Leonardo Ravizzini, the commercial director of Ecover Srl, a leading company in the realization of sport covers, in particular of covers dedicated to the world of padel explains why
every crisis can bring with it opportunities, an example could be the transformation of a 5-a-side soccer field in synthetic grass into THREE padel fields.
Let’s see how:
“Usually the dimensions of a five-a-side football field are about 20 m wide by 40 m long relatively to the field layout, to which other lateral spaces are usually added. In order to convert the area into 3 covered padel courts it is necessary to have a width of about 24 m and a length of about 39 m. The motivations that must push to this change are at least of three orders: opportunity; economy; strategy.
At the moment, 5-a-side soccer is experiencing a market downturn; vice versa, padel is the sport of the moment and of the future. The secrets of the success of this sport are the immediacy with which an individual learns to play and its great aggregative-social component, particularly welcome at this time. In short, a sport in which first and foremost you have fun!
Analyzing the economic aspect, today the market recognizes an hour of five-a-side football a remuneration of about 50/60 euros; in a slightly larger space you can make 3 covered padel fields with a potential hourly remuneration of about 150 euros. This is limited to a mere economic comparison on the use of the fields, neglecting the increases related to the “third time of padel”, a sport with a strong impulse aggregative and social, for any restaurants / bars of the sports center.
Today there are only about 2,300 padel courts available in Italy and only 30% of these are covered; at this time we are faced with a great upward trend in the number of practitioners (just think that 3 years ago there were only 50 courts in Italy) and a low number of covered courts. In these conditions we have the complete saturation of the structures built and able to offer a suitable product in every season. In contrast, currently soccer players are going through a negative trend (just being able to agree on 10 people for the same hour is not easy) and the market offer of soccer fields to 5 is numerically large, so that it is often complex to be able to occupy them.
Currently padel is an excellent opportunity and those who will be able to act entrepreneurially, having the courage to make this conversion, will surely be rewarded. Briefly analyzing the states, such as Argentina and Spain, with more mature markets for this sport, it emerges that Argentina, with a population of less than 45 million, has about 30,000 fields and Spain with a population slightly higher than 45 million has about 20,000. In Italy we are about 60 million inhabitants… I want to dwell, finally, on the development of padel in 2020: in Italy we had a 100% increase, going from 1,150 fields in January 2020 to 2,300 in March 2021, with a number of practitioners that has almost doubled (from 160,000 in 2019 to about 400,000 today).
Looking specifically at the supply of covered fields, it is clear that this is less than the demand. We believe that it is essential to build a facility that will remain at the forefront in the years to come, when the supply will match the demand. Therefore, an indoor facility must have very specific characteristics in order to be a winner on the market:
– it must comply with all the regulations prescribed by the NTC 2018, with the relevant certifications;
– it must be “chameleon-like”, to be able to transform itself in a few moments: thanks to the ease with which the curtains on the 4 sides can be opened, it must go from a totally closed structure to an “umbrella” that shelters you from the sun;
– it must have playing heights that guarantee a perfect habitat for padel (minimum 7 meters, maximum 11) in order to be more attractive than competitors.
Ecover Srl is putting on the market, thanks to its design team, a structure that we call “Superpanoramic”, which in addition to all the features described above has in the heads with a particular trellis (patented) that allows to have a constant useful height inside, facilitating the best positioning/exploitation of interior spaces, without the encumbrance of vertical supports, with a panoramic view from outside the field.
The above represents in summary my current vision. From my experience in the field of sports facilities I can deduce that those who have a forward-looking vision of their business can take this as an excellent opportunity. In the future, whoever decides today to implement this transformation will certainly go with flying sails thanks to the strength of growth of padel, the sport in the world with the greatest increase in practitioners.
Good padel to all !
by Mr Padel Paddle