The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

SPORTS TOURISM !

THE SPORTS FACILITIES ADVISORY REPORTS RECORD NUMBER OF MUNICIPALITIES SEEKING TO CAPITALIZE ON POTENTIAL ECONOMIC BOOM . . . . . .

Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) – Economic downturns lead to job losses and reductions in real estate values, thereby reducing tax revenue to local governments. Because local governments rely on tax revenue to fund day-to-day operations, a decrease in tax revenue means a decrease in state or municipal services. But one industry has continued to expand throughout the Great Recession and has the potential to provide much-needed revenue for municipalities: youth sports and sports-related travel sees over 50 million youth athletes participating in organized sporting events annually, creating an approximate economic impact of $7 billion (1). TheSports Facilities Advisory (SFA), a leading resource for the planning and management of new and existing amateur sports complexes and recreation centers, says the growth of sports tourism and the related potential financial impact can give municipalities the opportunity to participate in an economic boom.

Sport tourism benefits host cities by providing “economic benefits as a result of sales in hotel fees, food and beverages, admission fees for tournaments, use of transports and other spending at the facilities (2)  the end result being that different types of income are generated for the community, providing for an increase in spending, jobs and conservation of the local environment (3). SF’s CEO and founder, Dev Pathik, says municipalities can take advantage of the resilience of sports travel but these efforts need to be properly evaluated and planned. There are certain criteria that make a city attractive to events owners and other factors that make some cities unsuitable as a true sports tourism destination.

Case in Point:

The Harrisburg/Hershey area in Pennsylvania makes higher tourism revenue than more popular areas largely due to regional youth sporting events.
In 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the Harrisburg/Hershey region ranked fourth in Pennsylvania with $2.18 billion in visitor spending.
The Dauphin County Commissioners approved distribution of more than $122,000 in hotel tax revenues with the majority being used to support youth sporting events. Commissioner Chairman Jeff Haste said the county’s investment in youth sporting events is influential in providing a significant economic impact (4).

Pathik encourages making recreational activities more readily available to children with the addition of youth’s amateur sports complexes and recreation centers. In addition to steadying the economy, Pathik says that supporting youth sports and related tourism gives young athletes a positive outlet a fact that many parents can appreciate. Pathik cautions however, that cities not assume their facilities can be used for both sports tourism and local play. In some cases, Pathik says, cities that have attempted to use existing facilities discover that their facilities are not properly designed to accommodate the demand for sports tourism, as well as local recreation.

SFA has planned and also manages and advises youth and amateur sporting venues. SFA is also hired by municipalities to assess the feasibility of new complexes and to assist cities with strategic planning for sports tourism efforts. Some of SF’s latest clients include:

1.Spooky Nook Sports facility is located in Lancaster and touted as North America’s largest indoor sports complex. Spooky Nook opened in March and has already hosted several volleyball tournaments, attracting hundreds of players and their families to the area the complex will also be the home of the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey team through 2022.

2.Rocky Top Sports World, an 80 acre state-of-the-art facility settled in the vacation hotspot of Gatlinburg, Tennessee is currently under construction and scheduled to open in Spring 2014. The $20 million development is leading to new jobs and will host court- and turf-based tournaments and events.

3.The Myrtle Beach Indoor Sports Complex. SFA and the city of Myrtle Beach are opening a new 100,000 square foot indoor sports complex in the spring of 2014. The complex feature eight indoor basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts and will host all manner of competitive sports and special events.

SFA assists clients throughout the U.S. and around the world in planning, funding and managing sports and community recreation centers. SFA’s portfolio includes more than $3.5 billion in planned and operational facilities, as well as being the industry leader in the managing of such complexes. The company will assist in opening more than 1.5 million acres of additional indoor facilities, as well as 600 acres of outdoor facilities, within the next year.

For more information about the Sports Facilities Advisory and its suite of planning-funding-opening-management services, visit http://www.sportadvisory.com/home.html.

