By Bob Behre
Superstorm Jonas dumped more than 30 inches of snow on much of New Jersey last January 22 and decimated the HealthQuest Sports Dome, a vital indoor facility that has served the Northeast Region’s baseball and softball community since 2003.
“The first questions we were asked by customers,” says Diamond Nation General Manager Nick Massari, “were whether we would be putting the Dome back up for 2017. The answer was simply: Yes!”
In fact, come mid-November, says Massari, “We will be unveiling a brand new Dome with state-of-the-art LED lighting and reinforced heavy duty safety netting. While it may look similar on the outside, it will be highly upgraded inside. Winter tournaments, leagues and programming will continue as usual this year. The storm may have knocked us down, but it didn’t knock us out.”
The HealthQuest Sports Dome has been a sporting revelation in the Northeast Region of the country, giving young ballplayers the opportunity to play their sport year-round.
“The thought process is the same as it had been 13 years ago,” says Massari. “We built this to level the playing field between players in the Northeast and players from the South and West who have the ability to play all year long. If we did not put the Dome back up, the impact would be highly detrimental to players’ individual development and the development of amateur sports overall in the Northeast.”
The HealthQuest Sports Dome was built in 2003 and is the largest amateur air structure in the nation. It is considered the East Coast’s premier indoor facility for winter athletic programs. The 130,000 square foot dome is a temporary structure that covers HealthQuest Park from November to March, which allows elite competition and training programs to continue indoors.
The facility inside is subdivided, utilizing protective netting to optimize the use of the space. The HealthQuest Sports Dome offers instructional programs, leagues and clinics for all ages from youth, high school, and college to adults.