Blog: Dome Stories

High hopes under the big bubble

Imagine a small-town high-school kid with big football dreams. He finally visits the campus of a college team he’s been following for years. He’s brought into the wide-open soaring dome where the team plays. Coach tosses him a ball. It’s his big chance…

Football drills inside an air dome

This scenario plays out regularly for high-school recruits who come to St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium/Dome. “Every recruit is brought into the space. It showcases the stadium – even when there’s a foot of snow outside,” said Ron Seibring, director of facilities and campus recreation.

Dome as a recruitment tool

Aerial view of a multi-use high school inflatable dome

Putting athletes in the dome doesn’t just replicate the space they might be chosen to play in – it IS the space. Having it available year-round benefits recruitment. “With football, you’re recruiting in winter. You’re recruiting all the time,” Seibring said.

At Marquette University in Wisconsin, the school’s recently built dome at Valley Fields has been a huge boon to the lacrosse team. Although Marquette’s Division I lacrosse program has only been around since 2013, the team won Big East Conference titles two years in a row.

Commitment to athletics

Marquette lacrosse player inside a university sports complex air dome

“It’s definitely an advantage,” says head coach Joe Amplo. “If we’re in a recruiting battle with another school, it’s one of the first things we talk about,” he said. “It gives students a place to train daily. Weather is not a factor.”

Marquette’s new dome has another advantage: it shows the school’s athletics department is committed to programs like lacrosse. “It’s an obvious indicator of investment by the school,” Amplo said. “It’s an opportunity for our players’ development because we have a facility they can play in. We have that opportunity and other teams don’t.”