Sports Facility Managers
Education and Training Requirements
High school courses that provide a general background for work in sports facility management include business, mathematics, government, and computer science. Speech and writing classes will help hone communication skills. Managing a school club or other organization will give an introduction to overseeing budgets and the work of others.
Most employers prefer to hire sports facility managers with a bachelor's degree. In the past it wasn't necessary, but the competition for jobs in sports administration and facility management is so keen that a bachelor's degree is nearly mandatory. In fact, in many instances, a master's degree in sports administration or sports facility management is increasingly required of managers.
Other Education or Training
The International Association of Venue Managers offers webinars, leadership institutes, and other professional development opportunities. The International Facility Management Association also provides continuing education classes. Contact these organizations for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Certification in facility management is not mandatory but is becoming a distinguishing credential among the managers of the largest, most profitable venues. A sports stadium or arena brings its owners a lot of revenue, and these owners aren't willing to trust the management of such lucrative venues to individuals who are not qualified to run them; certification is one way an administration can ensure that certain industry standards in facility management are met. The International Facility Management Association, probably the industry leader in certification, offers the designations certified facility manager, facility management professional, and sustainability facility professional. The International Association of Venue Managers offers the certified venue executive designation.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Most organizations want their facility managers to have, at a minimum, five years of experience in the field or industry. This may include participation in a sport at the professional level, marketing or promotions work, or related management experience that can be shown as relevant to the responsibilities and duties of a sports facility manager.
Successful sports facility managers have excellent strategic, budgetary, and operational planning skills; the day-to-day operations of the sports facility will run on their decisions, so they must be capable of juggling many different tasks.
Leadership and communication skills are also essential. In the course of an average day, sports facility managers might review designs for a new stadium with top-level executives, release a statement to members of the press about the groundbreaking ceremony for the new stadium, and interview prospective foremen for maintenance work. Solid communication skills are needed to clearly express their ideas and share information and goals, regardless of the audience.