Creating a soccer facility – Grass or Turf?

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General / March 1, 2018 / Posted by admin

Our most insane dreams of goalkeeper academy ownership often involve the dreams of a gleaming new facility built just the way we want.

The biggest issue for most of us to seeing that insane dream become reality is the funding. But if you think you can raise the doe, then I’d suggest it’s time for you to decide whether the benefits of new construction outweigh the pain in the butt it brings with it.

I went through this process myself when the company I am state manager for wanted to buy a local soccer club right here in central Florida.

I spent days on end doing research and in meetings with field designers, city officials, pursuing the idea of the CEO that wanted to build something new, because he and eventually myself were so drawn to its true benefits:

I prefer property ownership to renting, because I would consider it a very good financial investment. Of course, the biggest payoff on any property investment depends on the location and the possible market in that area. And when you construct the set of fields to suit your needs, can make the investment even stronger, simply by designing it to what you think will sell well.

CA fully customized soccer facility can be a big advantage. You can build exactly what you need, prioritizing your highest demand activities and like everyone will do: Using as less acres as possible. Despite all of these amazing benefits, the issues I encountered made the company I represent decide to stay in city owned rented locations.

A thing that I noticed that most Local governments have different rules about how you can build a sports complex. You’ll have to present your plans to your local city engineers for approval, the biggest issue will be parking drainage space. This turned out to a big issue, because in the project there were both grass and hybrid soccer fields and a “possible” (if budget permitted) a 60 x 100 indoor soccer field for rainy/stormy afternoons, but that field space would have required construction permits and over cost materials. I’ll be honest I wasn’t just mentally prepared for all the regulatory roadblocks that we ran into.

Financing was not an issue. $1.4M was on the table and in budget. and that’s a great thing, sports academies aren’t typically considered low-risk, because the success rate for our type of business is not great, so if you knock on a banks door asking for a loan, you’ll get turned down for sure.

Time was going to be another issue. We would have started to build in mid December and all would have to be ready for mid June. So besides the time it takes to plan and get all the permits (2 to 4 months), you have actual construction time, which is always at the mercy of who’s building it and what problems they can bump into along the way!.

However, I’d suggest looking for existing spaces before you decide to build your own complex. If you can find and buy an existing city space – or even a current sports business going broke that works for your business LLC or non-profit. Just be sure that it doesn’t have a bad reputation from previous club/owners.

Let’s now get down to costs:
Grass, Turf or Hybrid? Well the costs of construction are higher with Hybrid and turf, but you’ll be spending a lot less keeping them up to standard. Also with both Hybrid and Turf you can use your field for more hours per day with no field recovery time needed and in almost any type of weather. You can rent out the use of your field to generate revenue when you’re not using it, save in average $15k a year per field on on maintenance costs such as re-sodding, watering and mowing, not to mention chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides.

Remember that Hybrid or Turf offer consistent performance characteristics all year round, in cold of hot weather, either it is raining or dry as the desert can be! Turf usually lasts from 15 to 22 years if flooding is not an issue. But the initial investment can rock your pocketbook. The upfront cost is higher, but the cost savings over time make it a much more financially-sound decision.

Grass in average costs $110,000 per field while Turf is averaging around $320,000, Hybrid is the largest investment at no less than $540,000 per field. This includes draining, but not the costs of retaining ponds and side areas.