Aurora Sports Park
Sports complex on the high prairie
The city of Aurora needed more room to play. With a population of 280,000, the Denver suburb had a tough time scheduling time and space for all its many outdoor sports leagues and activities, especially soccer, softball, and baseball.
The City of Aurora hired Wenk Associates to design the 215-acre Aurora Sports Park site and tackle the complex challenges that a facility of this magnitude poses. The park has 23 full-size soccer fields and 15 softball/baseball fields on 135 acres of irrigated turfgrass and provides 2,000 trees for shade. Visitors can navigate the park via 2-1/2 miles of park roads, and on-site parking is available for over 2,200 vehicles.
The park combines highly programmed sports facilities with open space and natural areas to create a place that celebrates the excitement of sports and the exhilarating openness of the high prairie. Because the scale of the site is so enormous, the main park program elements are grouped in clusters to create hubs of activity, while preserving substantial tracts of open space to maintain the sense of vast openness of the rolling prairie. Existing cottonwoods and natural riparian corridors were preserved and enhanced, reducing irrigation and overall water use of the site by fifty percent.
Maintenance concerns such as the ability to rotate soccer fields to prevent wear, figured largely in the design to assure that the complex will remain a premier sports facility in the region.