As a parent of two children involved in sports, we spend a lot of time inside sporting goods stores. When we go to the stores, the problem is that we usually have to wait until we get home to try out the equipment. The latest concept from Dick’s Sporting Goods called the House of Sport changes the game completely. These stores have interactive zones where they encourage customers to try out equipment and speak with experts to receive advice on the best equipment for you. We visited the Dick’s House of Sport Knoxville for a preview before their grand opening and here’s what we found.
I want to say thank you to Dick’s House of Sport in Knoxville for hosting me for this preview. Although they compensated me for my time today, my family shops at Dick’s on a regular basis for all of our sporting needs.
What is the Dick’s Sporting Goods House of Sport Knoxville?
The Dick’s Sporting Goods House of Sport in Knoxville is the second concept store opened to encourage customers to “try before they buy.” This store is located at the West Town Mall at 7600 Kingston Pike, Suite 400, Knoxville, TN 37919. The first House of Sport located a couple of months ago in Victor, New York.
It features over 100,000 square feet of retail space across two floors, plus a 24,000 square foot outdoor recreation area. Plus, there are numerous interactive stations throughout the store so you can try out equipment and receive pointers from experts.
As you move from one part of the store to another, stop and take in the scents. Normally, athletics means having to deal with the smell of sweat and dirt, but not inside the House of Sport. The store’s designers included “scent stations” in key locations throughout the store to create a full sensory experience. The scents include:
- Main entrance – Pacific breeze
- Baseball – pink bubble gum
- Golf – leather
- Camp / climb / rock wall – mountain retreat
- Health and wellness – eucalyptus mint
- Social fitting room – white tea and thyme
The scents aren’t overwhelming and are actually quite faint. You have to stop and focus for a second or two before you’ll notice that they’re there. I love that it’s barely there, yet part of the experience.
Save $10 off a $50 Purchase
From June 4, 2021, through June 6, 2021, you can save $10 off your purchase of $50 or more when you use this coupon. This coupon is good only at the Dick’s House of Sport in Knoxville at the West Town Mall.
Advice from the Dick’s House of Sport Knoxville Experts
As you explore the store, you’ll find experts in every section who provide advice and help you find the right products for your game. Whether you are looking for tights and sports bras, a new set of clubs, or the right shoes, Dick’s House of Sport Knoxville experts are there to help.
Interactive Stations and the House of Cleats
Throughout Dick’s House of Sport, there are interactive stations where you can test out equipment, clothing, and footwear in real sports settings. Whether it’s a pair of cleats, testing out a driver, or running a few laps, you can try the gear in real-world situations before you buy.
House of Cleats
No matter what sport you play, you’ll find tons of footwear choices to bring out your A-game. My local Dick’s Sporting Goods has a variety of choices, but they can’t compete with the House of Cleats. They have such an incredible selection of shoes for every imaginable sport, you may have a hard time picking just one.
Sneakerheads should check out Dick’s website for the schedule of shoe releases. Knowing when your favorite shoes are coming out will make it easier to snag a pair.
Golf Hitting Bays & Putting Green
There are three interactive golf hitting bays at Dick’s House of Sport. Test out the latest drivers and wedges to figure out your next set of clubs. Each one has head’s up displays showing a simulated display of where you hit your shot and offers insights on your swing — club speed, strike angle, and what part of the clubface that you’re hitting the ball.
You can walk up and use the hitting bays without an appointment or schedule a time with the on-site golf pro. The House of Sport experts can help you pinpoint where you’re hitting the ball and offer tips to improve your game.
The putting green also has several holes to test out putters and golf balls. We didn’t try it, but we were told that it is popular with visitors.
Hittrax Batting Cage
Most of the time, when you visit a sporting goods store, you’re afraid to swing the bat to avoid hitting someone or something. At the Dick’s House of Sport, you can walk up and use the batting cage or book a 30-minute session. The pitching machine and interactive display simulate hitting in a baseball stadium with fielders who attempt to catch your pop-flys or throw you out at first when you hit a grounder.
Indoor Rock Wall
Of all of the interactive stations inside Dick’s House of Sport, the 40-foot height indoor rock wall is the only one that costs money. For $12, you can book a 30-minute rock climbing session for you or your kids. Reservations are available online or in-store.
There are five “lanes” that you can climb during your session under the watch of an experienced climber. Four of the lanes have a mechanical device that drops you down slowly and safely in case you get tired or lose your grip. The fifth lane is the traditional rope line operated by the safety person that is guiding you up and down the indoor climbing wall.
Outdoor Track & Field and Play Area
The outdoor track & field and sports play area is 24,000 square feet of fun for the entire family. There’s an Olympic-style track with two regulation-width lanes where you can ride bikes or run laps. The center of the track has artificial turf where you can kick a soccer ball, play cornhole, throw a football, and more. Both the track and turf surfaces use recycled materials as part of Dick’s Sporting Goods’ commitment to the local community.
