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September 2015

Inside this issue: NASC Member Services Update NASC to Partner with Ohio University on Certified Sports Event Executive Program 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium Preview 2016 NASC Sports Legacy Beneficiary Announced Submit an Entry for NASC Member Awards

Photographs Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

The Boom in Sports Facility Development

Your Resource for the Sports Tourism Industry


I T ’ S








National Headquarters 9916 Carver Road, Suite 100 Cincinnati, OH 45242




Letter From Executive Director...........................4


NASC Member Services Update..........................5

(513) 281-3888/(513) 281-1765 www.SportsCommissions.org Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director Lori Gamble, Associate Executive Director Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership & Marketing Meagan McCalla, Member Services Coordinator

Board of Directors Officers

Greg Ayers, CSEE, President & CEO, Discover Kalamazoo, Chairman Ralph Morton, CSEE, Executive Director, Seattle Sports Commission, Vice Chairman/Chair-Elect Mike Anderson, CSEE, Executive Director – Sports Tourism, Myrtle Beach Regional Sports Alliance, Treasurer Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Bryan-College Station CVB, Secretary Kevin Smith, CSEE, Director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, Immediate Past Chairman


Janna Clark, CSEE, Sports and Sales Director, Elizabethtown Sports Park John David, CSEE, Chief Operating Officer, USA BMX Matt Dunn, CSEE, Vice President, Tourism Development, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches Roy Edmondson, CSEE, Director of Sports Business Development, Anaheim Orange CVB John Gibbons, CSEE, Executive Director, RI Sports Commission Pete Harvey, CSEE, Director of Sports Development, Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission Brian Hickey, CSEE, CDME, Director of Sports, Tallahassee Sports Council Mike Hill, CSEE, Senior Director, Sports Sales, Hilton Worldwide- Sports Sales Michael Price, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority Janis Ross, Executive Director, Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Steve Schell, Sports Strategic Sales Executive, Experient Sports Janis Schmees Burke, CSEE, Executive Director, Harris County - Houston Sports Authority Glen Schorr, Executive Director, Orienteering USA Kris Smith, CSEE, Sales Manager, Event Development, Detroit Sports Benjamin Wilder, CSEE, Director, Savannah Sports Council Marc Zimmerman, CSEE, Sales & Events Manager, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing

Media & Public Relations Advisers Jackie Reau, Game Day Communications

Betsy Ross, Game Day Communications


NASC to Partner with Ohio University on Certified Sports Event Executive Program...........6 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium Preview......................................................7-11 Submit an Entry for NASC Member Awards....... 12 2016 NASC Sports Legacy Fund Beneficiary Announced ................................... 15 The Boom in Sports Facility Development.....16-17 Sports Turf: Preparing for Inclement Weather....................................18-19

Looking to share your expertise? Information-sharing is a founding principle of the NASC, and the industry knowledge among the NASC membership lends itself to unprecedented expertise. The NASC encourages members to share information with your peers. Contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, at elizabeth@sportscommissions.org to learn more about how you can contribute to a future edition of The NASC Playbook. And don’t forget to share your news to be included in NASC Get in the Game eNews each week. Simply have your media relations department add info@sportscommissions.org to its distribution list.

LETTER FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The NASC Board of Directors held its annual board retreat in Grand Rapids, Michigan August 10-12. This marked the first time the retreat has been held in the next city to host the 24th NASC Sports Event Symposium. It was decided that doing so would give the board an opportunity to see first-hand just what is being planned for the next symposium. It also provided opportunities to promote our event with community leaders. Each retreat offers the opportunity to review the activities of the association and, more importantly, look ahead to anticipate industry trends. It is the only annual chance to deliberate at length on items of significance to the membership. One of the highlights was the chance to meet with representatives from the beneficiary for next year’s Sports Legacy Fund. Officials from Mary Free Bed and Adaptive Sports described their plan of work and what additional funding will mean to them. It was agreed to hold next year’s retreat in Sacramento, California, the site for the 25th NASC Sports Event Symposium from April 26-30, 2017.

