When Total Sports Complex, a private company specializing in sport facilities, was looking to expand to the Rochester area, they struck a unique partnership with Oakland University, a public entity. This unique partnership brings plenty to both groups and the dome they built provides professional playing surfaces to all.
The concept of a public-private partnership, or PPP, is not new. Governments often make use of them to create public services or projects that have the potential to be commercially successful while reducing the risk. They create mutually beneficial partnerships with lower risk of financial losses. The odds of success are higher with more groups helping and working together.
One example of a PPP would be a private company building a hospital that leases to a public hospital authority. The private company would then manage the actual building while the hospital authority manages all the medical services. The two entities then share the profits.
In the case of a private sporting company joining forces with a public entity, like a school, creating an indoor space for sports makes sense. One of the challenges of having an indoor sport facility is making sure you are reaching full utilization. By having two entities making use of the facility, there is less downtime.
Oakland University and Total Sports take full advantage of this at the new sports dome built on OU’s campus. During the day, Oakland U’s varsity athletes train within the dome, honing their skills year round. In the evening, the dome is open to any sport team or organization by renting through Total Sports.
The dome then provides the school, and anyone who rents it, with fields to play sports like soccer, baseball, and lacrosse year round. With this setup, the dome is nearly always in use.
This partnership is a big deal for the school. University’s and their facilities are seasonal and experience lulls when there are few students on campus. Total Sports is likely to bring in at least 250,000 people every year to use the dome.
So not only does the campus get a new state-of-the-art training facility, they don’t have to worry about further monetizing the dome. They also get more exposure to potential future students. Showing younger athletes an impressive training bubble could go a long way in future college choices.
Many schools struggle with the same challenges. Seasonal use of facilities, monetizing unused space, and ever-evolving campuses. Partnerships such as the one struck between Oakland University and Total Sports make installing facilities like their multi sports dome a no brainer.
While domes are less expensive than brick and mortar training facilities, they can still be a substantial cost. Sharing the burden and doubling the potential users of a multi-sport dome is the best way to go. When it comes to getting people into a bubble, the more the merrier!