The Springfield Sports Commission has released a strategic planning report that outlined a number of issues related to sports in the Springfield region.
The report is produced by the Huddle Up Group, a sports tourism, venue, and event consulting company. The report says that while Springfield has had some success in hosting sporting tournaments in the past few years, there are multiple opportunities for growth in the near and long-term future.
The summary of the report gave the SSC three primary and three secondary recommendations:
Primary (Near Term)
- Enhance the SSC’s organizational structure.
- Strengthen stakeholder relationships.
- Improve messaging and marketing efforts locally and nationally.
Secondary (Longer Term)
- Collaborate to identify specific venue enhancement and development opportunities.
- Develop a sustainable venue funding source.
- The Consultant Team’s opinion on what specific facilities need to be upgraded or could
be newly developed.
“Throughout the research process, it became apparent to the Consultant Team that there is an opportunity for the Springfield Sports Commission to enhance its presence in the sports tourism market,” the report reads. “The key moving forward is for community stakeholders to work together in building and managing an expanded sports tourism marketing program, and to focus political capital on building relationships locally that can deliver upon the sports tourism mission of the SSC on a recurring basis from one year to the next. Through the execution of a strategic and targeted game plan, the SSC will enhance its position regionally as a player in the sports tourism
and events industry.”
The report outlined that the researchers felt the strengths of the Springfield area was the solid leadership of the SSC and community leaders; the variety of attractions and events that visiting athletes and families can do outside of competitions; and the track record of successful events in Springfield.
However, the report also says that facilities post a major challenge to Springfield because of a lack of indoor facilities that could host tournament play.
“Nearly all of the indoor facilities toured by the Consultant Team are adequate for community use but are not equipped to host regional or national level tournaments,” the report states. “Further, it is unlikely that even with significant enhancements, that these facilities would be of national tournament quality.”
The report specifically noted the lack of an indoor “anchor” facility for the SSC.
The list of weaknesses also included lack of funding, stating that SSC’s efforts are not funded on the level of the top sports tourism organizations in the United States, and the organizational structure which could lead to significant problems in the future. The report noted that the bylaws and organizational structure of the SSC are “in need of an overhaul.”
Read the full report below:SSCReport