Donald G. Schumacher, CSEE Executive Director

Annual Membership Benefits

The NASC continues to develop benefits and services to make your organization more efficient and effective in the sports tourism industry each year including: • Best Practices Webinars • Car Rental and Airport Shuttle • Online Directories • Event Webinars Discounts • Online Event RFP Database • Market Segment Meetings • Premium Item Discounts • NASC Economic Impact Calculator • Sports Event Symposium • SportsBusiness Journal • Industry Research and Reports • Consulting Services subscription discount • NASC Career Center • Shipping Discounts, courtesy • Models and Samples of PartnerShip® • CSEE Program



Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, has been on staff since 2007. Elizabeth will continue to lead the membership recruitment and renewal efforts and develop and implement the annual marketing and communications plan. Elizabeth also manages the NASC Sports Legacy Fund and NASC Member Awards, oversees advertising sales, and serves as the editor of NASC publications.

NASC MEMBER SERVICES UPDATE The NASC staff and Board of Directors are happy to announce the hiring of an additional staff member to better serve the needs of our ever-growing membership. With a membership that has grown more than 25% in the last five years, it is of utmost importance that the national office continues to deliver a high level of personal service to each and every one of our member organizations.

Meagan McCalla, Member Services Coordinator, has been on staff since 2013. Meagan will continue to be the primary point of contact for all Active member organizations (destinations). Active members should expect quarterly service calls from Meagan and contact her for any questions regarding membership renewals, account updates, registration for NASC meetings, or general inquiries about member services and benefits.

Therefore, an additional member services coordinator, Allison Deak, will begin her tenure with the NASC in October. With this staff change comes some restructuring and shifts in responsibilities of each staff member at the national office to more appropriately handle the volume of daily activity required to service nearly 800 member organizations.

Allison Deak, Member Services Coordinator, will join the staff in October 2015. Allison will be the primary point of contact for all Allied and Rights Holder members (vendors and event owners). Allied and Rights Holder members should expect quarterly service calls from Allison and contact her for any questions regarding membership renewals, account updates, registration for NASC meetings, or general inquiries about member services and benefits.

Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, is a founder of the NASC and has been the executive director since 1994. Don develops and implements the strategic plan for the NASC. He also leads NASC strategic consulting services and CSEE. Lori Gamble, Associate Executive Director, has been an integral part of the leadership team of the NASC since 1994. In addition to her responsibility of managing the annual operating budget, Lori will oversee the sponsorship program and meeting management, including the annual NASC Sports Event Symposium and NASC Market Segment Meetings.

We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of all of our members and remain your resource for the sports tourism industry for years to come.

Membership Growth Year End 2014 800


700 670 621

600 571 531 500


492 464

444 400 368 300 240 200


93 89

119 113

128 119

142 134

168 158


250 201


262 210

273 217








35 14

38 14

42 14


257 231

1998: NASC adds rights holder membership category

63 0


399 332


43 15






101 38





133 58





33 30 27 20 19 18 16 10 0 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 0


4 0

6 0

9 0

8 0

Total Membership

Acve Only

Allied Only

Rights Holder

www.SportsCommissions.org 5

Upon completion of the program, graduates will receive a co-branded certificate certifying their participation in the NASC/OHIO program. In addition, Don Schumacher, executive director of NASC, will serve as adjunct professor of OHIO’s sports administration program and will be the primary instructor for the online modules.

NASC to Partner With Ohio University on Certified Sports Event Executive Program The NASC and the Ohio University College of Business have agreed to a partnership to develop a new certified professional development program exclusively for members of NASC. Under the agreement, the NASC and Ohio University will build a jointly branded, professional development program for NASC members. Ohio University will develop online modules for professional development and provide faculty support and course software. NASC will provide content for course development, help recruit NASC members for the program and keep members updated on the programs offered.

“I look forward to this new partnership with the Ohio University College of Business,” said Schumacher. “Our members are primarily interested in our educational and development offerings and we feel this online program will keep our members abreast of the latest information and trends in the sports events and business industry.” “For the last 50 years, Ohio University has been recognized as the birthplace of sports business education,” said Norm O’Reilly, chair of the Department of Sports Administration at Ohio University. “We are excited to continue that tradition in partnership with the NASC and offer professional development opportunities that are grounded in our legacy of academic excellence.” For complete details on the redesign of CSEE which will go into effect on January 1, 2016, visit www.SportsCommissions.org/Certification.

Sporting events are measured in points, goals, runs, wins and losses. They’re also measured in memories. In Wisconsin, our sports destinations are dedicated to helping you create experiences worthy of reminiscing for years to come. Become an all-star that everyone looks up to and get the ball rolling at sportswisconsin.com.




