How Much Does it Cost to Build a Skate Park?
A skatepark can be a great investment for a neighborhood or community. These recreational areas provide benefits to community residents and encourage economic development. Skateparks come in all different sizes and styles, and the cost of construction varies mainly depending on those factors.
The average cost to build a skatepark is around $50-$55 per square foot, with a range of $25-$60 per square foot. Most public skateparks are at least 10,000 square feet, meaning that the average cost would be at least $500,000. Size is the biggest factor in determining the cost.
Skatepark Construction Cost
When determining the cost to build a skatepark, the biggest factor to consider is the park’s size. Building a skatepark costs, on average, $50 per square foot. Of course, that price can change significantly based on a whole host of factors that we will discuss.
The park’s size will also impact the design and what kinds of structures you’ll be able to build or install. The design and structures are what will draw skaters to the park, so it’s important to ensure that your park will be large enough to accommodate structures and have enough capacity to serve the surrounding community.
Skateparks can be built using concrete or they can be assembled using modular ramps and structures made from wood or steel. Concrete is far superior to modular designs for skateparks. Concrete is higher quality and will last exponentially longer.
While the upfront investment will be higher to build a skatepark using concrete, the cost to maintain the park over its lifetime will be much lower than modular construction. Not to mention, those who use the skateparks much prefer concrete.
Skateparks are typically categorized as either a skate spot, neighborhood skatepark, or regional skatepark, depending on the size and capacity.
|Type of Skatepark||Size (Square Footage)||Capacity|
|Skate Spot||3,000 – 5,000||5|
|Neighborhood Skatepark||6,000 – 12,000||65|
Alternatively, if you’re looking to build a backyard skatepark for just your personal use you’d be able to design something much smaller (and much less expensive).
For example, a 2,500 square foot skate park would cost around $125,000 to build and would be enough space for just a few people.
On the other hand, you may just want to build or install a mini ramp or other non-permanent structures in your backyard. In that case, you would probably be able to build some skating structures for $500 – $1,000 depending on the size and materials.
Cost to Build a Concrete Skatepark (by size)
|Skatepark Size (Square Feet)||Average Cost Estimate|
|2,000||$50,000 – $100,000|
|3,000||$75,000 – $125,000|
|5,000||$125,000 – $250,000|
|6,000||$150,000 – $300,000|
|7,500||$187,500 – $375,000|
|8,000||$200,000 – $480,000|
|10,000||$250,000 – $500,000|
|12,000||$300,000 – $600,000|
|15,000||$375,000 – $750,000|
|20,000||$500,000 – $1,000,000|
Cost Factors for Building a Skatepark
In addition to the park’s size, there are many other factors that may impact the final cost for construction. Some of these include the land and preparation costs, design costs, drainage, structures and design features, permitting, and so on.
Site Preparation ($500 – $3,000)
Before you begin constructing your skate park, you’ll have to ensure that the land is properly cleared and the site is prepared for the project.
If you have to clear vegetation or do extensive excavation, this will add to your budget. For example, removing a single tree typically costs anywhere from $250 to $1,500. These costs can add up quickly.
The slope and other topography features may need to be adjusted, which will be an added expense. You’ll also most likely need to have a survey completed, which can run between $500 and $1,000.
Once the land is clear, you’ll need to consider the soil itself. If the soil conditions are too loose or sandy, your concrete may settle and crack after construction, resulting in costly repairs.
Amending the soil and taking the proper steps to prepare for the concrete may cost more, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
Drainage ($500 – $4,000)
Most skateparks have bowl-shaped concrete surfaces which naturally collect water at the bottom. Drainage must be installed to prevent your bowl from becoming an in-ground pool.
Not only do drains and pipes need to be installed, but they’ll need to connect to a sump or wastewater line. Even if your skatepark is mostly flat and uses ramps instead of bowls, you’ll still need to plan for rainwater runoff.
This will require pouring the concrete at the right grade to encourage the water to drain where you want it to go. You may need to consult with a landscape architect to ensure the best outcome.
Be sure to check your local ordinances to keep your drainage in compliance.
Amenities and Features ($1,000+)
Your skatepark will likely be more than just a concrete pad, which means you’ll need to account for any additions beyond the skating surface itself.
Some of the things you may want to include are
Walking Paths or Sidewalks
One way to reduce the cost of these added features is to build a skatepark within or near an existing park or recreation facility.
In addition to these amenities, you’ll also need to think about the types of structures you’re going to include in the park. The more complex the skatepark design is, the more expensive it will be to build.
It’s possible to use a general contractor to build a skatepark, but you should ensure that they have some experience in building skateparks. The investment is too large to risk entrusting the project to a contractor that has not built a skatepark in the past.
