Sportcenter Ost in St. Gallen relies on fully automated solutions with GotCourts
GotCourts - Other racket sports are also growing ! A Case Study from the Sportcenter Ost St. Gallen
GotCourts connects around 300,000 players and almost 700 racket sports facilities, a large proportion of which are tennis players and tennis facilities - but not only! Tennis players who would like to try out padel, badminton or squash will also find many opportunities to play with GotCourts. In the meantime, a number of non-tennis racket sports facilities have also joined our network, including the Sportcenter Ost in St. Gallen, where you can hit balls and shuttles in 8 squash boxes and on 4 badminton courts.
The new owners of Sportcenter Ost, Rico and Joel, are relying on GotCourts' innovative technology and are managing the newly opened center completely automatically and digitally. GotCourts asked the two managers about their future plans and how GotCourts supports their vision.
GotCourts: What prompted you to take over the Sportcenter Ost and what are your plans for the center?
Rico & Joel: Many squash and badminton lovers were very disappointed when the facility of Sportcenter Ost at Rorschacherstrasse 292 were closed at the end of 2021. We were also among the regular visitors and did not want to lose our favorite place to meet. Therefore we took the fate into our own hands and took over the Sportcenter Ost. St. Gallen and rebuilt it. We are very excited to officially open our facility on Saturday, June 11th, 2022.
GC: What does your facility offer besides the eight squash boxes and four badminton courts?
R&J: In addition to the squash and badminton courts mentioned above, the East Sports Center has two group fitness rooms. Also a lounge area has been created with a vending machine for drinks and snacks and a coffee tower. The lounge invites people to get together before or after the game, because in addition to physical activity, the Sportcenter Ost is intended to be a social meeting place.
GC: You are actively focusing to digitalize the facility. How does this concept looks like in reality?
R&J: Interested people from young to old, junior players, occasional athletes and sports fanatics can reserve a court quickly and easily online at www.gotcourts.com or via the GotCourts app. Payment is made by credit card directly on the booking platform. The customer then receives an access code. This is used to enter the facility and the game can begin. The lights and ventilation are switched on automatically for the reservation period. If you don't own squash or badminton equipment, the Sportcenter Ost is still the right address: Squash and badminton rackets can be rented and squash balls or badminton shuttles can be obtained from the snack machine in the lounge area. Uncomplicated and again contactless.
GC: What are the advantages of centers that are managed completely automatically and digitally?
R&J: On the one hand, the advantages are clearly in the economic area; the athlete, on the other hand, is not at a disadvantage in any respect when using the center. In addition, the risk of theft is a factor that is greatly reduced by cashless systems. This is in favor of the center but also for the safety of the player.
GC: If you had to describe your center in one sentence, what would it be?
R&J: The Sports Center Ost provides squash and badminton players of all ages in the region with digital and easy access to playing opportunities.
GC: Did you guys face any challenges in the beginning?
R&J: We are still firmly in the beginning and yes, all beginnings are difficult. However, as of today, we can say we would go down this road again. The biggest challenge is clearly communication. Since the center is fully automated, every step has to be clear and easy to understand.
GC: Why did you choose GotCourts as your digitization partner? What benefits does this offer to your centre?
R&J: First of all, we were convinced by the overall package, which includes compatibility with our access system, the simple reservation option, and the fact that we were able to answer all our requirements with a clear yes to the various options. In addition, the implementation as well as the support was top at all times. The first reservations show that the system works, so we are happy and grateful that we chose GotCourts.
GC: What feedback have you received from players so far?
R&J: The first feedbacks are very good and the appreciation that we continue to run the sports center is enormous, in a positive sense. The concept has also met with great acceptance so far, which of course makes us very happy.
GC: You can play squash and badminton here - what potential do you see in these sports? What fascinates you about them?
R&J: The beauty of these two sports is that you don't have to reach a certain level to have fun. So these sports cover everything from the hobby player to the ambitious racket athlete.
GC: What is the racket sport ecosystem in the region of St. Gallen? Are tennis, squash and badminton attractive sports to play?
R&J: For the above mentioned reason it is possible to run the squash and badminton economically. In addition, the offer in the SG region is manageable. Especially in the case of badminton, this sport is often only offered by one club. And yet there are over 200.000 badminton players in Switzerland who are not club members, which helps us too.
GC: Do you have a specific vision for the center or plans for the future?
R&J: First and foremost, we want to meet or even exceed the expectations of our athletes and subtenants. If we can achieve that in the medium and long term, we will certainly be profitable. Next in the pipeline is a renovation of the badminton area.
GC: Our partner Playtomic, together with Monitor Deloitte, has published the Global Padel Report, which shows robust growth of padel worldwide. This padel wave could also arrive in Switzerland. What do you think about the rapidly growing trend sport Padel?
R&J: Cool sport, plus we are aware of how fast the sport is developing. We have Padel in mind....
Learn more about the Sportcenter in St. Gallen
Sportcenter SG GmbH
Rorschacherstrasse 292 9016 St.Gallen