The first of AB Show 2023’s two facilities tours took 44 conference attendees to Towson University, Loyola University and the University of Maryland in College Park.
A common theme among administrators at each stop was the desire to maximize space, whether it be through renovation, equipment location or the handing-down of entire athletics facilities from one varsity sport to another as new facilities are constructed.
Set beside a beautiful campus quad, Towson’s recently renovated rec facilities were a study in effective branding and wayfinding, while taking a holistic approach to wellbeing in the form of access to sand gardens and massage chairs in addition to a full slate of fitness offerings. Loyola showed visitors how its 23-year-old rec facility is adapting to changing user interests by converting racquetball courts to additional workout space, while offering everything from outdoor adventure offices to a competition natatorium where decorated Olympian Michael Phelps dominates the record board.
Maryland served lunch at its campus golf course (operated by the university’s rec department), where a PGA representative introduced attendees to some fun golf programming activities that even campuses without their own course can incorporate. The bus then rolled through College Park past the Terrapins’ home basketball arena and lacrosse fields to its impressive football facilities, with stops including dining and recruiting spaces, a massive weight training facility exclusive to football and a soaring field house used by multiple sports. Finally, attendees were treated to a walk down the football players’ tunnel, underneath the turtle shell that graces their field entrance and onto the playing surface of U of M’s 52,000-seat SECU Stadium.