About Sports Facilities Advisory:

The Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA) is a leading resource in sports facility planning and management. The Sports Facilities Advisory has helped to plan, fund, open and manage dozens of multimillion-dollar sports complexes in communities throughout the USA and internationally since its founding in 2003. The company serves public and private clients. Its services fall into four main categories: plan, fund, open and manage, which encompass every phase from early stage feasibility studies to preparing financing documents, overseeing development and opening and full-time management services. SFA’s success depends on its mission to dramatically improve communities through the opening or optimization of sport and recreation centers. For more information, visit www.sportadvisory.com/home.html.

1.Lane, Matthew.“Youth Sports Could Have $10 Million Impact in Model City in 2013.Timesnews.net. N.p., 05 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Nov. 2013. timesnews.net/article/9065811/youth-sports-could-have-10-million-impact-in-model-city-in-2013.

2.Olukoya, Jobi. “Impacts of Sport Tourism in the Urban Regeneration of Host Cities.” Academia.edu. N.p., May 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. academia.edu/2480919/Impacts_of_Sport_Tourism_in_the_Urban_Regeneration_of_Host_Cities.

3.”How Tourism Benefits Communities.” Tq.com. Tourism and Events Queenland, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. tq.com.au/tqcorp_06/resource-centre/community-engagement/how-tourism-benefits-communities/how-tourism-benefits-communities_home.cfm.

4.Gilliland, Donald. “Youth Sporting Events Help Put Harrisburg/Hershey over Lancaster in Tourism Dollars.” Pennlive.com. The Patriot News, 07 Nov. 2013. Web. 27 Nov. 2013. pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/11/youth_sporting_events_help_put.html.

The Sports Facilities Advisory encourages cities to carefully evaluate the type, size, and setup of sports tourism ventures to take advantage of the recession-resistant sports tourism industry in a mending economy.
NOTE:
     The Sports Facilities Advisory is a SODA Affiliate and Consultant.
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Snow tubing at Thomas Bull Memorial Park begins Saturday !

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 Snow tubing at the Orange County Snow Tubing and Winter Sports Park is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Jan. 10, and run through March 1, weather and conditions permitting. The park is located at Thomas Bull Memorial Park.

A discounted fee of $15 is available to residents to use the Orange County Snow Tubing and Winter Sports Park; the cost for non-residents is $20. Proof of residency is required at check-in and the fee is good for a 90-minute tubing session.

Days and hours of operation are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Snow tubing is also available on Mondays, Jan. 19 and Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thomas Bull Memorial Park is located on Route 416 in Montgomery. Visitors are strongly encouraged to contact the park prior to arrival. Call 845-457-4949, 845-457-4910 or email parks@orangecountygov.com to confirm availability.

The Orange County Snow Tubing and Winter Sports Park’s 800-foot snow-tubing hill features two cable lifts, groomed lanes, and specially designed tubes built for a thrilling ride. The park also features an ice skating rink, small sledding hill, and cross-country ski trails. Park visitors must provide their own equipment for these free activities, which are available as conditions permit.

The Graham M. Skea Lodge, located at the crest of the tubing hill, offers beautiful views of the Hudson Valley and features a large stone fireplace. Visitors may bring their own food and drink as the lodge restaurant will not be open, and only non-alcoholic beverages are permitted.

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Work continues to complete Sportspark, El Paso, TX !

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EL PASO, Texas - For years, El Paso County has not been able to use its Sportspark in far east El Paso to its full potential. It is located off of Zaragoza and Saul Kleinfield.

Late last year, County Commissioners terminated the contract with the company hired to renovate the park and is now trying to resolve a dispute in court.

Monday, commissioners unanimously approved to begin negotiations with El Paso company Carl Daniel Architects.

The firm is no stranger to building baseball and softball parks in the area.

The next step for the county and the architecture firm is to find a construction company to complete what was never finished.

Carl Daniel Architects will begin working with the county as soon as this week to assess the park’s issues, write up a construction bid and present it to commissioners court.

The firm’s project manager, Steve Franco is familiar with the county Sportspark.

He was the project manager when it was first built nearly 30 years ago.

“We are the original architects for the park that was constructed back in 1986, so we have an in-depth knowledge of what’s out there right now,” said Franco.

