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Strategic Planning and Design for Sports Facilities

We are joined by an industry veteran this week. Vance Rzepka from VSR Design has worked on everything from T-Ball and high school football facilities to MLB and NFL fields, he's even worked with Mike Laplante from episode 9: "Scheels Sports Complex: A Soccer Haven in the Heartland."  Vance is full of knowledge on planning and saving money on facility builds and renovations, the best tech to implement in a complex, and keeping up with the evolving landscape of fan-focused facilities. Check out the full episode for tips to enhance your sports facility's longevity, fan experience, and adaptability.

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Plan. Design. Execute. 

Sports facility design and management is a complex, ever-evolving field that requires careful planning and execution, and where poor planning can be costly. In this blog, we'll explore various aspects of facility design and management, from cost-saving measures to technology integration and future prospects. Whether you're a facility manager or an enthusiast, this blog will provide valuable insights to enhance your understanding of this dynamic field.

Covered in This Episode:

  • The Importance of Planning for Sports Facility Design
  • Technology Integration in Sports Facility Design
  • Fan Experience and the Evolution of Sports Facilities
  • The Future Prospects of Sports Facility Design

Highlights and Key Moments:

  • "Cost savings probably isn't going to pay for itself for 10, 20 years."
  • "The more you use it, the more savings you get."
  • "Always better to save for future maintenance."
  • "Technology integration is more fan-focused now than it used to be."
  • "Planning ensures facilities can adapt to evolving needs."

The Importance of Planning for Sports Facility Design:

When it comes to sports facility design, meticulous planning is crucial. Vance emphasizes the need for long-term thinking, highlighting that careful consideration of factors like lighting, turf, and parking can lead to significant cost savings. He also underlines the importance of flexibility in field size to accommodate various sports and events. Sports facility owners should plan for the future, including budgeting for turf replacement and thinking about different revenue streams, such as food and beverage services. Proper planning ensures that facilities can adapt to evolving needs.

Technology Integration in Sports Facility Design:

In today's tech-driven world, technology plays a vital role in sports facilities. Vance discusses the significance of Wi-Fi access and how it can enhance the visitor experience. He also touches upon the potential of using cameras to livestream events, allowing remote viewers to stay connected with their favorite teams. Additionally, he suggests running extra wiring and conduits during construction to accommodate future technological advancements, ensuring facilities remain up-to-date.


Fan Experience and the Evolution of Sports Facilities:

Sports facilities are increasingly focused on enhancing the fan experience. Vance talks about the shift towards fan-centric design, with facilities prioritizing amenities, concessions, and easy access to Wi-Fi. He also touches upon the potential for integrating fan-engaging technologies like 3D renderings and drones for aerial views. These developments are driven by the desire to attract and retain fans, making sports facilities more than just venues for games.


The Future Prospects of Sports Facility Design:

Vance reflects on the future of sports facility design in KC, mentioning the potential move of Kansas City Royals baseball facilities downtown to create a more interactive experience. He compares the football experience, which relies heavily on tailgating, to the potential for baseball facilities to become hubs of activity throughout the year. As the industry evolves, the focus will remain on creating fan-friendly environments and incorporating the latest technological innovations.


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Thank you for joining us on this episode of Facility Playbook! We hope the knowledge shared serves as a valuable resource for facility owners and managers seeking to thrive in the ever-evolving sports industry. Stay tuned for our next episode with Double Tap KC, where we will continue to bring you expert tips to help you navigate the dynamic world of facility management.

In the world of sports facility design and management, planning, adaptability, and a focus on the fan experience are paramount. Vance's insights shed light on the key considerations that facility owners and managers should keep in mind. Whether it's harnessing technology, avoiding pitfalls in volunteer labor, or looking ahead to the future, these lessons will prove invaluable in creating successful sports facilities that stand the test of time.


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