TSMG Blog

Need A Park Programming Consultant?

Plan Before Design – A Case For The Park Programming Consultant


Do you need a Park Programming Consultant for your project? Let’s talk about what to expect from a park programming consultant and how a park programming consultant can contribute to the success of your project. With over 27 years of hands-on experience in park and recreation programming and planning, The Sports Management Group offers some thoughts on the value of including a park and recreation consultant on the project team.

The “right” park programming consultant, often identified as a recreation programming consultant, has a range of skills to put your project on the path to success. The recreation consultant is integral to the process of planning from the project’s inception; the park programming consultant works to establish key strategies that assess needs, engage the public, inform the design, forecast operations, maintenance costs, and revenues, and works with staff to develop plans for successful operations of the project.

Reasons For Choosing A Park Programming Consultant


Identify Park and Facility Needs Before Design

Programming and planning is vital prior to design of your facility or park. Assess your operational budget in tandem with the development of your park or facility space program to determine necessary staffing levels, and to create a program plan that will attract and satisfy participants, users, and members of the community, establish a customer base and, ultimately, increase revenues. This financial and programming planning will also help to foresee maintenance service levels in relation to the anticipated project. A park and recreation programming consultant can develop a detailed, line item operating budget and identify the revenue potential and cost recovery. This financial information informs decisions about what to build, how big, how to program the space and can you afford to own what you are considering building.

Guidance to the Design Team and Client
The path from initial planning, through design and ultimately, operations is often challenging, with many obstacles to overcome. A park programming consultant understands every facet of facility and park operations, and can offer guidance on a broad range of topics, including staffing needs, services and program offerings, and facility management. The consultant is also a resource to the design team on requirements related to recreation, the highest performance sport flooring or the electrical requirements for the cardio equipment.

Anticipating Recreation Trends
A park and recreation programmer stays abreast of the trends shaping park and recreation services and facilities. This knowledge is essential to serving current needs and creating facilities that can respond to changing needs. Generational trends (such as Baby Boomers and Millenials), issues relating to obesity and health, desired activities, and sustainability are some of the factors impacting the outcome of your project.

Understanding Your Market
Understanding your market and the market conditions, in which you offer services, is essential to good planning. A park and recreation programmer will perform a market analysis and a demographic analysis, to develop a community profile. By identifying the key characteristics of your population, a park and recreation programmer can project interest in various types of programs and activities. This important data helps to inform decisions about type and size of spaces, program development, fees and charges, and revenue potential.

Community Outreach and Public Engagement
An experienced programming consultant will also be skilled in public process, and can involve the community in the planning of your project in a seamless and informative manner. Community engagement and eventual ownership of the proposed development are key to a successful community project. Keeping it fun, engaging, and purposeful requires experience in all types of public settings from formal meetings to stakeholder interviews.

Competencies of Park Planning Consultant


Now that you have considered the value of a park and recreation programming consultant for your project, here are some of the skills and experience a park planning consultant should have:
  • 10+ years of community recreation and park planning experience
  • Facilitation skills
  • Hands-on programming experience in the development and implementation of inclusive programs that meet community needs and interests
  • Ability to evaluate and assess programs and space for optimal utilization
  • Financial analysis skills necessary to develop reliable costs and revenue projections
  • Proven success working with public park and recreation agencies
A good park planning consultant with these competencies can be a vital resource for the success of your project.

For more information, call us at 510.849.3090 or email to: tsmg@sportsmgmt.com

Trends in Fitness: Body Weight Exercise

A recent article published by the New York Times highlights a recent shift in indoor fitness preferences, with resistance exercise – often utilizing minimal equipment -- gaining popularity. Bodyweight exercise, which utilizes the body’s resistance to gravity for strength building, can be seen in the success of brands such as CrossFit and P90X. Plyometrics, stability/core training, and Pilates also fall within this category of strength training.

bodyweight-exercise

Fitness and recreation centers, as well as fitness equipment manufacturers, are adapting. New weight equipment can be costly; rather than purchase the latest and greatest, fitness centers and gyms are creating versatile space for small group training and workouts that integrate equipment like TRX suspension trainers, ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands for enhanced exercise. This added choice in strength training will have future impact on rec and fitness center operations and design.

Read the full article here.

Phoenix Kroc Center Takes Home 2013 Red Award

The Ray & Joan Kroc Center in Phoenix South Mountain, Arizona was awarded Arizona Commercial Real Estate (AZRE) Magazine’s 2013 RED Award for Best Public Project. The 8th annual RED Awards were presented February 27 to recognize the best commercial real estate projects in Arizona for the past year. The awards featured 15 project categories, such as redevelopment, education, mixed-use, and sustainability.

Located in a predominantly low-income neighborhood, the Phoenix Kroc Center is the largest community center in Arizona and provides opportunities in Art, Education, Recreation, Spiritual Guidance, and Wellness to individuals and families in the greatest need. TSMG has worked alongside The Salvation Army and the Kroc Center staff in both pre- and post-opening phases to assist in operational planning, financial analysis, design consulting, and staff support as the center progresses through its first year of operations.

The 147,000 sf center utilizes sustainable methods for energy efficiency, with solar thermal panels, an elaborate filtering system in the aquatic center, an HVAC chilled system and low-voltage lighting. The sate-of-the-art facility--offering NBA-sized basketball courts, aquatics center, game room, classrooms, computer lab, library, theater, fitness center, and more—is a valuable resource to the community of Phoenix South Mountain.

Read AZRE Magazine's award write-up here.

red awards 2013
red awards 2013

East Oakland Sports Center Receives Facility Merit Award

We are delighted to share that the East Oakland Sports Center has been decorated a 2012 Facility of Merit by Athletic Business Magazine. Ten facilities were selected from across the US by a panel of recreation and sports facility architects, and the winners were featured in the December issue of Athletic Business. Awards were formally presented November 30th of 2012.

The 25,000-square-foot LEED Silver project was commended not only for its design, but also for its significance to the surrounding community as a “beacon” and much needed resource. TSMG worked with the project architect, ELS Architecture and Urban Design, to provide services in programming, financial analysis, and public facilitation.

Read the full Athletic Business article here.

Season's Greetings From TSMG

The Sports Management Group would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season, and wonderful New Year! To celebrate, we've put together a short animation. We hope you like it, and we look forward to continuing our work in 2012.