Carl Daniel Architects was behind the Sunland Park Sports Complex, which is similar to the Sportspark, and the El Paso Community College Field of Dreams.

“We have done some several major parks in the local area so we do have a good understanding of park design . We’ll be able to do a good job,”said Franco.

County Judge Veronica Escobar maintains the county will not issue new debt to complete the park and taxpayers will not pay a penny more.

Construction to complete the park could begin in mid to late March.

No date of completion has yet been set.

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Winter sports park coming to Rochester, MN ?

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Gamehaven Reservoir Park in southeast Rochester, MN could become a winter sports wonderland someday, if a group of cross-country skiers has anything to do with it.

The Rochester Active Sports Club wants to add a snow tubing hill, snowshoeing trails, mountain biking and a Nordic ski loop, complete with snowmaking operations using water from the reservoir.

The group spent a lot of time in the past year grooming the trail system in the park to be better for mountain bikers and winter “fat bikers.” They want to extend that success into winter, with the hope of getting more people out and active instead of hibernating, though nothing related to the snow-based activities has been built yet.

“If we want to be the healthiest city in the United States, we can’t just be healthy eight months of the year,” RASC president Michael O’Connor said. “Those of us who are more fanatical, we’re out no matter what. … But if it makes it difficult for people, they won’t do it.”

Similar winter recreation parks in the Twin Cities, such as Elm Creek Park Reserve, are usually really busy during the colder months, O’Connor said.

“It’s so popular on a weekend. … It’ll be packed because there is nowhere else to ski. It’s rush-hour skiing up there,” he said.

RASC got the go-ahead from the Rochester Park Board in November to create a master plan for Gamehaven, located right beside the Gamehaven Scout Reservation. The group also got approval from the Joint Powers Board. The master plan is expected to be completed in the next few months, O’Connor said. Gamehaven Park does have a website set up with information on all the potential aspects of the project, located at gamehavenspark.org.

Fits city vision

A winter sports park fits in with the Park Department’s plans as well, said head of parks and forestry Mike Nigbur.

“We’re looking to enhance wintertime use and recreation activities for the community, and having a snowmaking capability and outdoor recreation park … all these things can happen,” Nigbur said.

The city of Rochester submitted parks to the state for consideration for “regional designation” in order to get Legacy funds, and Gamehaven ranked in the top 20 out of 90 projects submitted, Nigbur said. Projects that scored highly, such as Gamehaven, would be more likely to get state funds, he said. About $8 million is given out each year in Legacy funds for parks, Nigbur said.

The park eventually will need to get approval from the Rochester City Council to be designated as a park, then they’ll start looking for grant funding, Nigbur said.

“We’ll try to get some public input from the community” throughout the process, he said.

$6 million plan

Jeff Robertson, an RASC member and Nordic skier, has been leading the planning efforts and worked on the trail project at Gamehaven, too.

“We’ve dreamed about it for a long time,” Robertson said.

The full park is expected to cost somewhere in the $6 million range, he estimates. A chalet could cost up to $1 million, he said.

“It depends a lot on all of the facilities you put in. … It’s going to take probably a lot of different sources for the funding,” Robertson said.

That might be a big price tag for some, but Robertson said the park would be a regional draw and play off the successes RASC has had in growing the cross-country skiing community here. When the group started its Nordic team in 2002, it only had a handful of kids and a couple coaches, he said.

“Today, it’s grown to 187 kids from all the high and middle schools in Rochester and some outside of Rochester, MN” Robertson said.

The team goes to about four meets per year, and it’s very possible those meets could happen at Gamehaven once it’s revamped, he said. They have had meets at Eastwood golf course before, which is fine as long as there’s snow. That can be unpredictable, though, and Gamehaven’s snowmaking capability on a potential ski loop would be a huge asset, he said.

DNR permission

The snowmaking capability would require a Department of Natural Resources permit to draw water out of the reservoir and drop the water level by about 9 to 12 inches, O’Connor said. That wouldn’t affect fishermen, he said.

“We don’t want to screw that up,” O’Connor said.

A tubing hill would attract nonskiers and families to the area as well, he said.

