Resourceful football fans are constructing pitches on rooftops in space-starved cities.
In urban environments where space is at a premium, people are recognizing a new frontier: rooftops. Innovative developers are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by otherwise wasted roofscapes which can represent 15 to 35% of a city’s total land area. Sometimes the only way to go is up in crowded cities.
People are building not only gardens, bars, and solar panels on the roofs of buildings, but also recreational facilities. Now residents of highly dense neighborhoods have alternative places to train and have fun. These unique, towering venues make sports like football and futsal more accessible for urban dwellers, with spectacular views as bonuses. Here are some of the world’s coolest rooftop pitches and courts, many of which use artificial turf…
15 Urban Pitches and Courts Built on Rooftops
1. Adidas Futsal Park Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
As one of the most famous examples of rooftop pitches, this is the crowning jewel of similar lists. The Adidas Futsal Park was constructed in 2001 above the historic Tokyu Toyoko Department Store (opened in 1934) located right by Tokyo’s world-famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The Toyoko store will close soon as part of a large-scale redevelopment project surrounding Shibuya Station, so Adidas Futsal Park Shibuya recently moved to the rooftop of the nearby Shibuya Stream building.
2. Adidas Futsal Park Ikebukuro, Tokyo
Adidas Futsal Park went on to construct numerous other facilities in Japan, with several following the footsteps of the Shibuya location to rise on rooftops. The Ikebukuro venue in Toshima, Tokyo is atop Yamaha Genki’s head office and LABI1 store, while another branch can be found above Tokyu Department Store at Tama Plaza Terrace in Yokohama. Adidas Futsal Park isn’t the only company putting up urban courts around the country. There are many more places to play now, thanks to the growing popularity of the football.
3. Morinomiya Q’s Mall, Osaka, Japan
This mall is encouraging Osaka residents to engage in physical activity via surprising architecture. The complex was built over a former baseball stadium, so its recreational spirit is very much in line with the site’s history. Morinomiya Q’s Mall features an elevated three-lane, 300-meter Air Track and a couple of futsal courts, on top of its many retail shops and restaurants.
4. Stadion Voždovac, Belgrade, Serbia
Voždovac Stadium, also known as Stadion Bojan Majić, replaced the old Dejan Majić Stadium and was constructed atop the aptly named Stadion Shopping Center in Belgrade, Serbia. Construction of the stadium proceeded rather quickly thanks to prefab structures. It now has a seating capacity of 5,000, serves as the home base of Fudbalski Klub Voždovac, and is regarded as one of the most uniquely situated stadiums in the world.
5. Stadio Futsal, Singapore
Stadio Futsal builds and manages futsal facilities around Singapore, including several of the city-state’s rooftop pitches. The first rooftop futsal field in Singapore was the group’s Rooftop@Amara project above the Amara hotel in the Central Business District (CBD). Stadio Futsal also manages Rooftop@Tessensohn above the Civil Service Club.
6. SkyPark Arena, Singapore
This Singaporean rooftop facility sits on top of Sime Darby Centre with two multi-purpose courts which can be combined. SkyPark Arena prepared the turf and complex to accommodate additional non-sports activities and events by including an adjacent air-conditioned room equipped with entertainment amenities.
7. Donglian Sports Park, Jinhua, China
More than 30 soccer fans in Zhejiang Province—who all hail from Jinhua, graduated from Jinhua Dongyang Middle School, and now work in Hangzhou—pooled together their resources to build this sports center on the roof of Zhongnan Shopping Mall. Prior to the construction of Donglian Sports Park, the rooftop was an empty space with some solar panels. There was high demand for recreational facilities among the area’s residents who lacked proper venues before the roofscape project gave them seven football fields, two basketball courts, dance studios, a gym, bar, and cafeteria.
8. Collegio San Giuseppe, Turin, Italy
This charming football pitch is found on top of the historic San Giuseppe College in Turin (founded in 1875). While the facility belongs to the school’s dedicated sports center, it is also open to the public with hourly rates. The court’s beautiful architectural surroundings elevate the experience further.
9. Tiger 5, Bangalore, India
Tiger 5 built is multi-purpose sports facility on the rooftop of the Multi-Level Car Park (MLCP) building of Embassy Manyata Business Park, the largest IT park in Bangalore, India. Surrounded by office buildings, Tiger 5’s rooftop arena includes two court options, 24-hour lighting, a café, and other accommodations for box cricket, volleyball, and human foosball. Many of the neighboring tech companies have formed their own teams that regularly train and compete at Tiger 5.
10. Game On, Chennai, India
Game On Terrace Football and Cricket facility is found atop the Samson Towers in Egmore, Chennai. The rooftop venue includes a small football pitch as well as two high-speed batting nets with a bowling machine for cricket. Guests appreciate the customizable flood lighting, as well as the nice sound system that allows them to listen to their tunes while playing.
11. SkyTurf, Kolkata, India
At SkyTurf on top of Karnani Estates in South Kolkata, people can hold five-a-side football matches, play box cricket, practice batting with a bowling machine, play badminton, and relax in the café. Playing sports on roof decks has been getting more popular in India. The country now has many more rooftop courts and pitches aside from the ones on this list.
12. Futsal Town, Seoul, South Korea
I’Park Mall by Yongsan Station in Seoul has been installing futsal fields on its roof year by year since 2012, taking up the suggestion of the Korea Futsal League and attracting thousands of players every month. More recently, it expanded its roofscape to accommodate the construction of five more pitches using artificial turf. Some of the courts are even open 24 hours. Futsal’s popularity has grown in South Korea with more than 500 venues found throughout the country.
13. Upper 90 Soccer Center, New York City, USA
The Upper 90 Soccer Center in Queens, NYC is a building dedicated to the love of football. It features one indoor field, two five-a-side pitches on the roof, the largest football retail store in Queens, and a themed café. Upper 90 hosts football matches, pickup games, and numerous youth programs—surrounded by cool murals and the vibrant neighborhood of Astoria.
14. Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh, Scotland
Boroughmuir High School moved from its historic structure to a new waterfront site by a tranquil canal. The city itself has been going through a wave of new development, and demand for the school’s expansion had risen. The updated site features a more modern, open design to complement the idyllic canal-side area. To maximize the restricted space, a multi-purpose football pitch sits on the school’s roof with a sports hall underneath.
15. Heaven at Hotel Football, Manchester, UK
This football-themed hotel overlooks Old Trafford stadium, the home of Manchester United FC and one of the world’s most famous sports venues. Completed in 2015, it features 133 rooms, a basement bar, restaurant, and a covered five-a-side football pitch on the roof called Heaven. The Old Trafford location is the first Hotel Football in a planned chain of similar hotels.
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Images are from Turfmapp, Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, Spoon & Tamago, Twitter, Boothype, SkyPark Arena, Zhejiang Online, CSG Centro Sportivo, LBB, Just Dial, SkyTurf, Geo TV, Upper 90, Urban Realm, and Manchester’s Finest.