If you enjoy sports, you may think that the only way you can earn a living in this field is to be an athlete. This can be daunting if you aren’t athletically inclined, don’t have a higher level of talent, or suffered an injury that means you are no longer able to play your sport of choice.

Fortunately, other options exist for people who are interested in sports but don’t want to (or can’t) take part physically. One of these options is to pursue a career in sports facilities management.

Here we explain what this type of role entails, along with a few career options for people working in a sports facility manager role. We also share salary potential and how to get started in this position which combines sports and business. Let’s start at the beginning by first clarifying what sports facilities management entails.

What Is Sports Facilities Management?

As a sports facility manager, you are likely to be responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, and everyday operations of a sports or recreational facility. This facility may be a large stadium or arena, or it might be a smaller venue, such as a gym, local park, or the recreation department of a larger business or organization.

Your duties when working in sports facilities management can vary but may involve performing tasks such as:

  • Creating and adhering to a budget that is set for the sports facility
  • Managing day-to-day operations of the facility, including those related to staffing, hours of operation, services offered, events held, and more
  • Planning and design of the facility, including renovations and remodeling to support expansion or to maintain a certain performance, safety, or brand standard
  • Marketing the facility and its events, increasing spectatorship while also appealing to outside businesses or organizations interested in growing their brand within the sports space
  • Leasing restaurant, retail, and other open spaces to vendors interested in securing these spots

Career Options as a Sports Facility Manager

The great thing about working as a sports facility manager is that this career path offers several different avenues. These avenues can vary in terms of facility size. Maybe you enjoy working with your community’s youth softball league. You can do this by managing the facility in which they play. Or perhaps you have a dream to work alongside a pro sports team and have always been a huge fan of the NBA, NFL, or NASCAR. You have this opportunity when working in sports facilities management.

Some larger venues offer more specialized sports facilities management roles. You might be hired to manage just the concessions portion of the facility or to manage certain events, for example. This allows you to drill down even more into your areas of interest or expertise. It also establishes you as a professional in these areas, further growing your potential in a sports facility manager role.

You can even work in a sport that you enjoy. If you like golf, for instance, you can be a sports facility manager at a local golf course or country club. Prefer bowling instead? Some venues hire sports facility managers to operate their bowling centers. Of course, there are facilities for other types of sports as well, from football to hockey to basketball and more.

Sports Facilities Management Salary Potential

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for facilities managers is $97,930 per year. This breaks down to roughly $47.08 per hour.

As the median, this means that one-half of all facilities managers make more than this amount and one-half make less. The bottom 10 percent of earners make $59,010 per year or less, while the top 10% of earners have an annual wage of $161,140 or more.

Several factors can impact your salary in sports facilities management. They include your level of education, experience, the geographic location in which you work, and the facility in which you are employed.

Interested in Becoming a Sports Facility Manager?

If this sounds like a good career path for you, Saint Leo University offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in sport business. This 4-year, 120-credit hour program is designed to increase your knowledge and skills in areas such as media relations, risk management, marketing, sport governance, and finance.

Students in our Sport Business BA program also have the opportunity to participate in an internship. This provides access to real-world experience in sports facilities management.

Contact Saint Leo today to request information about this or any other program offered.