Hayward Opens Largest Indoor Sports Facility

Michael Guzman

In the movie “Field of Dreams,” starring Kevin Costner, one famous line can sum up the new indoor sports facility in Hayward: “If you build it, they will come.”

Dream Courts, an indoor sports facility in Hayward that is currently occupying 80,000 square feet, has opened its doors for business, and if all goes according to plan, the facility will have exploded to a whopping 400,000 sq. ft. by summer’s end.

Located at 22290 Hathaway Avenue, near the Costco Business Center, the Dream Courts facility could be missed if not knowing what to look for. What looks like an industrial warehouse outside is something totally different inside.

Once you arrive at the facility, there is ample parking on site.  Inside the facility, friendly staff members at the front desk welcome visitors.

As you pass the front desk, the brand new exercise equipment is seen on your right. To the left are six NBA regulation-sized courts with NBA-style collapsible backboards. At the very back of the building, a seventh court is hidden from plain sight.

On the side closest when you walk in, there are chairs lined up for spectators down the sideline. Think courtside seats at an NBA game. Separating the three courts from the other are a line of chairs for the players and the scorers tables. At the far wall there are bleachers that span the length of the building.

Oversized nets drape down from the rafters to prevent balls from going into the other courts, and serve also as dividers between the courts. There is a snack bar in case you get hungry or thirsty, and plenty of room to just sit down and take in the action.

Because the facility just opened, it still has a fresh paint smell to it, but once you have been in the facility making your way around, you quickly forget about it. The high ceiling has rows of lights that make for an interesting reflection off the shiny hardwood floors.

The only facility comparable to Dream Courts would be the Baladium in Alameda. The transformed airport hangar at the old Alameda Naval Base offers multiple sports under one roof, and it does so in a 120,000 sq ft. facility.

On this visit to Dream Courts, there was an AAU basketball tournament that showcased teams from all over the Bay Area. AAU basketball—or Amateur Athletic Union—is the national governing body for club basketball for both boys and girls. Teams are made up of kids as young as the second grade, up until the 12th grade.

“This place is outstanding,” said Cliff Chapman, coach of the Rocktown Elite, who participated in the tournament. “But we need more people to know about it.”

Coach Chapman had several ideas about how to get the word out, including getting local radio stations to “hype the place up.” Chapman was quick to say that it would be cool to have a local radio station and play some music and have them announce tournaments over the air to get the word out.

Jacque Hudson was in attendance preparing for her son’s game and was delighted to have a facility that could benefit the community.

“It is inspiring to see this facility,” said Hudson. “It is great for our area, and it will encourage kids and young men to keep off the streets.”

CSU East Bay student Chris Bermudez visited the Dream Courts recently, and as an avid basketball fan and player, he was amazed by the facility.

“I think this place is awesome,” said Bermudez. “This is a place that I would love to work at. I really like what they got going on there, and to have seven NBA courts—that’s nice, man.”
The true inspiration though, comes from the visionary president and CEO of Dream Courts, Teresa Banks.

A former bodybuilder, her passion and motivation are unmatched. Banks is no stranger to the city of Hayward—she attended Hayward High for a year, and also attended Chabot College and then-CSU Hayward for certification programs. One of her daughters currently attends Hayward High.

From the concept of Dream Courts to its implementation, Banks wants to promote a healthy Hayward by giving families the opportunity to workout together, regardless of what sport they might play.

“The parent can bring their child, and one kid can be playing basketball, the other could be playing soccer, and they can hit the workout equipment,” said Banks. “By the time they are ready to leave, they have all spent an hour or two here working out together.”

The list of things to come for the facility appears to be never ending. By the end of May, phase two of the construction is slated for completion. This will tack on another ten basketball courts.

Phase three should be nearing completion by mid-summer, bringing volleyball, soccer and a host of other amenities to the facility.

The privately funded Dream Courts counts on Oakland native and current Memphis Grizzlies player Leon Powe as their spokesperson. On the court they have help from Alvin Attles III, son of Al Attles Jr., former Golden State Warriors player and NBA Championship coach. Attles III is a USF graduate and played professionally in the Philippines.

Before Dream Courts finally called Hayward home, other locations were taken into consideration, including San Leandro, Oakland and San Ramon. What enticed Banks about this location in the end was the size of the building and the city.

“Hayward is the heart of the Bay,” said Banks. “The people here are people’s people, and I feel like I’m meant to do this here, and the city is really trying to reach out, and it’s important for me to fit into that.”

As the city of Hayward continues its renovation projects to revitalize the downtown and the overall image of the city, Dream Courts fits nice into that new vision. Having Dream Courts open will hopefully, over time, bring attention to Hayward.

“If we host tournaments that bring people to our city, to our facility, those people will want to stay nearby and will, in theory, support local business and go get something to eat nearby—stay at a local hotel and support local business,” said Banks.

The citizens of Hayward also stand to benefit as well. Aside from providing a place to be active and create healthy habits, the Dream Courts’ non-athletic programs will also draw in those in need. Programs like free homework help and tutoring will provide much needed support for kids and keep them motivated.

Dream Courts will continue to push the envelope, and as it nears completion it will be interesting to see what the finished facility will look like. Have no doubt, as the name speaks for itself, and when all is said and done, it will be the largest indoor sports facility in the nation.