What was once a dormant part of Canterbury League Club is now to home Sportsplus Clubhouse Canterbury, a new venue within the club that boasts six different sports simulators for a competitive social experience.
The 700sqm venue has been developed in partnership with Sportsplus, which is bringing sports simulators to club venues, following the trend of competitive social experiences that are popular in the UK.
Since opening in late November, Sportsplus Clubhouse Canterbury has helped the club broaden its market reach, according to Greg Bygraves, Canterbury League Club general manager for sales and marketing.
“We have really opened up the offering for a group of our members that weren’t highly represented in the club,” he says.
The Sportsplus Clubhouse Canterbury has several lanes that simulate six different sports onto projectors: cricket, golf, tennis, baseball, lacrosse, and darts. Patrons can virtually practice their golf swings, tennis serve, or try for a home run against their friends and family while keeping track of it on scoreboards. It’s estimated that at any one time, 40-50 people can actively participate in the simulator lanes.
There are also screens throughout broadcasting professional sporting fixtures, a lounge area, and a bar and kitchen that’s operated by Sportsplus. Guests also have the option to order food from any part of the club.
Bygraves says the new concept has been met with “overwhelmingly positive” feedback, particularly during the school holidays.
“We generally do very well in the school holidays, but this has just been an awesome new addition, particularly for that group of older teenagers who are a little bit too old to jump into the kids play area attached to the bistro,” he says.
“Other than sitting there while their parents are dining and playing on their phones, the whole family can now jump upstairs and have a go on the simulators.”
The Clubhouse is located opposite Canterbury League Club’s new sophisticated cocktail bar, Bartega. Bygraves explains that while the two venues offer different experiences, they are targeted to serve the same 20-40-year-old demographic.
“They’re just going to complement each other nicely,” he says.
The space in which the Clubhouse and Bartega are now situated was previously an old gaming room that has been unused since the club underwent a major renovation in 2016-17. Set to join the two venues is the club’s new 500-person showroom, which is slated to open early February.
“We will go from having a part of the club that was fairly underutilised to an area that comfortably accommodates up to 900 people on a busy weekend at one time,” says Bygraves.