This outdoor area is also where many of the House of Sport events and clinics are held. In case of inclement weather, the staff will clear out space inside the store so you won’t miss any sessions.
Health & Wellness
The Health and Wellness area of the store features local products to support the community. You’ll find fresh Kombucha and dairy products from local suppliers available for sale.
While you’re in the store, schedule an informational consultation with a local wellness expert. Then, stock up on everything from protein powders to yoga blocks to activity trackers so you can focus on improving your health.
You can also test out treadmills, ellipticals, rowing machines, and bikes before you purchase them. Fitness equipment can be a major investment, so trying before committing will help you figure out if the equipment is worth the money.
Clothing Brands at Dick’s House of Sport Knoxville
Having the right equipment is only part of the equation when playing sports. Wearing the clothing designed for your activity can mean the difference between reaching your goals or falling short. Dick’s House of Sport has numerous clothing brands available for every budget.
Well-known Athletic Brands at House of Sport Knoxville
As you’d expect, you’ll find many of the most well-known brands in the world at Dick’s Sporting Goods. These brands include Nike, adidas, Under Armour, Free People, Billabong, Patagonia, and more.
CALIA by Carrie Underwood
One of Dick’s private label brands is CALIA, which was created in collaboration with country music star Carrie Underwood. The clothing is designed for a variety of occasions, including traveling, kickboxing, yoga, and lounging. As I looked for some gifts for Anna, there were some trendy designs and comfortable fabrics. I think she’s really going to like them!
VRST with DeVonta Smith
Another private label from Dick’s is called VRST, which is short for versatile. It’s a new addition to Dick’s clothing labels that launched in March 2021. The versatile moniker means that the athletic clothing line is designed for men to work out, work from home, or commute in style, without having to change clothes. DaVonta Smith, the 2021 first-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, recently signed on with VRST to collaborate on some upcoming designs.
Other Dick’s Private Label Brands
Dick’s original private label brand DSG offers affordable clothing made for the entire family. DSG makes budget-friendly designs for men, women, and kids for every sport. In addition to clothing, DSG also has a line of equipment for a variety of sports to ensure that every family can participate. Dick’s donates 1% of every DSG purchase to The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation to help save youth sports.
Fitting Rooms with a Unique Twist
There are several fitting rooms to use so you can make sure the clothing is the right fit. One of the fitting rooms even has a treadmill available for a gait analysis (how you move) and to see how the clothing fits as you move.
One thing I love as a girl-Dad is that the fitting rooms have many women advisors there to help. Some women don’t feel comfortable with men so close when they’re trying on clothes, so this helps put customers at ease. Plus, having someone nearby that understands the female body is an excellent feature for girls and women who play sports and are into fitness.
Pro Services for Your Gear
Inside the Dick’s House of Sport Knoxville, you’ll also find professional services to repair and condition your equipment. These experts can fix your bike, restring your glove or racket, regrip your bat, and so much more. Most of these services have a one-day turnaround, but you can also drop off your equipment and potentially have the work done by the time you’re finished shopping for the day.
For the best timing, it pays to book an appointment online or over the phone. If you’re in a rush or want to stay socially distant, when you have an appointment, you can drop off your item at the front door with one of the Dick’s House of Sport staff.
Community Events & Clinics
As part of Dick’s commitment to the community, the House of Sport holds regular community events and instructional clinics to encourage sports and fitness. These events include summer camps and speed & agility clinics for kids and yoga & boot camp classes for people of all ages.
The One Thing That Is Missing at Dick’s House of Sport Knoxville
The designers of this store thought of everything. From interactive stations to customized scents to experts everywhere, this Dick’s Sporting Goods store has it all… except one thing. Shopping carts!
While there are small baskets that you can use to carry your purchases in as you explore the store, some of the items are large, bulky, and/or heavy. Carrying them around as you use the batting cage, golf bays, or anything else can be cumbersome. Luckily for us, one of the employees offered to take our new fold-up chairs down to the checkout counter for us so we could continue shopping and not have to bring them with us.
If you’re planning to buy a bunch of sporting goods equipment, clothing, or other items, having a shopping cart would make it much easier to move around the store.
The Bald Thoughts
I’m a big believer in online shopping for almost everything in my life. But, when it comes to sports equipment and fitness clothing, nothing beats being able to touch & feel it or try it out in person. Our family loves going to Dick’s Sporting Goods near our home in Nashville, but it doesn’t offer the same interactive experience at the Dick’s House of Sport Knoxville. I hope that this concept catches on and that they open more of these stores in the future. If you visit the Knoxville area, I recommend stopping by the store to experience it for yourself.