HyVee Arena, Kansas City, MO
After a number of years bearing the $1.5+mm annual expense of maintaining Kemper Area the city of Kansas City made the decision to sell the facility in 2016. In 2017 the facility was purchased by Steve Foutch, who invested $42 million to renovate and upgrade the facility and turn it into a multi-sport community center. This new center, HyVee Arena opened at the end of 2018.
Since its inception, HyVee Arena has come to be a hub for events ranging from graduations to large sports events and tournaments to ongoing sports leagues across a broad range of sports. Additionally, KC Crew, Luke Wade’s local sport & social group, made arrangements to use the facility for the majority of its indoor events rather than juggling an infinite array of smaller regional facilities. The complexity and variety of facility types and activities necessitated the development and implementation of a very specialized system beyond what was available in the marketplace…and the Facility Ally solution was born.
HyVee Arena’s plan involved the launch of one of the largest multi-sport facilities in the country, intended for a broad range of applications designed to attract tens of thousands of participants annually. They needed a system to support all of this, in particular:
- The ability to support multiple types of activities across similar assets
- Basketball courts, that can be combined or subdivided to serve as volleyball courts, pickleball courts, futsal and more
- Track lanes
- Conference rooms, meeting rooms, suites
- The ability to accommodate leagues and tournaments, run internally or independently
- The ability to schedule and manage individual events
- The ability to support coaching activities and the allocation of assets to them
- The ability to manage liability across all usage, accepting and tracking waivers and other associated documentation
- The ability to manage invoicing and payments
In the end, this is an exceptional use case that will require a comprehensive and robust system.
Facility Ally began as a custom solution, initially developed to accommodate the requirements of HyVee Arena and its broad range of constituents. Given the magnitude of their requirements, the development and implementation schedule had to prioritize the most important features. This included:
- Scheduling and management of particular facility users (individuals, staff, leagues, events, etc.), including the ability to combine or subdivide specific assets for particular usage, by internal staff members only at launch
- The ability to manage individual client information, including and especially invoicing and payment management
- A system to present, accept and track waivers and other user documentation
- Privilege management to give specific users the ability to view or edit specific information and/or reports.
- The ability to support coaches and their use of specific assets for lessons and coaching
This list has continued to expand and evolve since this first deployment, but now represents the core functionality of Facility Ally.
HyVee Arena began to use the system internally in mid-2019 as a “live test”…using actual data to identify functional and reporting requirements. Having achieved a successful test, the system was launched formally at the end of 2019 and with the addition of a “site widget” to accept bookings in real-time on the HyVee Arena website.
In 2020 COVID hit, halting activity everywhere. The management teams of both HyVee Arena and Facility Ally continued to work to improve and implement new features and functions:
- To-do lists and an internal project management system
- The ability to manage group sessions for events, open play, camps, clinics, etc.
- Promo codes for users and groups
- Improved widget functionality
- A comprehensive reporting center
Today, Facility Ally serves as the central operating system for all internal and external court reservations, with over 21,000 participants having used the system to date. The management team of HyVee Arena continues to serve on Facility Ally’s advisory board and continues to assist in prioritizing feature adds and improvements. Hundreds of reservations are being managed every month, supporting thousands of athletes, members, participants, and guests.
What was once a historic building on the verge of being torn down has been resurrected and repurposed and now serves tens of thousands of community members annually. And, of course, Facility Ally was born…
"Facility Ally has been the backbone of Hy-Vee Arena since its inception.
Hy-Vee Arena is a one-of-a-kind facility and the flexibility of Facility Ally has allowed us to create a fully customized experience to effectively and efficiently manage the uniqueness of our multi-purpose facility. Facility Ally's ease of use and simplicity allows us to create reservations ranging from daily bookings through our website to booking multiple recurring reservations, all of which can be accessed by Hy-Vee Arena staff members from anywhere through their mobile device.
Facility Ally has saved our staff so much time, energy, and effort. It is seemingly always evolving and Hy-Vee Arena greatly appreciates the Facility Ally development team for constantly requesting our feedback and including us in their ideas for future features."
- Chris Coffin, General Manager of HyVee Arena