February 2017

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 39 of 51

40 SportsTurf | February 2017 FIELD OF THE YEAR The Gulfport Sportsplex was built in 1998/99 to help boost the local economy through tournament play and also provide quality sports fi elds for the local recreational leagues. We were initially told that we were putting too many eggs in one basket by building a complex. After many delays in construction we fi nally got phase one of the project com- plete and the complex opened in early 2000. We started slow with only seven events and an impact of $1.3 million. Despite the setbacks of hurricanes Katrina and Ivan, the depression of 2008 and the Gulf Oil spill of 2010 we have grown on aver- age 8% annually. I credit our growth to the hard work of the maintenance team. They are defi nitely a dedicated team of groundskeepers who take pride in their work. I consider them the winners if selected for Field of the Year. Our local leagues and tournament guest to this day still can't believe that such a small group of guys are maintaining all of our sports fi elds to such high standards. This team has developed a system of cohe- sion and defi nitely look out for the best interest of this city, our user groups and the industry as a whole. My team understands the concept of "Build it and they will come." We operate on the philosophy of "maintain it and they will come back." I consider myself fortunate to have such a team at municipal level and wouldn't trade them for a million dollars. My team has shown much love towards both the profession and myself. I've had the privilege over the past 4 years to review scholarship packets on our upcoming Sports Turf Managers while serving as chair- man of the scholarship committee. I have decided to make The Gulfport Sportsplex was built in 1998/99 to help boost the local economy through tournament play and Why STMA should consider your field a winner?

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