PROJ-598_Response To Request For Proposal_04-12-2012
PROJ-598_Response To Request For Proposal_04-12-2012
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Date Created: 11/14/15
April 12, 2013 Pasco County Board of County Commissioners Purchasing Department 8919 Government Drive New Port Richey, Florida 34654 Re: RFPSS13027 To Whom it May Concern, We are excited to submit the attached response to RFPSS13027 to Pasco County for consideration. Enclosed you will find our complete response as requested by the RFP document. Our team consists of a partnership between industry leaders in constructing, operating and maintaining sports facilities at the highest level. Diamond Nation owns and operates one of the nation’s most successful baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse tournament venues serving more than 2,200 teams and 60,000 patrons in 2012 alone. Turf Solutions Group (TSG) has provided facility design support, construction support and maintenance support to top sports facilities from coast to coast. Wiregrass Sports LLC is comprised of the Porter family that has been part of many successful endeavors within Pasco County for decades. We are a team comprised of the people, principles, commitment, and successful operational background to launch and operate the proposed Wiregrass Sports Complex of Pasco County. We have the resources already in place to make an impact from the day that we are selected as the operator of this new development within Pasco County. While we believe that our group would provide the greatest financial savings to the county by working from a design/build/operate agreement with a capped capitalization from the county for land improvements, we remain very interested in the scope described in the RFP request. Thank you for the opportunity to submit this proposal to Pasco County, and we hope to work with you on this great project. Respectfully submitted, WIREGRASS SPORTS LLC DIAMOND NATION LLC TURF SOLUTIONS GROUP LLC Table of Contents 1. Executive Summary ………….………………………………………. 1 2. Company Analysis ……….…………………………………………... 6 3. Industry Analysis …………………………………………………..… 12 4. Customer Analysis …………………………………………………… 15 5. Competitive Analysis ………………………………………………... 17 6. Marketing Plan ………………………………………………………... 21 7. Operations Plan ………………………………………………………. 24 8. Financial Plan ……………………………………………………….… 26 9. Contact and Communication Information ……………………….. 30 1 Executive Summary We have assembled top industry resources within our team to provide the support that this planned sports complex needs for the best possible shortterm and longterm outcome. We have combined our industry strengths with the Porter family’s local knowledge and understanding of the present and future plans within the Wiregrass area. Our team also has members on it who were part of the conceptplanning group that provided the earlystage design submittals to Pasco County. The genesis of the Porter family interest in this venture dates back some 60 years with the participation of Don Porter on a state championship Little League team. Tom and Bill Porter followed along the sports trail some years later with sports careers culminating at the junior college, college and professional levels. In short, sports have been an important part of our lives for over 60 years. Initially, sports were largely local in nature. The Little League baseball program did sponsor a national tournament. Travel teams were a yet undiscovered concept. Girls’ sports existed only in programs at some schools. By the mid1990’s, when the Porter children began to participate in sports, youth sports had taken on an entirely new flavor. There were national programs in many sports catering to boys and girls. Travel teams were springing up everywhere, and our children were filling all available venues. As parents invested in our children, one or both were traveling to tournaments of one form or another for most weekends during the year. This routine made indelible impressions as to the quality of the tournament and venue experience. Diamond Nation is one of the most successful operators of a sports facility in the United States with over 2,200 teams served and 60,000 visitors in 2012 alone. They designed, built, and paid for their facility privately, which shows the truest spirit of entrepreneurship. They reached over 100% of their capacity goal that was set in just 3 years of operating their facility, and their brand now reaches teams in over 30 states. They have a proven and predicable system in place to provide consistent, measurable, and realistic results to Pasco County. Diamond Nation has perfected their operating approach and has invested significant dollars on process improvements and technology to make their brand experience more valuable to their customer base year after year. Turf Solutions Group (TSG), the third partner in our offering to Pasco County, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience at planning and construction sports facilities all across the country. TSG has the unique advantage of working on facilities of all sizes, and reviewed many elements and offerings within facilities that attract consistent, repeat use from traveling teams. TSG brings the planning and design assistance experience along with over 25 years of agronomic management and maintenance experience for all of