2016 Schedule-At-A-Glance

Subject to change. *Additional fees apply.

Monday, April 4

7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. – 11: 00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 5

Hosted by

The NASC Sports Event Symposium is the annual meeting for the only non-profit 501(c)3 association for the sports tourism industry and the most credible source for industry research and best practices. For nearly 25 years, the Symposium has been designed for sports tourism professionals by sports tourism professionals. Through a combination of industry-leading educational and business development opportunities, serious-minded professionals who attend the Symposium learn how to produce measurable ROI for their organization and advance their careers in the industry.

6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. – Noon 12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. 2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 6

6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. –9:30 a.m. 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Noon – 1:30 p.m. 1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. 4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Registration NASC Sports Legacy Fund Community Service Project Exhibitor Set-Up CSEE* New Member and First Time Attendee Networking Reception Basketball Championship Viewing Party Rise and Shine Yoga* Lapping the Landmarks 5K Guided Run/Walk Tour* Registration Breakfast & Breakouts NASC Sports Marketplace Opening General Session Luncheon Education Sessions Education Sessions NASC Sports Marketplace Happy Hour in the NASC Sports Marketplace Opening Party at Van Andel Arena  Rise and Shine Yoga* Lapping the Landmarks 5K Guided Run/Walk Tour* Registration NASC Business Meeting Breakfast NASC Sports Marketplace Keynote Luncheon Education Sessions Education Sessions NASC Sports Marketplace Happy Hour in the NASC Sports Marketplace and Sports Legacy Raffle/Auction NASC Hall of Fame Reception*

Thursday, April 7

6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. Rise and Shine Yoga* 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. Lapping the Landmarks 5K Guided Run/Walk Tour* 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Registration 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. NASC Board of Directors Meeting 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Grab-N-Go Breakfast in the NASC Sports Marketplace 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. NASC Sports Marketplace 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Closing General Session Luncheon Afternoon Grand Rapids Venue Tours & other optional activities*

www.SportsCommissions.org 7

More than 1,000 sports tourism professionals are expected to attend ATTENDEES BY JOB TITLE OR FUNCTION President or CEO – 18% VP – 8% Director – 29% Manager – 25%

Registration Rates DESTINATIONS First Attendee Member - $975 NASC Member Attendee - Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule and one (1) appointment schedule with NASC Sports Marketplace exhibitors (event owners and vendors). Second Attendee Member - $755 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; does NOT include appointment schedule. (May attend appointments with first attendee from your organization.)

Sales Representative – 16% Coordinator – 4%

ATTENDEES BY ORGANIZATION TYPE Destinations – 643 Vendors – 119 Event Owners – 183

Additional Attendee Member - $725 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; does NOT include appointment schedule. (May attend appointments with first attendee from your organization.) One Day Attendee - $525 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule on One Day Only; does not include appointment schedule. Non-Member - $1425 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; does not include NASC Sports Marketplace appointment schedule.

EVENT OWNERS Rights Holder Member - FREE Non-Member - $100 (includes 2016 Rights Holder membership) Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule and appointments (one appointment will be scheduled per time slot for each person attending from your organization) as well as exhibit booth in NASC Sports Marketplace.

Get in the Game 93%

of attendees rate the NASC Symposium as excellent or good

95% of attendees would recommend the NASC Symposium to a colleague


of 2015 attendees plan to attend in 2016

Vendors Exhibitor - $2,495 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; two registrations, pre-scheduled appointments, and exhibit booth in the NASC Sports Marketplace. First Attendee Member - $755 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; does NOT include appointment schedule or exhibit booth in the NASC Sports Marketplace.

#SportsTourism 8

Second Attendee Member - $725 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; does NOT include appointment schedule or exhibit booth in the NASC Sports Marketplace. One Day Attendee Member - $525 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; does NOT include appointment schedule or exhibit booth in the NASC Sports Marketplace. Non-Member - $1425 Includes all functions except those noted (*) on the schedule; does NOT include appointment schedule or exhibit booth in the NASC Sports Marketplace.

Host Hotels The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and JW Marriott Grand Rapids are the host hotels. Both hotels are connected to DeVos Place Convention Center by sky-walk.