“If you get them out and get them active, it’s just a positive, positive thing,” Robertson said.

Contributor:  PostBulletin (MN)

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Creating a 12-Month Marketing Plan for Your Sports Facility !

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   When you’re considering how to best market your sports facility to your community, the most important thing to do is to plan ahead, whether your business is brand new or has been around for decades.

Sure, things can change at a moment’s notice, and owning a business requires a good deal of flexibility. You don’t have to set all the minutia in stone for what happens a year from now, but having a general plan is essential. As I’ve mentioned before, planning ahead is especially critical to avoid a slow season and the subsequent lull in revenue that can make or break your business.

When establishing an annual marketing plan, break the year down by deciding what to focus on each month. Write down:

  1. What your clients will want to buy that month. You know your clients better than anyone. Familiarize yourself with local school schedules and sports schedules. Which sports and fitness programs are the most popular in your community, and when? Notes those details on your calendar.
  2. What programs, classes or events will provide the optimal revenue for your facility. Remember that each area in your facility should have multiple uses throughout the day, and that diversifying your space will maximize your revenue. Keep your clients’ range of ages and interests in mind when planning programming to make sure that there’s something for everyone. Remember, each square foot of space costs you money every day, and each square foot should be generating as much money for your business as possible. Don’t worry about getting too detailed here; the most important thing is to note the start dates, staffing, focus, and tentative pricing. You can finalize all the details as the event gets closer.
  3. What special events and promotions you can run to reach your goals. As the business owner or manager, it’s up to you to come up with promotions that will entice your customers while still allowing you to meet all your financial obligations and keep your doors open. New businesses, in particular, need to offer discounts to get new customers in the door. Plan promotions with care and update the pricing as your financial needs change.

Once you’ve established your general outline of events, it’s time to pencil in the associated to-do lists on a calendar. At DNA Sports Center, we’ve found that the ideal window for getting the initial word out about a new class, program or promotion is six to eight weeks ahead of time. That doesn’t mean that the classes will fill up that early, although sometimes they do. But it does get people thinking about the event. We typically send out a dedicated emailer at that point. Then, a few weeks later, we remind our Facebook fans about the event or class. Then, at the beginning of the week of the actual class or event, or the registration deadline for the class or event, if that comes first, we send out yet another emailer linking directly to the registration page.

Having these specific to-dos on a calendar that is highly visible to your staff will keep everyone on track. Just make sure that after your detailed month-to-month marketing plan is developed, someone on staff is in charge of enforcing the deadlines associated with it. That includes revisiting the plan every month to make additional changes and add details. Every six months you should be planning ahead for the next six, so that you’re a year ahead at all times.

- See more at: http://www.sportsfacilityexpert.com/2012/03/29/creating-a-12-month-marketing-plan-for-your-sports-facility/#sthash.PZLPuGp8.dpuf

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Myrtle Beach Sports Center Announces Signing of 17 Occasion Contracts New Facility, Scheduled To Open in March 2015, Has Nearly Sold Out Its Very first Six Months !

Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) November, 2014

Myrtle Beach, SC is the third largest tourism location in America behind Orlando and Las Vegas – its longtime focus on sports is 1 cause the beach town has grow to be so well-liked. John MacDonald, Common Manager of the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center positioned in Myrtle Beach, has announced the signing of 17 event contracts for the new facility, which is scheduled to open in March 2015. “Response has been phenomenal,” says MacDonald. “There are only two weekends still open for the center’s initial six months of operation—Easter and Memorial day.”

Myrtle Beach Sports Center will incorporate one hundred,000 square feet of year-round tournament and events space. The center delivers eight high school basketball courts or 16 volleyball courts with full-length retractable curtains. The courts are also lined so as to be configurable as four collegiate/specialist basketball courts.

“Basketball and volleyball are not the only choices, of course,” says MacDonald. “The center has 70,000 square feet of totally free-span space it is developed to host mat sports, table tennis, pickle ball, trade shows, and numerous other sorts of events.”

