Ecore Flooring helps improve Spooky Nook training spaces

Located in Manheim, PA Spooky Nook Sports is the largest indoor sports complex in North America. This 700,000-square-foot facility serves as a fitness space for locals and a training center for student, collegiate and professional athletes. As such, the right surfacing was critical, and Ecore flooring was specified throughout most of the facility.

“In the past, fitness facilities were focused on fitness alone, and the emphasis was on machines and how many they could cram into a space,” said Jim Launer, managing director of athletic operations at Spooky Nook Sports. “There also was only a small focus on weights, and the floors were an afterthought. Typical fitness surfaces included carpet or thin rubber surfacing over concrete with the main benefit being that they were easy to clean. The focus is now on strength and conditioning – jumping, sprinting, throwing and crawling.”

Recognizing the popularity of functional training, Spooky Nook converted six tennis courts into a fitness and training area for its members in December 2015. This space features a performance track, turf field, turf hill, basketball court, weight lifting area, and sled lane that were developed with Ecore Athletic surfaces. Two additional sections in this space include pickle ball courts and a “Ninja Warrior” course.

Spooky Nook’s functional training area is unique, because it features seamless surfaces with smooth transitions between spaces. Another distinctive feature is its performance track. “Ecore convinced Spooky Nook to install a track,” said Bo Barber, vice president of marketing and business development at Ecore. “Today, the track is one of the most used features. It’s the only 200-meter indoor track within 300 square miles.”

Another defining feature is Spooky Nook’s turf hill, which was also developed with Ecore flooring. It’s one of only three in the United States – with one located in the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and another in a private training facility for professional athletes in Texas.

“The turf-covered hill is a safe and challenging training alternative to outdoor hills and a unique feature that really sets our facility apart from most others,” said Launer.

The turf hill offers athletes two training grades, with one side rising at a 34-degree angle to intensify workouts at a steeper incline, and the other launching at 24 degrees. Each side has a curved slope to ease into the incline to avoid injury or strain.

The turf hill features Ecore’s Speed and Agility Turf products, which enable athletes to gain traction and maintain stability and support without using cleats. This Ecore surface doesn’t require infill either, which eliminates the mess of cleaning up loose rubber beads that would become displaced throughout the facility.

“The turf-covered hill offers our athletes the opportunity to train with an incline on a material that mimics actual grass year-round, without being impacted or delayed by outdoor weather conditions,” said Launer. “And, the turf material provides exceptional grip and versatility that allows athletes to practice in their training shoes and receive the same reactivity underfoot that they would with cleats on grass.”

Spooky Nook’s inlaid lifting platforms also are cutting edge. Featuring custom graphics, about 2,500 square feet of Ecore Monster Roll was installed in the free weight and heavy weight training areas. Monster Roll is a 22.5mm system that creates a durable surface with firm footing – two attributes essential in strength training.

Another 1,200 square feet of Everlast UltraTile was installed in the machine training area. UltraTile is a 2-foot by 2-foot by 1-inch performance rubber tile ideal that offers exceptional noise and shock absorption qualities.

Rounding out the functional training area are the turf field and basketball court. The turf field features Ecore’s Training Ground with Nike Grind TurfX, which mimics natural grass, making it the ideal indoor training surface. The sled lane features Ecore’s Speed and Agility Turf, while the basketball court surface is outfitted with Bounce 2, which provides the look of wood but with more durability.

In addition to being functional and durable, aesthetics also were important to Spooky Nook. “How something looks is one of the most important things to consider when choosing surfacing, because while not everyone understands functionality, everyone understands design,” said Launer. “Ecore has a very sharp look while also allowing individuals to accomplish things from a performance standpoint too.”