Room Rates Destinations and Exhibitors/Vendors Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Room Rate: $169 (single or double), $195 (triple or quad) JW Marriott Room Rate: $169 (single or double) Visit www.SportsCommissions.org/Symposium to book your reservation.

Event Owners Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Room Rate: $135 (single or double) $151 (trip or quad) JW Marriott Room Rate: $135 (single or double) Contact NASC Member Services to make a reservation at the discounted rate.


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WIN OR LOSE it’s how you

PLAY AF TE R Indoor facilities. Outdoor venues. The country’s friendliest hosts. We have it all. With sporting possibilities for miles, it’s all smiles.

THE GAME 401.456.0200 | jgibbons@GoSportsRI.com


The RI Sports Commission is a division of the Providence Warwick CVB.


NASC Symposium Committee Using Attendee Feedback to Improve NASC Sports Marketplace Appointments In an effort to provide more appointments at the NASC Sports Event Symposium, group appointments were implemented in 2015. We received a great deal of feedback on this new program, which your 2016 Symposium Committee has been carefully reviewing. The way group appointments were implemented elicited strong feedback both positive and negative – which confirmed to us that the Sports Marketplace is critical to an attendee’s Symposium experience. Your survey feedback provided our committee a foundation to create a compelling new framework for Sports Marketplace business development opportunities.

We encourage you to participate in any and all styles that best meet your needs. If you have any questions, comments or would like to volunteer to serve on the Symposium Committee, please contact either Janis Ross at janis@eugenecascadescoast. org or Marc Zimmerman, CSEE, at zimm@centralfloridasports.com, Symposium Committee co-chairs.

For the 2016 Symposium in Grand Rapids, the Sports Marketplace will have three distinct formats, optimal for meeting different objectives and creating distinct meeting styles: individual appointments, presentation appointments, and open Sports Marketplace. • Individual Appointments – The majority of Marketplace time will be formatted for individual appointments, requested via the online appointment scheduler. • Presentation Appointments –Presentation appointments are a hybrid of the group appointments and Rapid RFP Review, designed using the 2015 survey feedback. Event owners will have more time to present their program(s), deadlines, specifications and requirements to a small audience. The audience will be attendees from like organizations (i.e. destinations, vendors, etc.) seeking new business opportunities with that event owner. These appointments will be requested via the online appointment scheduler. • Open Hours – New this year! The NASC Sports Marketplace will open on Tuesday and Wednesday with 30-minutes of open time. Attendees will be able to travel the Sports Marketplace and visit with event owners and vendors on an informal basis. This time will not be scheduled as appointments. Additionally, the online appointment portal will open in early 2016 to allow for optimal time for attendees to research organizations with whom they would like to request appointments. Attendees will have two opportunities to request appointments; the first open window will be to request individual appointments. After the window closes, attendees will receive their individual appointment schedule. Then, attendees who have not opted out of presentation appointments will have the opportunity to request presentation appointments with any organization with whom an individual appointment was unable to be scheduled. The presentation appointment format will be very similar to Rapid RFP Review that occurred in 2013 and 2014. 10

Deontay Wilder World Boxing Council Champion Olympic Bronze Medalist Tuscaloosa Resident

Knocking it out in...


Call for Proposals

Please note the following before submitting:

The call for speaking proposals is now open for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium. Proposals will be accepted through October 30, 2015.

• All proposals must be submitted online • All proposals must be completed in full • You may submit a maximum of three proposals

Emphasis is placed on curriculum that is relevant and timely based on what leaders in the sports tourism industry are experiencing. Education sessions are designed to raise the level of professionalism and provide training that leads to career advancement in the field of sports tourism.

To submit a proposal, visit proposals.sportscommissions.org.

The 2016 NASC Symposium educational offerings will include keynote presentations, breakout sessions, deep dives, “next” practices, and speed learning sessions. Although not applicable to all education styles, it is preferred that breakout and deep dive sessions include both a presentation (individual or panel) and a practical application exercise. Sessions vary in length. All sessions include 5 minutes for speaker introductions, sponsor recognition, and announcements.


Judging Policy Organizational Awards: Each judging panel will be comprised of three individuals (one Awards Committee member and two NASC members at-large). Judges may not submit an entry for the category which they are judging.

