Construction Cost Per Square Foot for Recreation Facilities

We offer full scope design and engineering services for various types of Recreation Facilities, and a common question we typically get in the beginning of any project is: How much does it cost to build a Recreation Center? There is a wide range of definitions for a recreation center and the functions that occur inside. As a result, this is no easy question to answer until a thorough program has been put together for the overall facility. However, there is some guidance for the specific types of spaces that occur within the center. Below are the results of data that has been collected for a range of these projects across the country by the industry leader in construction cost estimating, RSMeans.  Consistent with all of the studies available for construction costs, you will see that there is a significant range in cost, depending on location.

Enclosed Swimming Pool Construction Cost 2010

Enclosed Swimming Pools is the most common element found in community recreation centers. The cost per square foot for these types of spaces range from $167  to $292 with the median hovering around $226 per square foot. While different programmatic requirements can significantly alter the costs of a swimming facility (water playgrounds, whirlpools, etc.), this is the most expensive space in this particular study.

Racquetball Court Construction Cost 2010

Racquetball courts are still a very popular addition to any state-of-the-art recreation center. With similar building volume requirements as a swimming pool, but far fewer specialty systems, these spaces range from $128 to $224 with the median falling around $173 per square foot.

Hockey Rink or Indoor Soccer Arena Construction Cost 2010

Something of a specialty for a recreation center, and often times, a function on its own, is a hockey rink or an indoor arena. These spaces require long span structural systems, but enclose a large amount of space, helping to drive cost per square foot down to some degree. The range for this type of space is $125 to $218 with a median of $169 per square foot.

Bowling Alley Construction Cost 2010

Finally, even more of a specialty for a recreation center, and more commonly found in separate private sector entertainment facilities, is the bowling alley. Again, a large open space, and with some specialty equipment. The range is $117 to $204 with a median of $158 per square foot, and is the lowest cost for space in this study.

Each of these project types can vary greatly depending on the specific group of functions, the location, and the population served. In order to better identify a more accurate estimate of construction cost, we must look at the specific program and all of the other factors that go into a cost assessment during the initial stages of design. For more specific information regarding the cost of any project, please contact us at EVstudio and we can assist in that process, which will set the stage for a highly successful design for your project.


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4 thoughts on “Construction Cost Per Square Foot for Recreation Facilities”

  1. Mikayla,
    These costs include materials and labor. As you can see from the data, the construction cost of a hockey arena in Detroit would be right around $170 per square foot. We do have a project architect who has expertise in arena design, so if this is a project that you would like to pursue further, please let us know and we can put him in contact with you directly. Thanks!

  2. Mikayla Dalton

    What do you define as the construction cost? Is that materials? or materials and labor?

    Also, what do you think the construction cost would be of the new hockey arena in Detroit.

    Thank you!

  3. Carole,

    Thanks for your inquiry. Without any more information about your project, based on your brief description and location in NYC, I’d say you should be in the right ballpark for construction costs at around $225. The RSMeans data, however is for building costs alone and does not include land costs, soft costs, site infrastructure, finance costs, or trade fixtures and equipment. So, the items like digital score equipment etc. would be outside that cost.

    As we are an Architecture and Engineering firm, we use RSMeans for our initial index cost information at the outset of a project. Once a design begins to take shape, we use a construction cost estimating consultant and/or general contractor partners to validate the budget as we go.

    If you are in need of Architecture or Engineering design services, please let me know. We have a project architect led team that has a strong background in sports arena design as well as recreation center facilities.

    Thanks again for your inquiry and best of luck with your project.


  4. Hello,

    I love your website except that it didn’t list cost per sq ft by region for a Basketball arenas.

    I am a real estate developer in NYC and is in the conceptual and programming stage of developing a basketball arena. I am creating conceptual drawings so I am able to obtain a rough estimate of the size facility.

    But I am looking for exactly what your company offers which us an overall ball park cost per square foot to get an overall estimate of how much this facility would cost. So that when I begin to raise monies for the construction I know what number to target.

    So do you have that number for me? Can I use $215 to $225 per sq ft similar to your soccer arena? Will this include basketball equipment, digital score equipment similar to Madison square garden that shows videos?

    Pls advise


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