How Venue Padding Protects Players, Improves Aesthetics

Paul Steinbach Headshot
Outfield Stadium Padding With Imprinting
[Photo courtesy of Beacon Athletics]

It’s a product that ideally few athletes ever come in direct contact with, but one that has never been in greater demand. Designed to spare injury, it can also spruce up a place. Sports venue padding has come a long way in terms of both sophistication and widespread application.

“If there’s one thing that I think has changed over 20-some years, it’s the attention to what is safe, what isn’t safe,” says Benji Brye, a 23-year veteran of Beacon Athletics, a provider of venue padding solutions and other equipment largely for the baseball and softball markets, and the company’s current director of business development. “People are identifying more parts of their facility that are potentially dangerous — either in terms of collisions or ricochets — that need to be padded.”

Matt Duchek joined Bison Inc. as art director in 2007 after a four-year professional baseball career, and now helps design padding solutions, such as those for the end walls in basketball gyms. “When I first started, we had packages that were 16 feet wide by six feet high, and that was to cover what we thought was an adequate amount behind the backboard, where you have the 12 feet of lane width and you’d actually go a few feet more on either side. Well, now it’s, ‘We need to pad every inch of the wall, every pillar, every doorframe, every door.’ ”

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