complexes are facilities with courts for basketball, volleyball and tennis, and indoor and outdoor fields for baseball, softball, soccer and more. And many sports complexes host corporate meetings and events. Additionally, these facilities often have conference rooms or spaces that can be converted to accommodate meetings or events.
Perhaps the best way to utilize a sports complex is to host a meeting or seminar there, and then also schedule time for employees or members to play on one of the courts or fields.
“I think it gets people to step out of the corporate side of things and let loose for a day,” says Joe Reid, general manager of BucksMont Indoor Sports in Hatfield. One popular team-building activity he points to is Bubble Ball, in which competitors wear large, inflated bubble-like protective gear around the upper half of their bodies and play soccer. The balls provide extra protection, minimizing the impact from contact and falls. Moving around in those large balls also adds to the fun. “It gives everyone a chance to team-build in an environment where you can remain competitive but also take some shots on co-workers!” Reid says with a laugh.
BucksMont Indoor Sports has 78,000 square feet of multipurpose facilities, including three turf fields and three basketball courts that can be used for conferences and meetings.
“We offer soccer, Bubble Ball, flag football, lacrosse, basketball, floor hockey, field hockey, futsal [an indoor variation on soccer], sports-specific training, special events—we are designated as an expo center—and more,” Reid says. “We’ve been open since 2007, but went through an organizational culture change in late 2013 [when it was redesigned as an expo center] which has really set the foundation for where we are today.”
Reid says events and rentals account for about a quarter to a third of BucksMont Indoor Sports’ business. The facility hosts small businesses and other organizations, and staff can customize events for each group’s needs. Other offerings include catering and a conference area for audio-visual presentations. “We also have a national consignment company in here for two weeks out of the year, dog agility groups and more,” Reid says. “We try to be accommodating to everyone.”
BIG EVENTS AT A BIG PLACE
With more than 700,000 square feet of indoor space, an air dome and field hockey pitch, Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim bills itself as the largest indoor sports complex in the United States.
“We opened in June 2013,” says Stephanie Jordan, marketing manager for Spooky Nook. “What we offer is pretty vast when we are the largest indoor sports complex in the nation and the training center for the Women’s USA Field Hockey Team.”
The complex is available for events, corporate outings and group gatherings such as meetings, conventions, conferences, banquets and trade shows. It has two meeting rooms, two boardrooms and an executive suite with audio-visual equipment.
In total, Spooky Nook has 150,000 square feet of meeting and event space and a field house that can be used for sports and events. Catering options are available and groups also have the option to include time at the climbing center or sports field.
Spooky Nook offers Wi-Fi, air walls to create f lexible space and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. For dining, Spooky Nook can help create a fine presentation for the meal portion of an event with linen and china options, and catering from an on-site executive chef and kitchen staff.
Spooky Nook’s sports facilities include 10 hardwood courts for basketball or volleyball, six tennis courts, and three 60-by-120-foot and two 120-by-200-foot turf fields. It also has a baseball/softball diamond with 14 batting cages and a pitchers lane. There’s also a martial arts studio, climbing gym, arcade and an air dome with Astroturf field.
For companies and organizations looking for a team-building opportunity, Jordan suggests using the climbing gym with 30-foot-walls. There’s also a freestanding boulder with routes of all levels for climbing.
“In regards to team-building, we offer space in the climbing areas, court and turf services to play any of the sports we offer in addition to backyard games such as badminton, corn hole, ladder ball, etc.,” Jordan says.
Advantages to hosting an event at Spooky Nook, according to Jordan, include a convenient location off Route 283 between Lancaster and Hershey; a variety of options in terms of space; as well as an experienced staff and onsite accommodations, including a hotel that’s set to open this year.
All of that has helped build a healthy meetings and events aspect of the business.
“We have many companies that are both national and local looking for meeting space and/or team-building, mixer events and holiday parties,” she says. Trade shows and expos are also an important part of Spooky Nook’s business; the facility has hosted the BIA Home Show, Women’s Expo, Senior Games, Senior Expo and Lancaster Chamber’s business expo. One key event for Spooky Nook is USA Field Hockey’s National Indoor Tournament.
FUN FOR ALL
The Net Sports Complex in Palmyra offers indoor and outdoor sports with multipurpose artificial turf fields for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. It also has six fields for baseball and softball with fencing that can be adjusted for various levels of play.
“Indoors, we have the ability to divide our field into two or three fields,” says Susan M. Errichetti-Frye, general manager. “And we play baseball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, football and practically any other field sport you can name.”
Net Sports also has a 16,000-square-foot academy for football, baseball and softball. “It has six batting cages, a small field area, small meeting rooms and a second-floor viewing area,” says Errichetti-Frye. “Within this building is also a Power Train Sports, which is independently operated.”
Since opening in 2005, Net Sports has hosted indoor and outdoor leagues in tournaments in all of those sports. Errichetti-Frye says Net Sports also has plans to add elements that will help build the meeting and event aspects of its business.
“We are working on creating two media rooms complete with flat-screen TVs and projectors to allow for teams and organizations to hold meetings and review game footage,” she says.
Other advantages to hosting events at Net Sports, according to Errichetti-Frye, include indoor and outdoor concession stands and an experienced, knowledgeable staff. She adds that playing sports after a meeting helps employees bond and discuss things, from business to their personal lives. They might even come up with new work-related ideas that don’t arise during a business-like setting.
And the advantages to team-building via sports is pretty obvious. “Being able to bond and interact with others in the workplace goes a long way,” she says. Reid agrees hosting a corporate event at a facility like BucksMont Indoor Sports is a great way to improve team-building.
“At the end of the day we are a sports complex,” he says. “You come here specifically to compete and have fun. This is one of the best places in the world to come and de-stress. We can offer a myriad of services that will help ensure your team gets the absolute best experi- ence we have to offer.”