Listen, Create, Construct!

The indoor pavilion also can accommodate trade shows, reunions, weddings, banquets, fundraisers, and other special events. Photo By Dorian’s Photography

The indoor pavilion also can accommodate trade shows, reunions, weddings, banquets, fundraisers, and other special events.

Photo By Dorian’s Photography

Now, soccer, lacrosse, and football can be accommodated on six fields. The indoor pavilion also can accommodate trade shows, reunions, weddings, banquets, fundraisers, and other special events. Having these events brings more people to the facility that otherwise would normally have little interest in visiting. This approach certainly justifies building a multi-million-dollar complex because it appeals to a larger demographic.

Look At Creative Ways To Finance The Complex

Donations, sponsorships, grants or bonds are all viable options to help build an ideal complex. In 2009, Kennewick was awarded $500,000 annually in the form of a sales-tax credit from the state through its local revitalization financing (LRF) tax-increment financing program. To receive the award, the city had to demonstrate that the state had received at least $500,000 in incremental (new) property and sales-tax revenue as a result of activity within the Southridge Local Revitalization Area during the calendar year 2010. The city met those requirements and began receiving the state’s award in July 2011. To date, Kennewick’s Southridge LRF project is the only one in the state’s LRF program that has successfully met this requirement. The $500,000 state award, along with the local sales- and property-tax increments the city and its LRF partners (KGH, Port of Kennewick, Benton County) receive, are required to be used for the annual debt service on approximately $13.665 million in bonds that were issued in 2010. The majority of those bonds were used to finance the completion of the sports complex, with the remainder used to fund critical roadway infrastructure to prepare the area for future development. The city has also generated thousands of dollars in sponsorships, which allow businesses to receive exposure from people visiting the complex and for the city to use those sponsorship dollars for a number of different projects, upgrades, and other opportunities.

Marketing

After the complex was completed, the question became, “How do we get people to rent and use the facility?” Marketing has become very complicated with hundreds of avenues for promoting a sports and events complex. The city did not have a large local marketing budget, so it became creative in getting the word out. Sponsorship trades with local media outlets, a recreation brochure, an email database, city and complex websites, and a large grand opening all helped to create “buzz.” Working with the local visitor and convention bureau to provide information about shopping, restaurants, hotels, and other area attractions helped put the complex on the map as well. Kennewick also used hotel/motel tax dollars to market, which allowed for greater awareness on a regional and national scale and led to more events and tournaments—ultimately more tourism dollars for the local economy.

Every detail plays a vital role in creating a successful sports and events complex. Be prepared for anything, listen to the public, and more times than not, children and adults will flock to your complex. Partnerships are vital for any successful project. By creating outreach programs, talking with community leaders, and working with potential user groups, you will be on the way to a community facility that everyone will enjoy.

Brandon Lange is the Sponsorship and Sports Marketing Coordinator for the city of Kennewick in Washington. Reach him at Brandon.lange@ci.kennewick.wa.us.

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Related posts:

  1. Major League Maintenance
  2. Complex Planning
  3. Multi-Tasking Fields
  4. Drawing a Crowd
  5. Grinding Out The Details

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