December 2015

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 11 of 51

PATRICK "IRISH" COAKLEY, CSFM Sports Turf Superintendent Ripken Stadium, Aberdeen, MD For years in our industry, and especially in Minor League Baseball, our positions were (and still are in some places) viewed as non-revenue positions. We were operations, so we spent money, we didn't bring any in. My argument against this line of thinking has two parts: one is while we may not bring in revenue; we are revenue insurance. Our efforts via tarp pulls, grading and all the maintenance procedures we carry out, directly affect a field's ability to withstand weather events and remain safe for play. Anyone that works for a "for profit" com- pany in our business understands that if you don't play, you don't make money. Our jobs insure the revenue coming in. The second part of the argument directly contradicts the non-revenue title. The field is a revenue generator by itself. Other than a MiLB game, people seek to use the playing surface for college games, high school championships, concerts, etc. The reason people seek out these fields is because of the high quality. You would not be able to generate the extra, or non- traditional revenue, if the field was not of a standard that made it worth paying for. Another aspect to look at would be the relationships we develop with vendors in our industry—materials, equipment and all the people we are involved with behind the scenes that help us put out good products. Many times these vendors become business partners with our clubs and it is because of the relationships we build. In many cases, sports turf manag- ers become sales people in the off season and bring in money for their clubs by selling advertising, tickets, etc. to the vendors they deal with. One thing we are specifically doing at Ripken Experience is an educational series that will be going on our website. Many coaches of our tournament teams end up as the sports turf manager of their home field, with no training or education in field maintenance. We are hoping to provide them with some basics and resources to get help. We will be teaming up with our partners to put together a series of short videos address- ing fertilization, infield maintenance, mound and plates, etc. This will not only provide some more inventory for advertis- ing sales but also provide some much needed and sought after education for the coaches of our tournament teams and hope- fully anyone that has to take care of a baseball field. We are at the beginning of this venture and hope to have the videos up in 2016. Along the same lines, there probably isn't a sports turf manager out there who hasn't helped or continually helps their local community fields in some way. Whether by giving advice to actually giving their time to provide some needed labor, we are constantly out answering that call for help. WILL ROGERS, CSFM Sports Turf Manager Clover (SC) School District [At the K-12 level] we are asked to do more than just maintain sports turf. We may be asked to move teachers to different classrooms, move furniture from school to school, move bleachers, clean roof drains and gutters, paint inside the schools, help the plumbing department, plant shrub beds, clean parking lots, and a number of other things. We as a group may buy drinks for away trips for our athletes. Frank Falls from our staff heads up Moped to Memphis, a charity group for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Lee Clinton entered a woman-less beauty pageant to raise money for M2M. We all want to sup- port our athletes. We want our community to have pride in what we do on our fields and in return we want to help in com- munity activities. ANDY OMMEN Head Groundskeeper McLean County (IL) PONY Baseball We had a large auto dealer buy us all brand new scoreboards in 2013. They wanted to be a sponsor on the scoreboard after we contacted them and when they saw how old our boards were, 12 SportsTurf | December 2015 EXAMPLES OF TURF MANAGERS' CONTRIBUTING TO OVERALL SUCCESS OF THEIR EMPLOYERS FACILITY & OPERATIONS Editor's note: We asked some STMA members for examples of how they or colleagues impact the overall success of their organizations. Here are the responses we received: Whether by giving advice to actually giving their time to provide some needed labor, we are constantly out answering that call for help. ››

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