A Day In The Life Of Stadium Management

Here are six ways to improve stadium facility operations — and the guest experience in the meantime.


By Charlotte Jensen-Murphy

These days, it’s hard to compete with huge, high definition flat screens with great camera angles from the field. Joe and Marlene love sports but like many people, they usually choose to watch in the comfort of their home. If they do go out, they’re picky about the venue. Joe’s nerves frazzle when parking is a pain, and Marlene’s pet peeve is sticky stadium seats.

They’d heard that recent improvements to the downtown baseball stadium made it a great venue to see a game or concert, so they decided to give it a chance. Here’s what they found…stadium management

Joe was able to use an app on his phone to find the closest parking place available and pay for it. The directions steered him right to it. A shuttle picked up Marlene and him immediately and dropped them off at the front gate. After the game, they got back to their car with ease, the parking lot was well lit, and the exit was quick, thanks to the app.

Marlene was impressed right away: Pretty flowers, healthy grass, and clean exteriors greeted her. Inside, it was apparent that the staff was ready for gates to open, and Marlene and Joe’s seats were dry and clean. She was delighted to order food from her phone and have it delivered to their seats! Even in the eighth inning, Marlene found the restroom tidy as there was a dedicated attendant present. So nice to have plenty of toilet paper and no water leaking on the floor! She appreciated the “Green Clean” sticker on the mirror because in some bathrooms, the odor of harsh chemicals set off her allergies. She also appreciated seeing the recycling bins throughout the stadium.

Marlene and Joe noted how good the baseball diamond looked: Both infield and outfield were immaculate, and the lights didn’t glare in their eyes. Though the home team lost, the couple still had a great time. Next weekend, they’re returning for a concert — something they’d stopped doing long ago. Now they know that the price of admission and getting a babysitter will be worth it!

Is this scenario too good to be true? No! It’s all possible for stadium management teams when they have an integrated facility services provider working in the background to improve the venue’s appearance and keep it operating smoothly. No matter what type of event is being hosted, the right partner can help to create exceptional experiences for audiences.

6 Ways To Improve Stadium Management

1. Parking management, shuttles, VIP and/or valets: There’s nothing worse than lining up to find a parking spot or circling endlessly and then having to walk a mile. A good parking vendor can help solve problems and efficiently get visitors into and out of the stadium with traffic management plans. Providing a parking app helps people before they even arrive.

2. Welcoming landscape and playable fields: Give visitors the best first impression with pristine grounds and seasonal flowers. When you pay attention to detail, people notice. And of course, great playing conditions on the turf are a must for the team.stadium management

3. Spotless seating, suites, food courts, restrooms, and concourses: This will be assured when your provider has well-trained employees work before, during and after your events using the proper tools, equipment, and processes, along with GreenSeal or other sustainable cleaning products. Choose a company that considers janitorial service a science and an art and understands the intricacies of sports and entertainment venues.

4. The right temperature and lighting: Comfort of guests and excellent lighting of the venue, of course, are a must, but properly designed, well-maintained systems also offer better energy efficiency and longer life. Vast improvements in venue and parking lot lighting have become possible through new technology (e.g., LED). Upgrades and retrofits can often be paid for through energy savings over time.

5. LEED-certified or other eco-conscious surroundings: The value of green facilities is well documented. Reducing your negative impact on the environment is simply good business and helps gain the community’s trust. Due to the volume of a stadium’s spend, it can make a huge impact on a city’s overall carbon footprint. In addition, socially responsible stadiums appeal to the most discriminating fans.

stadium management6. Seamless operations: An integrated facility services provider with experience in sports and entertainment venues can handle everything from game-day preparations to quick changeovers to periodic maintenance. They have the resources to handle back-to-back events as well as last-minute changes in your line-up or the weather. The right partner will assimilate seamlessly into your operations so your fans will experience consistent, quality service, even if you operate multiple venues in many locales.

Creating a great fan experience is easier if you partner with one provider that can handle a range of facility services (e.g., janitorial, lighting, parking, energy management, engineering, landscaping, and handyman services) under one contract with one point of contact. Staffing your facility with their own expert employees (not subcontractors) positively affects efficiency, cost, reliability and management control. A well-cared-for venue attracts and retains the best employees and audiences, and ensures that everyone has a winning time, day or night.stadium management

Jensen-Murphy is senior vice president, Sports & Entertainment for ABM Industries. ABM is a a provider of facility solutions that has more than 100,000 employees in 300+ offices throughout the United States and various international locations.