When not at the Sports Center, MacDonald notes, athletes and their households will have a host of region activities to select from. These incorporate the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, named the nation’s number-three boardwalk by National Geographic Household Kingdom Amusement Park, considered the fifth-ideal amusement park in the nation the Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach State Parks a wide selection of musical entertainment, which includes the Carolina Opry and comprehensive, family-friendly purchasing.1

“This new facility and its locale in one particular of the significant tourist destinations in the U.S.,” says MacDonald, “makes it a have to quit for any occasion owner that wants to give athletic teams with the ultimate in customer service, facilities, value, and guest experience—in and outside of the competition venue.”

Amongst the groups that will be moving their events next year to the Myrtle Beach Sports Center sits the National Travel Basketball Association (NTBA). Says NTBA President John Whitley, “Having the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center permits NTBA to now bring its 1st-class tournaments to a first-class facility. We will be hosting our State and National Championships at the MBSC, and becoming capable to have the games below 1 roof is merely a win-win for all involved, but especially the spectators.”

A essential aspect in the accomplishment of the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center, and of related facilities nationwide, is an explosion of interest in youth and travel sports. “Youth sports tourism wasn’t even a category 4 years ago,” says Dave Hollander, a professor at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports, “and now it’s the fastest-growing segment in travel. You have got millions of youngsters involved, parents spending thousands of dollars, and cities constructing facilities to host events. It is just massive.”

According to a recent USA Right now survey, at least 35 million youngsters between five and 18 currently play an organized sport every single year in the U.S. Of these, 21 million are involved in non-college youth sports. “I do not see this as trending downward,” says Hollander. “Check out the neighborhood youth sports Television channels in your neighborhood. They are continuing to grow. Cities and towns are seeing advantages as these trips turn into mini-vacations for households, so their incentive to be a player in this is also expanding.”2

Even though the opportunity is real and developing, Dev Pathik, Founder and CEO, Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management, cautions that becoming a player in youth sports demands accurate analysis and planning. Speaking of the Myrtle Beach Sports Center, he says, “The city engaged us to generate a detailed economic forecast and financial effect projections for [Myrtle Beach Sports Center] from the time the project was in its infancy, and then hired our management team, to oversee the pre-opening and day to day operations.”

This cautious and detailed strategy, notes Pathik, is crucial to the success of any new sports facility. “Even with a excellent location and a booming market,” he says, “you have to make particular that what you are doing is precisely calibrated to the marketplace. We recognize this simply because it is our enterprise.”

SFA|SFM works with government entities, economic institutions, private developers, institutional customers, and faith-primarily based organizations to assist them—from the ground up—to optimize the return they make on their investment.

About Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM):

The Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM) is the leading resource in sports facility arranging and management. SFA|SFM has served a portfolio totaling a lot more than $ 4Billion in planned and operational sports centers in communities throughout the USA and internationally given that its founding in 2003. Youth and amateur sports and neighborhood recreation centers now require professional planning and management. SFA’s proprietary data system—based on years of arranging, funding and managing facilities, coupled with the rise of the youth sports segment—is the engine behind the improvement of SFM. Since its inception, SFM has become an business leader in the management of amateur sports and events complexes, and along with SFA, offers the preparing, financing and management knowledge needed to turn suggestions into profitable recreation facilities. SFA|SFM serves each public and private clientele. Its services fall into four major categories: program, fund, open and handle, which encompass each phase from early stage feasibility studies to preparing financing documents, overseeing development and opening and complete-time management solutions. SFA|SFM’s achievement depends upon its mission to dramatically increase communities by way of the opening or optimization of sports and recreation centers. For a lot more info, pay a visit to http://www.sportadvisory.com/home.html.

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Preventing Theft at your Sports Center !

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Being a victim of theft is always painful. It feels very personal, whether the thief steals from you directly or from your sports center.

Potential stolen assets range from physical products (such as candy bars from the concession stand) to data (such as client contact information). Even if you haven’t been stolen from yet, you should prepare for your sports center to be targeted. Here are a few steps to take.

