News from the American Sports Builders Association                                                        July 2016

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Trending Topics: ASBA's Barometer of What's New in Sports

ASBA likes to stay on top of some of the trending topics relating to sports facilities. Here are some of the latest to move the needle and garner public interest:

Connected sports facilities: All part of the Internet of Things, sports facilities are now including options allowing spectators to connect with their sports experience like never before. From apps that let fans view the field from a player’s 360-degree perspective, order food from their seat, receive notifications regarding the wait time at rest rooms and alerts on traffic outside the stadium, stadiums today must insure the fan experience goes far beyond Wi-Fi.

Mega-Facilities for Youth Sports: The $12.5 million Myrtle Beach Sports Center and the recent decision by Alabama’s Hoover City Council to build a $70 million sports complex have brought up the question: how much is too much to spend on sports facilities? And there doesn’t seem to be a flat answer, meaning cities will continue what has been known as the athletic venue arms race in order to attract more travel teams, since sports tourism is one of the most lucrative sectors of the travel market.

Alternative infills for synthetic turf: It’s not new, but it keeps trending. And in a summer of soccer (Copa America Centenario and UEFA Euro Soccer Cup, as well as the soccer matches we’ll see during the Olympics), count on continued coverage, as well as continued questions.

Olympic sports facilities: From political, social and economic upheaval to unfinished infrastructure to the Zika virus (and a whole lot more), Rio has had its share of bad press. The latest has to do with the venues to be used in the summer Olympics. In addition to the fact that several were not finished on time, causing cancellation of test events, a corruption probe has been opened to examine the awarding of contracts for the sports venues.

Senior athletes: The baby boomers are the biggest spenders right now, and they’re also some of the most active. Two national-level events for adult athletes, the USA Masters Games in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the America’s Masters Games in Vancouver, Canada, will be presented within one month of each other this summer. Then next summer, the National Senior Games presented by Humana will take place in Birmingham, Alabama. Athletes range in age from 50 to over 100.

Beach volleyball: The first NCAA women’s beach volleyball championship was held in Gulf Shores, Alabama, this spring. The rise of beach volleyball from its status as an emerging sport for women to a full-blown championship sport was the fastest in NCAA history. Count on the sport to grow at the high school, club and recreational level, and more courts to go in.

2024 Olympics: Los Angeles continues its march toward the IOC’s bargaining table, but don’t lose sight of the drama that is going on in Rome. With the election of a mayor who is firmly against hosting the Games, it is possible the issue will be taken to a referendum. (For the record, the other two cities being considered are Paris and Budapest.)

© 2016 American Sports Builders Association 

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