Once a decision had been taken in 1962 to build the new indoor swimming pool in Central Park and not in the city centre as some had wanted, ideas for extending the range of facilities started to emerge. Indoor tennis, indoor bowls, badminton and athletics were all discussed.
In 1963, the chairman of Plymouth Argyle proposed in an after-dinner speech that the football club should take over Central Park and develop it as a sports centre.
In 1968, three years after the swimming pool opened, the Council presented its first proposal for a sports centre. It included a running track and provision for widening Outland Road as a dual carriageway.
Whilst these early ideas went undeveloped, they paved the way for the Mayflower Centre which opened in 1970.