A Game Changing Approach to Sports Field Design

At Draper Aden Associates, we’re huge sports fans and we pride ourselves on providing a game-changing approach to sports field design. We engineer the sports experience for fans, players, parents, and coaches at first-class facilities where memories are created, dreams are born, and athletic programs flourish.


With the FIFA World Cup currently taking place, we wanted to spotlight past projects with a soccer component that perfectly encapsulate our commitment to create a lasting, positive impact. Let’s take a look at three signature projects:


  • River City Sportsplex (formerly SportsQuest): DAA performed field engineering and construction management for the installation of 12 synthetic turf fields at the River City Sportsplex in Chesterfield, Virginia. Prior to the synthetic turf installation, DAA tested the installed aggregate drainage base as well as the planarity to make sure that the performance met the overall design and specifications. The synthetic turf installation was inspected for seam quality, striping plan adherence, and infill operations. Team members worked with contractors in scheduling all aspects of field construction and athletes have been very happy with the results!



  • Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club (RKYSC): The RKYSC was envisioned as a place for children to play youth league soccer and experience the joy of sports. However, developing the 45-acre athletic complex at Ukrop Park required innovative solutions to construct it within budget. Originally, DAA was brought into the project to help refine the scope and budget through Value Engineering, which resulted in innovative site modifications to address environmental concerns, materials selection, and renegotiated construction contracts. DAA geotechnical engineers helped to mitigate costs by reducing the amount of unsuitable fill material and by designing two of the fields from their original synthetic turf concept to sod instead, which is a cheaper material. In addition, the fields were laid out to allow repositioning, which eliminates worn spots on the playing surface as a result of heavy foot traffic. The completed RKYSC facility consists of seven lighted athletic fiends, serves as the home of the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club, and hosts a variety of soccer games and competitions.



  • Saint Gertrude High School (SGHS) Outdoor Athletics Center: SGHS turned to DAA to re-envision and revise their master plan for a 13.13-acre piece of land. The original concept included a track and field stadium, athletic training facility, and parking to serve the undeveloped property. However, SGHS wanted to explore additional opportunities for use including field and playing surfaces their athletics programs desperately needed. The re-envisioned concept and design included an artificial turf field, a multi-purpose natural turf field, a softball field, six tennis courts, an athletic training facility, concessions, an events pavilion, and an interpretive walking trail throughout the Outdoor Athletics Center. The complex provides a home for all outdoor athletic programs at a single location. Additionally, the athletic center allows family and friends to attend events at a central location, while serving as a recruitment and retention tool for prospective and current athletes and it is built to facilitate up to four sporting events at one time.



We are so proud of the DAA team and their incredible work in sports field design. We also want to give a shout out to our Draper Aden Associates soccer team this year! In the spirit of the World Cup, we hope you have the opportunity to play a couple soccer games this summer. And who knows… maybe some of the soccer fields mentioned above might be used as practice facilities for the World Cup in 2024 when it comes to North America. Stay tuned!