TAMPA BAY, Fla., May 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the last several decades government entities began outsourcing water and waste treatment, garbage disposal, prisons, and other big-ticket items to private companies. The rationale for advocates of outsourcing is that private companies can operate with lower overall costs while being held accountable by the public to deliver excellence. This shift has extended to the world of parks and recreation.
In a recent article, National Parks and Recreation Association President and CEO, Barbara Tulipane (Mayors-Place-Parks-High-on-Their-Priority-Spending-List) noted the 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors, an annual survey by the Boston University Initiative on Cities, found strong support for parks spending broadly across city size and without significant distinction by party affiliation from the 89 mayors surveyed. [In fact] parks ranked as the fifth-highest priority on a list of 12 top categories for "big-ticket" priorities.
While Barbara did not connect these survey results and the growth in outsourcing management of parks and recreation centers, the trend is nothing new to big ticket government investments in infrastructure that require day-to-day oversight.
New recreation and sports assets require major investments from public entities. Typically led by parks and recreation, the effort to bring new community recreation and sports parks on-line is often stalled due to concerns about long-term maintenance and operational costs after opening. Parks and recreation directors are regularly burdened with a conflict between pent up demand for new recreation assets and mandates to control overhead and employee headcount. Given a price tag of $10 Million or more for a new community recreation center (including land, parking, indoor recreation, and a few fields), the option to outsource management of recreation assets is now a viable consideration in most cities.
For communities seeking to develop tournament destinations to attract overnight stays. Sports tourism can be a major economic development initiative. These developments may reach an epic scale costing 10's of millions of dollars. Projects like the $12-Million-dollar Myrtle Beach Sports Center, $20-Million-dollar 80-acre Rock Top Sports World and the Round Rock Sports Center are among a few of the nations newest and most successful publically funded sports tourism venues. Each of these centers employed private sector services to establish themselves as big time players in the sports tourism market.
Jason Clement, Founder and CEO of The Sports Facilities Management (SFM)- a private outsourced management firm servicing the parks and recreation and sports tourism industry says that his business has grown from 18 full time employees to well over 300, largely because cities from around the U.S. have hired SFM to oversee their community recreation centers, pools, waterparks, and sports and events center.
Clement said- "City Managers, Parks and Recreation Directors, Mayors, and Economic Development directors are the primary drivers in the decision to outsource parks and recreation venue oversight." He went on to add that "our clients give us the mission, goals, and must-meet-requirements and we bring an enterprise level approach to serving our clients regardless of whether they are a big or small community."
Since 2003, Clement's firms have planned, funded, opened, and managed a portfolio totaling more than $6-Billion in sport and recreation centers. Facilities overseen by The Sports Facilities Management have hosted more than 50 Million visits in the past 3 years and there is no sign of a slow down. Governments are seeking ways to improve service while reducing operating expenses. With mayors reporting parks and recreation as one of their highest priorities, it makes sense that they would consider outsourced options for communities.
For more information about the Sports Facilities Advisory and its suite of planning-funding-opening-management services, visit www.sportadvisory.com.
About Sports Facilities Advisory:
The Sports Facilities Advisory & Sports Facilities Management (SFA | SFM) are leading resources in recreation facility planning and management. Since 2003 the company has helped more than 800 communities to plan, fund, or optimize more than $6 Billion in community based sport and recreation assets. SFA | SFM's mission is to improve the health and economic vitality of communities. For more information, visit www.sportadvisory.com.
1. "Brand USA, ESPN in Sports Tourism Promotion." travelmole.com/news_feature.php?news_id=2009703.
SOURCE Sports Facilities Advisory & Sports Facilities Management (SFA-SFM)