Holistic Approach Solves MMHC Voordaan’s Indoor Issues
Legal complexities, hogwash by unscrupulous sales reps and the need to satisfy many different stakeholders can make any infrastructural project a challenge of massive proportions. It had hampered MMHC Voordaan for many years, until RSI Sports arrived at the scene.
Since the start of this year, MMHC Voordaan is smiling all the way to the bank as the club has taken control over accommodating members keen on participating in the indoor hockey competitions. “If RSI Sports hadn’t suggested that we look at the issue holistically, all our members would still be cycling long distances in poor weather conditions or dangerous traffic circumstances.
We would also have continued spending money instead of opening an extra revenue stream,” says Sander Engels, the Facilities Manager for the club. The club faced a basic issue: its site was deemed unsuitable for hosting temporary infrastructure to accommodate an indoor competition. Guided by RSI, the club opened talks with the local korfball club as their facility didn’t host any activity during the winter season.
Thanks to their vision in terms of the concept, the approach to our issue and the positioning of their Sportsdome we now have sufficient capacity to offer our members a true home venue to host their indoor games. The travelling time and cost for teams and fans have been slashed significantly. This has encouraged them to spend more time at our club which, as a result, has seen an increase in the sales of food and beverages. Our bar now generates an extra EUR 10.000 per month which is money we never had. In the past, all money spend on food or drinks would only benefit the owners of the indoor facilities we rented.
10 YEAR PLAN
MMHC Voordaan used to rent space at up to six indoor facilities every year. “That came at a significant cost to the club as well as frustration for our members. Some even didn’t want to consider participating in the indoor competition. That was a big issue for us as indoor hockey is a very good way to further develop the technical skills of players, both junior and senior,” Engels continues. The lack of its own indoor facility also meant members felt less connected to the club. Interaction with other members and involvement in club activities was limited during the winter season.
MMHC Voordaan quickly established it could achieve a return on its investment in an RSI Sportsdome within 10 years. The club put a presentation together to show that everybody could be a winner. “Our proposal to rent the space of the korfball club during the winter period was well-received by both the club and the municipality.
The korfball club now has extra income thanks to the rental fee we pay, as well as the money we pay towards upgrading their facility to meet our requirements. The benefit for the municipality is that they have managed to satisfy their local constituency.” As De Bilt Municipality would never be able to provide additional indoor capacity, the idea of the club solving its own issues was music to their ears. “We like the idea of clubs taking the lead. Their plan made it clear that MMHC Voordaan was guided by specialists.
All we had to do was to propose a few extra terms and conditions that would remind all parties involved of their original mandate,” Simon Ott of De Bilt Municipality says. Sander Engels points out that the input of specialists is needed. “It is important to have a good understanding of all relevant legislation as well as the ambitions of all parties involved. Clubs don’t always have that expertise. Even when they have, they often fail to think beyond their own responsibilities.”
We have realized that the dome would be perfect for hosting additional school activities, gymnastics for the elderly or any other group of people in need for, or in favour of exercising during the winter
To avoid establishing their own competition in terms of indoor facilities, the municipality has limited MMHC Voordaan and the korfball club to only use the Sportsdome for hockey or korfball activities respectively. However, this has inspired MMHC Voordaan to also start thinking holistically. “The first winter has made it clear that we currently have an over-capacity, and therefore we are considering renting out one of our fields to other hockey clubs in need of indoor capacity. As we know from personal experience how dire that situation can be, we are confident that clubs from other constituencies will be eager to consider the idea. This would generate additional revenue for our club and further reduce the time it takes to gain a full ROI.”
With the dome mainly used during the afternoons and evenings, the municipality is keen to enter talks with the club to rent out the space at times the clubs don’t need it. “We have realized that the dome would be perfect for hosting additional school activities, gymnastics for the elderly or any other group of people in need for, or in favour of exercising during the winter,” Simon Ott remarks. The idea will certainly be proposed during the first evaluation of the past winter season.
There are no restrictions on the use of the RSI Sportsdome as a multi-purpose venue, says Anton van Oirschot of RSI. “Our Airdome concept is a proven concept that focusses on delivering everything a temporary indoor facility needs. The multipurpose floor we have installed will provide the impact attenuation and conditions required for many different sports or activities. Thanks to the double-membrane design of the dome, the floor doesn’t become slippery from condense moisture whilst delivering maximum comfort to users in terms of temperature and pressure. By filling up the separate spaces in between both membranes with still-standing air, we achieve comfort levels of 3W/m2K to 0.9W/ m2K. These figures have been validated by an independent institute,” he explains.
As the dome is a self-supporting structure, it also doesn’t really experience wear and tear from the steel cables or netting others use to fixate a temporary dome. “The life expectancy of our dome is more than 40 years. Having completed up to 1.500 installations, our supplier feels so confident that they offer a 5 to 20 year manufacturer’s warranty on the fabric,” Van Oirschot points out. “The membrane is of the highest quality and doesn’t require replacement during that period.” The membrane is also self-cleaning. “In the absence of any obstruction from cables or netting, dirt will wash off the moment it rains or snow melts.”
This means that the dome remains translucent, something that will save energy consumption from using the already energy-friendly artificial lighting that is fitted.
Convinced of the quality and safety of the dome, De Bilt Municipality decided to issue a permit that is valid for 10 years. “However, we are confident that we can continue using the dome for at least one additional period of 10 years,” Sander Engels points out.
Using the site of the korfball club also grants MMHC Voordaan ample time to erect and dismantle their indoor facility. In fact, it provides the club with an extended window it would never have had when it used its own facility. “The winter break for korfball starts much earlier than for hockey and lasts longer. If MMHC Voordaan had used its own site, erec- ting and dismantling the Sportsdome would have become a rush job as they would have needed their fields immediately,” Anton van Oirschot explains. “Rush jobs always lead to problems and damage.
Now the club can take its time, thereby placing less pressure on its members to help the placing or removing of the dome,” he adds. He points out that it only takes 25 people to make the dome become a reality or to pack it away. However, the excitement that has taken grip of MMHC Voordaan saw many more people turning up when their assistance was needed.
“Members are keen to help out the club especially when they can do it leisurely. I can say that our investment in an RSI Sportsdome has helped our members to bond with the club in many ways!”
Engels points out that the investment in an RSI Sportdome has yielded immediate results for MMHC Voordaan. “Last year we had 7 teams lifting a trophy for winning their indoor competition. This year no fewer than 12 teams were crowned champion.” Without a doubt it can be claimed that, by taking a holistic approach, hockey at MMHC Voordaan has come first again.
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