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Become a Sports Facility Manager With an MBA

While fans fixate on major plays and scores, sports facility managers focus on ensuring that their ice rink, football field, soccer pitch or court is always game-ready. Managing sports facilities requires a wide range of skills that students can gain through St. Thomas University’s online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Administration. The online MBA program is designed to prepare graduates to handle public relations, staffing, event management and other duties commonly performed by sports facility managers.

Overview of Sports Facility Management

Like most forms of management, the role of sports facility managers is multifaceted. Many of the day-to-day tasks depend on the type of sports venue in question. Managers oversee finances, employees and the upkeep of sports facilities. The directors are often tasked with creating and staying within a facility budget, meaning that a deep understanding of accounting is key to this profession.

What separates sports facility management from other managerial positions are the sporting events that pay for the construction and maintenance of sports facilities. While facility managers rarely handle tasks like grooming grass and polishing ice, they must understand the nuances of those tasks as well as the importance of keeping a stadium’s overall appearance clean and free of litter.

A SportsCareerFinder article noted that most sports facility managers have at least a four-year degree in marketing, communications or sports business. Beyond that, the article said, many companies and franchises look for managers who can handle contractual issues, sales, ticket sales and sponsorship negotiation. Annual compensation varies depending on sports type, according to data provided by SportsCareerFinder:

Major League Baseball: $64,000 – $120,000

National Football League: $68,000 – $125,000

National Basketball Association: $56,000 – $105,000

National Hockey League: $50,000 – $92,000

Collegiate: $42,000 – $90,000

PayScale places the median salary for facilities directors at $84,379 per year (January 2019).

Several factors are currently reshaping the field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, including an ongoing awareness of the environmental impact of stadiums and sports facilities. Building codes are increasingly raising environmental standards to improve energy efficiency. Additionally, facility managers are being tasked with preparing for environmental disasters.

“Smart” building technology is expected to affect the work of facility managers over the next decade, according to the BLS. The technology provides managers with timely and detailed information about possible systems failures within sports facilities.

Gain the Skills Needed for Sports Facility Management

Sports organizations are looking for new hires who have specialized training in sports administration. With the wide range of accounting, human resources and marketing skills needed to thrive in the competitive sports facility management market, an MBA is key to gaining the training necessary to properly manage a sport stadium or facility. STU’s online MBA with a concentration in Sports Administration includes a course on sports facility management. The online class covers topics like the construction of sports facilities, potential problems that could arise in facility and event management, budgeting, personnel management and more. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the management of a sporting event and to visit local facilities through the program.

Learn more about the STU online MBA program with a concentration in Sports Administration.


SportsCareerFinder: Facility Manager

PayScale: Facilities Director Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Administrative Services Manager

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