Submit an entry for NASC Member Awards The online Awards Submission Portal is now open! For the 2015 Member Awards, activities, events, marketing campaigns, web strategies, etc. must have occurred between January 1 and December 31, 2015.

Submitting an Entry NEW! For the first time in the history of the NASC Member Awards, members may now recommend other members to submit an entry for any award category. Members who are recommended must still submit an entry to be considered. As always, members may also enter submissions for their organization or staff. Organizations and individuals interested in entering a submission are encouraged to notify the Awards Committee of their intent to submit by January 8, 2016. Entries are due by Friday, February 12, 2016 at 11:59pm ET.

12 14

Individual Awards: Each judging panel will be comprised of five Awards Committee members. Committee members may not submit an entry for individual awards.

About NASC Member Awards The annual NASC Member Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of our members and are presented at the NASC Sports Event Symposium each year. Member Awards are the highest honor an organization or individual in the sports tourism industry can receive as they are created and awarded by industry peers. Members can view winning entries from last year’s awards to learn why the winners participated in the awards program and view the winning submission for various categories. For more information, contact Mike Anderson, CSEE, at mike.anderson@visitmyrtlebeach.com, or Janis Schmees Burke, CSEE, at jburke@houstonsports.org, Awards Committee co-chairs.

With great sports venues, a downtown rated among the Top 10 in the US by Forbes Magazine, over 8,500 hotel rooms and amenities ranging from world-class museums and theatres to the lakes and trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville, SC has hosted a wide range of high-profile regional, national and international sporting events. Now it’s time to add your event to the growing number of tournaments and championships that are calling Greenville, SC home. Learn more about that Greenville today. Call us at 800-351-7180. · · · ·

“2nd Best Town in America” – Outside Magazine

“Best Small City for Cycling” – Bicycling Magazine

2015 USA Cycling Professional Criterium Nat’l Championships & Team Time Trials · 2015 USA Swimming Southern Zone Age Group Championships 2015 B.A.S.S. GEICO Bassmaster Classic · 2014 National Softball Association Eastern Girls Fast Pitch World Series 2014 US Youth Soccer President’s Cup · 2013 Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association National Championships 2013 Southern Conference Baseball Championship · 2013 USA Karate Nationals & US Team Trials


15 9

Home to Legends Like Like

Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige and Oysters Bienville

What Mobile has to offer on game day is rivaled only by what we have to offer after the game. Start with facilities for every sport from the world’s largest public tennis complex to the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Finish by catching an end-of-the-day sunset on the bay while dining at one of our many waterfront seafood restaurants. Visit our website for more information. GO ALL OUT. WE DO.


Mary Free Bed NaMed 2016 BeNeFiciary oF NaSc SportS Legacy FuNd Established in 2006 by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund awards an annual grant and sports equipment donation to an organization in need in the host city of the NASC Sports Event Symposium. The Sports Legacy Fund is a way for members of the sports tourism community to make a personal and lasting impact on sports programs and initiatives. The West Michigan Sports Commission nominated Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports and its wheelchair tennis program since it fits with the NASC’s criteria of donating to not-for profit organizations that provide individuals – particularly at-risk youth, veterans, or physically or intellectually disabled individuals – opportunities to participate in sport and encourage healthy lifestyles.

“Choosing Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports as the NASC Sports Legacy beneficiary means that our athletes are provided more opportunities to participate in the many sports we offer without a financial burden, allowing them to gain confidence, empowerment and life skills as individuals,” said Alicia Hass, sports coordinator at Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports. The NASC Sports Legacy Committee organizes a silent auction and raffle to raise money for the Sports Legacy Fund at the NASC Symposium each year. Proceeds from the auction and raffle will support the 2016 beneficiary and the NASC Sports Legacy Fund endowment. The NASC Sports Legacy Fund became a monetary donation in 2009 and has contributed more than $63,000 since then to programs in Symposium host cities, including $20,000 in 2015 to the Running Rebels Community Organization in Milwaukee. “The NASC has seen steady growth in donations to local charities in the host cities of the annual NASC Sports Event Symposium since 2009,” said Don Schumacher, CSEE, executive director of the NASC. “It is very exciting to come to a new market and raise funds to assist in the development of programs that will benefit the residents of the community.” As an added benefit to the host city, the NASC also organizes a community service project as a program attendees have the option of volunteering for while in town. This was launched as a new initiative in 2015, and due to its success, will be continued in 2016. The Grand Rapids project and location will be named at a later time.

