Improving communities through sport

Buying a Closed Sports Complex

Reopening a sports complex

Reopening a Sports Complex

Finding the right location for a sports complex can be a challenge, so it might seem like the opportunity to buy a previously closed facility would make things easier. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and there is a variety of different things to consider outside of the basic renovation of an old building. Sports Facilities Management offers some advice on how to take a failed sports complex and make it your own.

A New, Old Location

If you are considering buying a previously closed facility, whether or not it is your first, or part of your chain of locations will change the way you approach it.
Buying an old, used sports complex as your first location creates a unique challenge in that you now need to establish your own brand in a building that has been home to a previous, potentially failed one.
This means that you need to bring strong branding and a well thought out marketing campaign to let the local community know that your use of this facility will be different. This aspect is made somewhat easier if you already run another, or several other sports complexes, as you will already be bringing an established image to your new location.

What Did They Do Wrong?

We have already mentioned the idea of letting the local community know that you will be putting this previously owned location to better use than your predecessor. In order to deliver on this, you need to carefully assess why this sports complex or recreation center was closed down in the first place.
Look back into the history of this facility: What did they offer the local community? Where did they fail to deliver? Why do you think they failed? There is an endless list of potential reasons as to why any business fails, and sports facilities and recreation centers are no different. Whether they closed through failing to stay up to date, poor maintenance of the buildings, a bad reputation, you should know going in the kind of history you are having to build upon.

What Did They Do Right?

By the same token, you can also explore what it was the previous owners of your newly purchased sports complex did right. Chances are, even if the failure was due to a bad reputation or poor public perception, there were at least some things that people liked about it. Find out whether there was a particular aspect of the facility that customers did like, and think about ways you can capitalize on it during your facility planning.
You can also consider ways to build on what it was people liked. For example, did the recreation center have a particularly good variety of gym equipment, despite not being well maintained? Focus your efforts on promoting a new, updated gym and emphasize the variety of new, modern equipment.

Assess Public Opinion

The best way to gauge the potential for success in a new sports facility – whether it was previously owned or is a brand new building – is to talk to the local community. In the case of buying a location that closed, talking to the public in the area is a great way to find out what the perception of the complex was – what they liked, what was less popular, and what they would like to see when it reopens.
Not only is this a great opportunity for consumer research, it can also be an immeasurable help in your marketing. Combining speaking to people on the street with focused, managed social media engagement will establish your brand – whether this is your first sports facility, or one of many – in the area. It will also let people of the area know that you are receptive and communicative.

Sports Facilities Management and Successful Sports Complexes

Buying a location that closed down is risky, as it carries with it the stigma of whatever caused the business to fold in the first place. This blog entry offers some broad advice on this topic, but with the right mindset, the right amount of detailed planning, and the right guidance from Sports Facilities Management, you can make any sports facility the center of a community.

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