Competitive and recreational athletics are a major part of many Americans’ lives and people worldwide. Athletes have long been powerful forces in society and culture. There’s no doubt that sports fans and participants alike will fuel revenue into this lucrative industry well into the future. Sports facility management positions and other career paths related to sports administration will remain highly attractive and worthwhile to many people.
What Is Sports Facility Management?
Succinctly defined by the specialized CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) company Limble, sports facilities management “is a subsection of facilities management, focused on keeping sports and recreation facilities in their optimal condition and ready for scheduled events.” Limble stresses that the field goes far beyond mere faculty upkeep, encompassing areas ranging from human resources and staff oversight to buying, selling, and constructing sports facilities.
Pursuing a Sports Management Degree
The sports sector employment authority, Jobs in Sports, strongly recommends a college education for anyone interested in a sports facility management career. Specifically, it points to a bachelor’s degree in a sport-related field as a bare educational minimum. You can also pursue a degree in administration, management, marketing, or another general area if it applies directly to your professional interests and specific sports facility management aspirations.
Core Subjects and Curriculum
Salem University has just what you need if you’re looking for an authoritative and versatile degree. With a specialized focus on Sports & Recreation Management, Salem University’s bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Sports & Recreation Management) is a great option. As you work toward this degree, you’ll learn various concepts and principles related to sports facility management as well as various legal regulations, ethical concerns, systemic issues, and current events related to the sports industry. To complete the 105 credits required for graduation, you’ll take courses that range from “Principles of Accounting” and “Management Information Systems” to “Principles of Sports Management” and “Facilities & Event Management.”
What Can You Do with a Sports Management Degree?
From “sports agent” to “parks and recreation facilitator,” you can command any job title with the right sports management degree. We will divide these job titles into the general areas of athletic administration and sports facility management.
Primarily tasked with managing athletic programs, athletic administrators are employed at most educational institutions, community organizations, professional sports teams, leagues, and associations. Athletic administrators may focus on various specialized areas, from marketing and sales to public relations and communications.
Sports Facility Management
While athletic administrators labor away on target athletic programs, sports facility managers are concerned with target athletic venues. Venues under the oversight of sports facility managers range from football stadiums and Olympic arenas to golf courses, swimming pools, and the NASCAR racetrack. Even a tiny municipal ice rink needs quality sports facility management. Beyond the venue, sports facility managers are often tasked with event management and planning to ensure their facilities have the proper infrastructure, equipment, and staff for the game. Many sports facilities have a designated Director of Athletic Event Management to handle these issues and others.
The Roles of Sports Facility Managers: A Deeper Dive
Sports facility managers can focus on supporting athletic participants, the spectators who come to see them, or both. Their specific duties might include setting and maintaining budgets, instituting effective facility policies, spearheading various marketing activities, scheduling athletic events, meeting safety and compliance standards, handling multiple human resources issues, and collaborating with stakeholders to ensure smooth operations.
Climbing the Ladder: Advancement in Sports Facility Management
Your responsibilities as a sports facility manager will likely change as you climb the career ladder.
Entry-Level Positions and Gaining Experience
Most junior positions concentrate on the essential daily operations of sports facility management under the direction of a supervisor. While serving entry-level roles such as Maintenance Technician or Administrative Assistant, you can garner valuable experience that can quickly advance your career.
Managerial and Executive Roles
As you move up the career ladder in sports facility management, you will have more responsibility, and your tasks will gravitate toward strategic planning and decision-making. You also stand to make a far more significant positive impact on the sports facilities that you serve. Typical managerial and executive roles might be Facility Director or Chief Facilities Officer.
Skill Development and Specialization Areas
A great way to position yourself for advancement is to concentrate on one or more specific areas of sports facility management and develop extensive skills in that area. Limble names event booking, box office management, and structural upkeep and repair as just three areas where an ambitious sports facility manager can specialize. You may also focus exclusively on spectator-focused, hospitality-based matters such as concession management.
Facilities Management Salary and Employment Trends
According to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) statistics, the average administrative services and facilities manager takes home roughly $99,290 annually. Furthermore, with a projected job growth rate of 7% through 2031, the employment outlook for facilities managers outpaces the national average for all occupations (at just 5%).
The BLS has also released state-by-state breakdowns for facilities managers in terms of both wages and job outlook. The top-paying states for facilities managers are New Jersey and Delaware. In contrast, the states with the highest concentration of jobs for facilities managers are Alaska and Connecticut.
The Future of Sports Facility Management
From technological advancements to societal changes, countless trends will likely impact the sports facility management industry in the coming years. The industry leader in Sports Facilities Companies singles out the pickleball boom for one reason sports facilities are expanding their offerings in embracing new athletic activities. From climbing walls to laser tag, facilities increasingly embrace non-traditional sports programs. Other elements influencing the future of sports facility management include trends toward installing outdoor exercise equipment on-site and offering remote physical fitness platforms that people can access at home.
Explore an Exciting Career in Sports Facility Management
You can take the first step toward becoming a sports facilities manager today by learning more about the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration focusing on Sports & Recreation Management at Salem University. You can request more information or begin the application process by filling out a short form.