Sponsored by

www.Sportscommissions.org 15

The Boom In Sports Facility Development By Don Schumacher, CSEE

Just a few years ago it was observed by Sports Events magazine that cities were either improving or modifying existing sports facilities or developing new or they were falling further behind. The NASC has been following this national surge in sports facility development. Although there are a few minor league arenas and ballparks the bulk are new courts, floors, diamonds and fields for the sports travel market. Because this surge has been so noticeable and because many more projects are under consideration, it seems a good time to pause and reflect on some basic rules that should be followed to insure maximum success.

What should we do? First, following the popular phrase “if you build it they will come” will get you into difficulty. Nothing could be further from the truth. As tempting as it would be to believe four new baseball fields will be full of tournaments, the truth is that is unlikely unless the management team is connected, wired, and deeply a part of the sport(s) you wish to attract. New is great, but satisfactory coupled with people you know and trust, beats new every time. So, how do you know what to do? Start with determining the unmet local need for sports facilities. The bulk of this need will come in the form of practices and games for local leagues. And, maybe it is determined that there are so few facilities that youngsters up through active seniors are turned away. With campus facilities the varsity rules. When a schedule starts changing, the local kid’s leagues are the first to go. Finding unmet needs among local user groups is essential. New facilities need people playing and practicing every day. Otherwise, they will close before tournaments bring visitors. Locals simply must“keep the lights on.”

If local needs are found or suspected, it is time to commission a professionally done market analysis. Then, if the market analysis looks promising, conduct a financial study, complete with a pro forma operating statement for at least the first three years. As to who does the study, the company needs to have no interest in the outcome. It is difficult to understand why an architect is employed to do a feasibility study. Once they start the only question is how big? Select someone who will provide solid data that will permit good business decisions. The design needs to produce tournament friendly facilities. All too often home is too close to the backstop, drainage is not good enough to allow play to resume after a storm, fields or courts are too close and interfere with each other, balls go into the wrong field, and a referee’s whistle stops morethan one game. Problems like these are difficult to overcome post-construction, and will limit use. Another excellent approach is to design the site and begin with a phased development plan. All new facilities need three, four or even more years to reach a stabilized level of operation. It can be possible to grow the site to fit the business. It is very important to understand the numbers of casual and core participants by sport. Research is available that will assist in calculating estimates based upon national averages. These projections can be very helpful to predictions on future use.

Where’s the Money? Great question. Many of the new complexes are privately funded. The biggest, like Spooky Nook in Lancaster, PA and The Spire Institute in Geneva, OH have been built entirely with private funds. Some of the new and smaller complexes are private as well. Lake Park Sportszone in Menasha, WI started earlier this year with three hardwood

Spooky Nook - Lancaster, PA

Spire Institute - Geneva, OH

#SportsTourism 16

Boo Williams Sportsplex - Hampton, VA

basketball courts or six volleyball courts and already have plans to add three more basketball and six more volleyball courts. There are dozens of other examples. Many of our members are involved in publically funded projects or public/privatepartnerships. Panama City Beach justannounced plans to expand Frank Brown Park, a publically owned outdoor complex. Some years ago, the City of Hampton, VA partnered with a local investment group to build the Boo Williams Sportsplex. The land belongs to the city and the building was constructed by the investors. Two of the finest indoor facilities opened within the last year. Both were publically funded. The Round Rock Sports Center in Round Rock, TX is managed by the city through employees recruited from the industry to work the new facility. The Myrtle Beach Sports Center was publically funded and is operated by a private management company. One of the reasons why we stressed local unmet needs is the fact that it is the responsibility of cities to see to the recreational needs of its residents. Unfortunately, the current economic climate does not permit funding for every worthy project. This can be where DMOs step in: if it can be shown that a recreational facility is needed by residents and can also be part of the economic development engine fueling growth, the chances for success increase. Many new and very fine tournament quality facilities have been developed with public funds. New fieldshave or will open in Foley, AL and Columbia, TN. These will serve the needs of residents and generate economic development through visitor spending.

