Improving communities through sport

Making Sure Your Facility Planning is Both Fun and Competitive

A youth soccer league as a part of facility planning

Facility Planning: Finding the Balance Between Competition and Fun

There is a lot that goes into facility planning. What type of events are you running? Should you have concession stands? How much do you charge to use the facility? These are all valid and common questions.  However, there is one question that will in many ways, help you solve a lot of your other questions. That question is: How competitive do I want my facility to be? This is the tell-tale question of any sports facility. The level of competition that you host will dictate the type of facility you make plans for. The Sports Facility Advisory blog wants to help you find the balance between competition and fun.

Is Your Facility For Entertainment or Competition?

Now, this question is more nuanced than it appears in the heading. The biggest reason being that you are always looking for a combination of entertainment and competition when managing a sports facility. However, it is important to understand which one will be more prevalent at your specific facility. When it comes to facility planning, knowing your identity as a complex is arguably the most important factor in running a successful complex.
Let’s look at some examples. Let’s say you are a church looking to expand your building for a youth basketball and volleyball league. The chances are that you won’t be looking to invest in really nice locker rooms or top flight basketball equipment like you will be looking to maybe have classrooms and facility flexibility. Now let’s say you are a former AAU coach looking to build a facility where the nation’s top prep athletes can come to train and play in tournaments in the offseason. You will likely care more about those really nice locker rooms and top flight basketball equipment.
Your facility planning will hinge on the niche of the complex. The money you spend will be dependent on what you are trying to accomplish with your complex. Having an understanding of your “niche” will not only make your complex better, but it will also save you money.

Finding the Balance between Fun and Competition in Facility Planning

Regardless of the level of competition at your facility, it is still vital that you find a balance between fun and competition. This is especially true of people in your shoes because the vast majority of facility planning and development will be done to foster youth athletics. Even if you are hosting the most talented youth athletes in the nation, they are still just kids and your complex should reflect that. At SFA, we always encourage you to make your facility as fun as possible. That looks different for different leagues and programs.
If you are that church planning a youth league, this will look different than the AAU coach planning a very competitive league. Your average seven or eight year old learning how to play basketball doesn’t care if they are playing with a Nike Elite Airlock basketball like a high school AAU player does. Similarly, that high school AAU player isn’t going to care as much about having access to fun extracurricular activities to do with their teammates. Always push for the highest quality experience in your facility planning, but make sure you are mindful of the audience you are playing to.

Let SFA Help You Put Your Facility Plan Together

Developing and building a sports facility is hard enough as it is and facility planning just adds more to that burden. Fortunately, the professionals at SFA want to help. Contact us today at (727) 474-4476 or visit our website for more information.

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