Achieving Greatness Through Sports Field Design
4Most Sport Group aims to reinvent the process by which athletic fields –- of all sizes and playing abilities –- are designed, built, and maintained. At its very core, the mission is to address the four most basic client expectations of any business: accuracy, availability, partnership, and advice. This is achieved by...
This is the biggest purchase you'll make as a school administrator or parks director. And you really only have one chance to "get it right." How do you know what that looks like? Even if you're a big enough sports fan to have a good idea, where in the world do you begin? We're Step 1. There is no Step 2.
Often times, our biggest contribution to a better-performing facility is hidden from view; never seen by anyone but the contractors during field construction. We guide initial funding to the items under a player's foot -- keeping the games played as scheduled, in the safest and most-conducive environment possible.
Our recommendations aren't always splashy. Instead of that gaudy new scoreboard, those who are there to play might be better off with an extra inch of sand in the soil profile. We aim to change the narrative on what is beautiful and what is utilitarian at a sports complex; the world currently has it backwards.
Over the course of ten years, a properly-spec'd natural grass field can actually cost less to operate than its artificial competitors. And the notion that plastic fields are impervious to weather cancellations is a misnomer; lightning halts all sporting events. On days with rainfall alone, we can amaze with our ability to drain water and still play. We do this all while preventing the health risks (i.e. crumb-rubber carcinogens and 150°F surface temperatures) associated with their materials.
Let us prove to you that we can match synthetic turf's selling points on playability during and after rain events, and outperform it on issues of health/safety and total cost of lifespan ownership.
Help us keep the games we love on the surfaces where they belong.
We believe you deserve to be your own designer and receive cost estimates in real-time as you modify components from our catalog.
Remember, it's easier to move a poorly-located dugout when it weights ten megabytes and not ten tons.
Sports fields are being assembled and renovated by firms whose bailiwick are not in athletics. They'll win a bid for a new high school and flawlessly execute the layout of 50 classrooms, a new science lab, and even a Broadway-caliber black box theater. The varsity baseball and softball fields, however, will get orientated wrong, spec'd with underperforming native materials, and ultimately have no inputs from the true end users. Even the "good ones" I have experienced are woefully generic. Baseball and softball are the coolest sports on the world, from an architectural aspect. Only golf courses beat them in the freedom/flexibility/customization their geometries provide.
The problem is that firms are not regularly drawing them up. A recent survey showed that less than 5% of revenue generated in architecture firms nationwide were from outdoor athletic facilities. Places commissioned to provide these rare projects typically crack the spine on the 1974 Architectural Graphic Standards. Fields look left over; the side car to the brand new high school that wins a local AIA medal.
Timing is certainly everything when predicting successful outcomes in business. Some elements of this you can control: when you decide to enter a project or arranging site visits to align with other planned trips. Others you cannot; for instance, global circumstances when you leave college. Now, I set out to be a licensed architect at one of the worst possible times for that industry. For architecture firms, the "Great Recession" was an avalanche of lay-offs that few could predict or prevent. People simply stopped building. Thankfully, when the downsizing finally hit my workplace, I had a soft landing on a new career path -- coaching.
Playing baseball at Kent provided me an opportunity to apply for college positions across the country. In July of 2010, I found such a job in St. Louis, Missouri. For six seasons, I was the pitching coach at D-III Washington University in St. Louis. The experience opened my eyes to a sad state of current affairs -- in terms of field quality. It was a really competitive level of baseball (at ultra-wealthy institutions), but the infrastructure wasn't close to meeting the demand. Improvements that school presidents, trustees, and athletic directors lobbied for -- as "must haves" -- were predominantly tangential to the necessities of playing more games, on a more consistent basis.
When I had a chance to do it my way, the niche that was every firm's once-in-a-career was going to be my sole focus. And I was going to go back to my roots; no chasing the few jobs that exist at the top of the baseball pyramid. I'd rather work with the underserved middle tier (small colleges, high-end high schools, and multi-field complexes) than build a full-blown stadium. Those pro gigs have become more about restroom quantities and placement than the essence of the game. That's just not for me.
The day to do it all differently arrived in April of 2018. Founded as SightLine Design in St. Louis, I brought this unique, and highly-disruptive, architectural start-up "back home" to Pittsburgh. The full relaunch, as 4Most Sport Group, took place in late 2019.
I thank you for visiting our site to learn more about the members of our team. Let us serve you to better serve the youth in your communities.