Manage a Sports Facility

Manage a Sports Facility

The number of sports facilities in the US is rising rapidly, and demand for qualified managers to oversee them is at an all-time high, says Rick Nelson, program coordinator for the Sports Facility Management program at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Nelson says that when most people think of sports facilities, what automatically come to mind are big stadiums that host professional sporting events, like the Staples Center in Los Angeles or New York City's Madison Square Garden. But most sports facilities have nothing to do with professional sports. Think instead of your neighborhood YMCA or the local indoor driving range, soccer facility or ice arena.

"The sports-facility manager is really a jack-of-all trades," says Nelson. "They need to know everything possible in regards to the operations of that facility."

Pete Carlson, director of ice arena operations and programming for the National Sports Center Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota, oversees five managers who themselves supervise anywhere from 10 to 15 employees. A typical day for Carlson, who has a degree in physical education, includes managing schedules, budgeting, dealing with mechanical issues and expenses and looking for ways to attract business both short and long term.

From Accounting to Turf Management

"A good manager has worked the trenches," says Carlson. "They've been the guy scrubbing floors. They've been the person answering phone calls, they've been in meetings with facility directors. On-the-job training is how a lot of us learned."

Soft skills necessary for success include being a great communicator and having strong interpersonal and public-relations skills. Mandatory hard skills include proficiency in business management, accounting, facility planning and design -- all basic abilities needed in any business. But Nelson says facility managers also must know how to handle issues related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as horticulture and turf management.

"They need to know how to fix or who to turn to if a pipe breaks, or what to do when you have a soccer game with a full stadium, and rain or lightning forces people to find safety," says Nelson. "They need to understand basic and complex repair work and at the same time understand marketing, budgets and how to plan events."

Keeping Customers of All Kinds Happy

Facility managers provide a service and must satisfy those who rely on the facility for their sporting or recreational event. As such, it can often be a thankless job -- that is, until something goes wrong.

"This is a very service-oriented field," says Nancy Jensen of The Sports Management Group, a Berkeley-based professional consulting firm. "You are likely to be responsible for oversight of a large staff but must also be able to work with the political realities of a public enterprise, [including] councils and boards. Communication skills are key, [along with] an interest in sports, fitness and the fitness goals of others, coupled with an understanding of business operations."

Good Pay, Long Hours

Nelson says most sports facility manager jobs pay between $26,000 to $86,000 a year, though many variables can affect salary, including whether the facility is public or private or in an urban or rural location. But Jensen reports that salary can range from $50,000 to $90,000 before benefits, with the average range between $55,000 and $70,000. But be forewarned: If you're looking for a 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday type of job, sports facility management isn't for you. Sporting events can happen at all hours of the day and night, weekdays and weekends.

"I don't think there is a typical day," says Nelson. "But if you love being around sports and events, then you'll love this career."

Learn more about sports careers.

Latest Jobs

Masco Cabinetry
Posted: 05/29/2015
Ann Arbor, MI
Posted: 05/29/2015
Valley Stream, NY, 11581
A-Line Staffing Solutions
Posted: 05/29/2015
Richardson, TX, 75081
Posted: 05/29/2015
Watchung, NJ, 07069
Toyota Carlsbad
Posted: 05/29/2015
Carlsbad, CA, 92011

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-218