It’s best to use a firm that specializes in skatepark construction, especially if you’re looking to build a large park or something with complex or unique design features.
Safe and functional skateparks require the designers and contractors to understand how skaters will use the space, how they will get speed, make turns, and interact with other skaters.
As such, a specialized contractor or firm may cost more than a general contractor, but the investment will be worth it to ensure a successful project.
How to Pay for a Skatepark
Building a skatepark in your community is an expensive endeavor. However, it’s possible to find assistance to pay for the park through donations, fundraising, and grants.
The Skatepark Project recommends seeking out as many fundraising opportunities as possible. Other sources of financing may be through state and local grants intended to fund parks and recreation spaces.
Parks that are focused on combating childhood obesity may be eligible for funding through various grants, which would be a potential source of funding for a skatepark.
A city in Canada built a $700,00 skatepark using only grants and fundraising, including $150,000 from a federal grant, a $250,000 donation from a large local company, a local government grant of $150,000, and community fundraising totaling $150,000.
So, if you’re willing and able to put the legwork in, you can raise most or all of the money for your skatepark project.
Choosing a Location for a Skatepark
Skateparks can be polarizing to a community. There will be many in favor of the project and there will be some that staunchly oppose it.
Neighbors near the proposed skatepark location may even protest against the development. However, this is typically due to misconceptions about skateparks and skaters in general.
However, there are some general guidelines that can help you choose the best location for a skatepark in your community that will (hopefully) keep everyone happy:
Choose a central location near residential areas. Many skaters don’t drive, so you want the park to be accessible. Ideally, it will be near public transportation access and positioned so that it is not directly adjacent to anyone’s home.
Build the park near the street, in clear view. Skateparks that are located in remote, hidden areas like the back of a large park may attract other undesirable activities. In addition, the community can see the healthy and positive environment created by the skatepark.
Use an existing public park area if possible. These locations have existing infrastructure like parking, restrooms, and lighting that will benefit the skatepark and save money on the project.
Consider repurposing an existing tennis or basketball court, or grassy field. Many communities have multiple tennis or basketball courts but no skatepark. You could potentially make a case for converting one of those areas into a skatepark which would simplify the construction process.
How Much Does it Cost to Own a Skatepark?
Once you build a skatepark, you’ll need to consider the cost to own and maintain it over time. One of the benefits of building a skatepark is that they require very little in terms of ongoing maintenance and attention.
Most skateparks don’t have supervision or an attendant and they’re maintained much like a public park.
A concrete skatepark costs under $2,000 per year to maintain it over a 20-year lifespan. On the other hand, a skatepark made with steel ramps may cost as much as $6,000 per year to own it, and the lifespan is only 6-10 years.
Costs of ownership that you may need to consider include minor repairs, addressing cracks and chips in the concrete, cosmetic refurbishments, and various fees and taxes.
Indoor Versus Outdoor Skateparks
Most skateparks are outdoors. However, indoor skate parks provide a space for skaters to practice their skills all year long and in all kinds of weather. If you’re interested in building an indoor skatepark, the process is virtually the same as building an outdoor park.
However, if you’re building an indoor skatepark and plan to charge a fee for use, you’ll want to ensure that you develop an excellent design that skaters will want to use. You’ll also need to plan to invest in immaculate upkeep and upgrades over time.
An indoor skatepark can be a solid business opportunity if its done correctly, so it’s a good idea to spend some time visiting and talking with other owners and skaters before you begin such a venture.
The Bottom Line
Building a skatepark can be a very fun and rewarding project, whether you’re doing a small scale backyard build or a large community skatepark. The costs for such a project can vary significantly based on the park’s size and features, but in general the cost is $50 or less per square foot.
An important decision is whether you’re going to build a concrete skatepark or use steel ramps to construct a modular design.
The upfront cost for modular ramps may be much lower than designing and pouring a concrete skatepark, but the quality will be much lower and the lifetime cost of ownership will be much higher with the steel ramps.
If you decide to build a skatepark, there are many options available to help fund your project. It’s a good idea to research federal, state, and local grants that may be available for public park funding.
You can also do community fundraising and seek out volunteers to help with the build. A skatepark can be a great potential business venture, and it can also encourage economic growth in the community.
A skatepark can rejuvenate certain areas of town, encourage local businesses to expand into the area, and it provides a safe and healthy recreational area for residents. A skatepark is a win-win if it’s done right and if you take the time to research and prepare for the project appropriately.
There are plenty of resources out there to help you decide on the best locations, designs, and features for your skatepark. Be sure to talk to community members and the people that will be using the park (your local skating community) to help ensure the park’s success.