Some state-by-state counts are better than others. Much better, much more useful and much more important for the things that give us something to look forward to, like athletics.
Our map only ever trends in one direction: a positive one. With our most recent upload, we have over 31,000 athletics facilities across 36 states and southern Ontario (insert your “America, Jr.” quips here).
So what do we mean when we say “facilities?” A facility is any place an individual event in athletics can take place: high jump areas, throws circles, javelin runways, horizontal jump pits, pole vault landing pads and, obviously, the track itself are all facilities.
These facilities are all found within “stadiums.” Within the 6,000 stadiums currently on the map (and all the others we’re still getting to), the individual facilities are not always easy to find, which is why we provide the 3-word address for 8,183 throws circles; 4,514 pole vault pits; 6,851 horizontal jump pits; 5,152 high jump areas; 6,492 tracks; and those 525 very lonely javelin runways.
WHAT’S A 3-WORD ADDRESS? DOWNLOAD THE WHAT3WORDS APP!
Unsuprisingly and unfortunately, of those just over 6,000 stadiums, 6,000-and-change of them belong to universities, high schools or middle schools. Whereas you can find baseball diamonds and soccer fields and hockey rinks and volleyball courts under a variety of public, private and hybrid owner-operator models, track & field has minimal existence outside of the school pipeline.
And in case you’re wondering, to our knowledge, we don’t have any backyard throws circles or pole vault areas. We know they’re all the rage, but it would have severely taxed our research team. Besides, the whole point is to help people find places to jump, throw or run en route to finding a place to call their athletics home. We doubt many people would want athletes to be crashing the yard of their actual home looking for a place to train and compete. Unless they - unlike your average T&F’r - sees the revenue potential in that sort of thing! What better way to truly become the AirBnB of athletics than to have people put their backyard facilities in the shop window. Today it’s a backyard throws circle, tomorrow they could be grading a patch of land to build a full athletics stadium!
So yeah, on second thought, backyard throwers and jumpers: We need to talk!
Help us improve and expand the map by letting us know what stadiums and facilities we’ve missed (backyard or otherwise), and by sending in pics of your regular or favorite places to jump, throw and run. And, of course, help the sport by staying on top of what we’re up to and letting us know if you want to be part of something better for athletics in the US!