Preventing Equipment and Merchandise Theft:
Research the options for tracking your facility’s hardware. iPhones have built-in GPS systems, for example, and there are apps available that can track other devices if they’re stolen.
Track all purchases at your sports center- particularly cash sales – with a reliable system that records the details of what has been purchased and which employee completed the transaction. Even concession stand sales can be easily tracked with a simple point of sale system. When this type of data isn’t recorded automatically, theft and miscalculations result in lost revenue – and small losses add up quickly.
Employees should check other equipment in and out for customers using a reliable system, electronic or otherwise.
Preventing Customer Data Theft:
Your customer database is extremely valuable, and having it stolen affects both your bottom line and your reputation, because clients trust you to keep their information safe and private.

I have heard too many firsthand stories from clients whose databases have been taken by employees for use at a competing sports center. If your employees can access your client database, you need to know who accesses it, when, and from where. (eSoft Planner provides custom staff permissions levels and tracks downloads and for this reason.) I hope this is obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: If you’re using a simple spreadsheet on your computer to track these client details, you’re leaving yourself and your clients very vulnerable.

Remember: 99% of your staff will never try to steal from you. There’s no reason to go overboard or get paranoid; your staff needs reasonable access to your clients’ information for day-to-day operations. However, there’s also no reason make your full customer database easy to download.

Preventing Theft of Services:
This type of sports facility theft is the most common, and it’s the one with which sports facility owners are the most complacent. When a client schedules and then does not pay for a lesson or class – whether they attend or not, and whether they did it deliberately or not – you’re being taken advantage of. You lose money from the lesson itself, but you also lose money in the form of the instructor’s time and the space that could have been used for other purposes. This is why I’m so adamant about requiring upfront payment at my own sports facility. If a client later cancels for what you determine to be a legitimate excuse, you can always opt to give them a full or partial refund at that point.

You can never completely prevent theft, and only you can evaluate how much energy you want to invest in deterring, investigating and prosecuting theft at your sports facility. Remember that your time and your energy are your greatest assets, and stressing out over a stolen company iPad for a week can cost you much more in the form of lost time and energy than what you originally paid for the stolen equipment.

eSoft Planner can track equipment, purchases and employee activities, all of which help prevent theft at your facility. Submit a free demo request if you’d like to see the tool for yourself. If you’d like to consult with me on sports facility management, call (513) 791-4940.

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ASA/USA Complex of the Year 2014 !

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Arrowhead Park in Broken Arrow, Okla.

named 2014 ASA/USA Complex of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY —After hosting two ASA/USA National Championships this year, including the inaugural 2014 ASA/USA Girl’s 16U Gold National Championship, Arrowhead Park in Broken Arrow, Okla. has been selected as the 2014 Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America/USA Softball Complex of the Year presented by Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. Announced today by ASA/USA Softball, Arrowhead Park will receive their award at the 83rd ASA/USA Annual Meeting in Reno, Nev. and will also receive approximately $2,000 in field maintenance products from Stabilizer Solutions.

“Arrowhead Park stepped up to the plate this year as hosts of the first-ever ASA/USA 16U Gold,” said Chris Sebren, ASA/USA Director of Championships. “With less than a year to plan the 48-team tournament, the staff and city’s efforts to create a first-class experience for the fans and athletes shows just how deserving of this award they truly are.”

Previous award winners include the Charlie McVay Complex (Roswell, N.M.) in 2013, the Botetourt Sports Complex (Botetourt County, Va.) in 2012, the James I. Moyer Sports Complex (Salem, Va.) in 2011, Veterans Park and Athletic Complex (College Station, Texas) in 2010, Heritage Park Softball Complex (St. Joseph, Mo.) in 2009, Twin Creeks Softball Complex (Woodstock, Ga.) in 2008 and Freedom Ridge Park Complex (Ridgeland, Miss.) in 2007. The Field of Dreams Complex (Las Cruces, N.M.) won the inaugural 2006 award.

“Oklahoma ASA is honored to have Arrowhead Park in Broken Arrow to be named the 2014 ASA Complex of the Year,” said Oklahoma ASA Junior Olympic (JO) Commissioner Carolyn Shafer. “Broken Arrow Girls Softball has been a long time supporter of ASA. Thank you to the staff of Broken Arrow Girls Softball for making this award possible.”