Round Rock Sports Center - Round Rock, TX

What else? Many convention facilities have been built as “loss leaders.” They operate at a deficit but generate substantial revenue for hotels, restaurants and retail. And, these transactions produce additional taxes for the city, county and state. It will be interesting to see what happens with many of the sports complexes that have opened or are in development. Will it be enough that they generate economic benefit in exchange for a less than break-even performance? Any shortfalls should be covered by the knowledge that residents benefit and local programming grows, too. Colleges and universities have benefitted from this building boom. Unfortunately, campus facilities can be difficult to schedule for outside events. As enrollments grow these on campus facilities must servemore than varsity programs and this limits outside use. Finally, one way or the other travelling families are going to be expected to help pay the bills. Care must be given to the establishment of rental rates for outside events. Tournament fees, which must include these rates, need to remain competitive. It is not necessarily true that competitors will flock to the“latest and greatest” facilities. The costs of overnights must be kept in mind. If room rebates and commissions are driving up the cost of a room and the new building expects premium rates, travelers may opt for lesser events in older facilities. The nicest, newest and most flexible facility could remain underutilized if benefits do not exceed costs.

www.SportsCommissions.org www.SportsCommis17

Sports Turf: Preparing for Inclement Weather

By Tim Van Loo, Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) Manager of Athletic Turf and Grounds at Iowa State University With fall sports in full swing and cooler temperatures rapidly approaching across much of the country, turf managers will need to implement a number of tactics to ensure athletic surfaces stay in top shape. Tony Leonard – Director of Grounds for the Philadelphia Eagles and member of the Sports Turf Managers Association – knows all too well, how inclement weather can affect not only his job, but the players, coaches and even fans.

Prior to the season beginning, Leonard recommends turf managers should ensure natural grass playing fields are properly graded and are using well-draining soils. This allows for quicker drying fields and decreases the chance of turf freezing as evening temperatures drop. If the field does freeze, it is important to keep users off the surface to allow for proper thawing and lessen the level of damage. As the season continues and wear-and-tear becomes more prevalent, Leonard advises to overseed your turf to reduce areas of bare soil. Begin the process after the first game with perennial ryegrass and then continuing throughout the season. This tactic allows you to build a “seed bank” to help maintain cover during the autumn and into the winter.

To combat foul weather, Leonard and his crew have a few best practices they have developed to stay ahead of the game. Photo Courtesy of Tony Leonard

#SportsTourism 18

With the Philadelphia Eagles, Leonard’s grounds crew has a novel approach to combating over use. Halfway through the season, the NFL team switches the field from Bermuda grass to Kentucky bluegrass. This tactic allows the team to play on the stronger Bermuda grass during hot, humid months. Then in the fall, once the Bermuda grass declines, the field is re-sodded with bluegrass. Switching the field halfway through the season is unconventional; however, Leonard notes it is what works for best for his stadium and team.

Photo Courtesy of Tony Leonard

About Tim Van Loo, CSFM Tim Van Loo, CSFM, is the Manager of Athletic Turf and Grounds at Iowa State University and Secretary/Treasurer of the Sports Turf Managers Association. Since joining Iowa State in March 2010, his responsibilities include overseeing Jack Trice Stadium, Johnny Majors Practice Facility, Cyclone Sports Complex, Bergstrom Multi-Purpose Indoor Facility and all other athletic department grounds. Van Loo received his B.S. and M.S. from Michigan State University in Crop and Soil Science with an emphasis on Turfgrass.

Once winter begins to set in, turf managers should note how cold temperatures affect turfgrass plants andthe soil environment. In the fall, the ground may not yet be frozen solid. Removing snow accumulations from unfrozen ground can cause substantial damage to an athletic field. However, if your soils have had the chance to freeze and turfgrass plants have had the opportunity to harden-off it is safer to remove snow, as there is less chance for field loss from removal. Finally, the best thing you can do is work to get out in front of the weather. Knowing what is coming your way allows for the best possible defense and plan of attack.

About STMA STMA is the not-for-profit, professional association for men and women who manage sports fields worldwide. Since 1981, the association and its 34 local chapters have been providing education, information and sharing practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management. Its more than 2,600 members oversee sports fields and facilities at schools, colleges and universities, parks and recreational facilities, and professional sports stadiums. For more information: www.stma.org, 800.323.3875.

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West Michigan: the right venues, the right entertainment, the right details, exactly



Profile for Sports Events & Tourism Association

NASC Playbook - September 2015  

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