Built in 1995 as an eight-field complex, Arrowhead Park underwent a renovation in 2013 that included the addition of four fields to bring their total to 12. Staffed and operated by the Broken Arrow Girls Softball League, the complex sits of 30 acres and features a walking trail and park just outside the fields. Inside the ballpark, each field offers covered spectator seating, covered dugouts for the athletes and coaches, digital scoreboards and a PA system. In addition to the covered seating, the complex features two gazebos at each grouping of fields for spectators to watch the action on four different fields. Fans also have access to free wireless internet at the complex.

“Congratulations to all those who have helped Arrowhead Park join the ranks of Complex of the Year award winners,” said Jon Hubbs, President of Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. “It is obvious that their success comes from dedication to providing not only top fields for play, but a true overall experience for players and spectators alike. We look forward to their continued success and innovative practices.”

Most recently, Arrowhead Park hosted the inaugural ASA/USA Girls’ 16U Gold National Championship, which was held July 21-26. Eight of the fields were utilized for game play while the remaining four fields were dedicated solely as warm up areas for teams. All fields of play offered free online stats during the weeklong National Championship, while Field 1 offered free live streaming. Arrowhead Park also held the ASA/USA Girls’ 18U Class A Southern National Championship July 13-19.

About ASA
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.

About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.

Codi Warren, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Amateur Softball Association of America/USA Softball
Office 405.425.3431 | Cell 405. 420. 2817

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“SODA is an Allied Member of ASA/USA Softball since 1983″

Sports Facility Operations: Automated and Streamlined !

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As I train sports facility owners and managers on how to set up their businesses with eSoft Planner online scheduling software, they often tell me specifically how their facility operates and expect the system to conform to their operations exactly.

In reality, you’re not likely to find a system that can replicate your operations in every way. Some flexibility is required when you’re automating your operations with a software program. This automation always saves time and money in the long run compared to scheduling by hand or using an Excel spreadsheet, so it’s definitely worth making a few tweaks – either to the software or to the systems in place at your sports facility.

In fact, existing facilities that are starting to use a new software program have a good opportunity to re-evaluate operational practices. Keep in mind that most sports facility scheduling software is built to accommodate the operations at a majority of sports facilities. If your own scheduling practices deviate wildly from the norm, it’s worth considering the benefits of the alternatives that are presented to you, especially because it’s difficult to change your software once it’s already been set up.

I typically get pushback during the setup process when facilities want to be more lenient with their customers than the system suggests. eSoft Planner, in particular, was built specifically to help sports facilities save money by preventing lost revenue due to last-minute cancellations and no-shows by requiring upfront payment at your sports facility. If clients are used to paying for private lessons when they show up for that lesson, they might not like upfront payment at first, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get used to it. (eSoft Planner does allow sports facilities to set aside time without payment – but we don’t encourage it!)

However, if your software system can’t do something that you’ve determined is important to your clients and your bottom line, there are usually minor workarounds that can be achieved. Software systems and sports facilities may use different language to descripbe the similar services and operations. When setting up your facility software, everything boils down to how and when you require your clients to pay for their services.

For example, in eSoft Planner, you can:

*  charge clients regularly each month for services to be used that month (referred to as a “membership”),

*  have a client pay up front for a group of services that need to be used before an expiration date (referred to as a “package”)
*  have a client pay upfront to enroll in a series of group lessons all at once (referred to as a “camp”)
*  have a client pay for group lessons, one at a time (we set these up as “classes”)

One recent client balked at the restrictions because his facility had defined “sessions” that started on the same date each month for everyone and had a pre-determined number of classes in each. Since eSoft Planner’s “memberships” can start on any day of the month, he wasn’t sure the software was a good fit.

However, we quickly determined that clients starting mid-session could just purchase the remaining lessons in the session as “classes.” They could purchase a “package” if they just wanted to pay for one month, and if they wanted to auto enroll in future sessions, a “membership” would work.
Remember to be open minded and work with your software provider to come up with the bests solution for your sports facility.

If you have any questions about how you can make scheduling at your facility more efficient, I’d be happy to set up a consultation session with you.

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