the natural turf grass sports fields planned at the facility. We intend to keep this facility maintained at a level exceeding the large competing sports venues like ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWOS). Our team brings all of the important components to this project: design, planning, marketing, operations, scheduling, and concessions with predictable results. We would invite Pasco County to consider a visit to the Diamond Nation facility in Flemington, NJ to see more detail on a properly managed facility operates, and we bring that entire management experience and with help from TSG and the Porter family, desire to have the best facility in central Florida for local, regional and national sporting events. We have concluded the following key facts from our time researching the project and its proposed location within the Wiregrass Ranch area of Pasco County: 1. There are not enough sports fields to handle the growing local demand 2. It is in an area that is 45 minutes from either Disney Property or the Beach which is unique and a strong marketing and advertising benefit 3. It is 15 minutes to other local attractions including Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. 4. While there are not enough hotel rooms directly within Pasco County to support the high demand tournament days at the planned facility, the facility would benefit from outofcounty hotel use by way of a mandatory hotel rebate program that is already implemented at the Diamond Nation facility. 5. We have the ability to compete with ESPN (Disney) WWOS and create a unique “experience” for teams that is not just centered on Disney but can include Disney as an option if they wish. With this location we can provide the same or better experience than at WWOS with the added benefit of great attractions within 15 – 45 minutes that are not just Disney attractions. A few years ago, a group seeking to site an ice hockey arena approached the Porters. The idea never germinated. However, it did cause the Porters to explore the concept of a sports complex located on Wiregrass. This exploration resulted in visiting with people representing all facets of the youth sports industry, including ESPN (Disney) Wide World of Sports, IMG, Lakewood Ranch, public sports councils and national sports organizations. Recognizing that it is not possible to cater to all sports, we sought and found a strong sense of where the greatest gaps exist in the facilities world. It is the intent of our group to enter into a minimum 10year public/private partnership with Pasco County to operate and maintain the proposed Fields at Wiregrass. This RFP response on behalf of our group will procure these services via a design/build/operate process directed by our group with the County as a partner. The RFP contemplates a more conventional public multistep, design, bid and build project the County would manage, however we feel that process is unnecessary and inefficient. Our proposed approach will allow us the necessary control of the project to save the County a significant amount of time and money in the process. A detailed agreement will need to be negotiated in order that the needs of both parties are addressed to initiate a public/private partnership. However both parties are committed and invested in the success of the venue and can work together to develop a successful multipurpose event complex. Consistent with the statements in the RFP and Wiregrass Ranch development order, we propose to Centrally locate Wiregrass Sports Complex of Pasco County within the Wiregrass DRI. Amenities at The Fields at Wiregrass will include, but not be limited to concession stands, press boxes, restroom facilities, convenient parking, rental golf carts, paved walking paths, passive park and recreation areas, children’s playground area, picnic areas, arcade/game room, prewiring for lighting and broadcasting for TV, a designated maintenance building area, location for temporary vendors and onsite administration offices. The associated amenities and facilities at these sporting venues can often be the deciding factor in return customers and a successful event. We anticipate having no less than eight (8) baseball/softball fields and twelve (12) multipurpose fields as part of the facility as currently shown on the concept plan below, and we further anticipate the if we are involved in the capacities as described herein that construction costs will not exceed $ 12 million. Our vision for the Wiregrass Sports Complex of Pasco County is quite bold. Our goal is to develop a world class sports venue that attracts highly competitive athletic teams, as well as their families, friends, the public, and tournaments and teams from throughout the United States and potentially even international play to this facility. We believe that we can create a facility that will be stateof theart and unrivaled in the total package it can deliver to the marketplace with its facilities, location, surroundings and other resources. The Fields at Wiregrass will likely be able to capture family oriented team tournaments that will provide a significant economic impact to Pasco County. In summary, the following benefits highlight why our team combined with the Wiregrass Sports Complex of Pasco County represent the greatest opportunity to maximize the County return on investment in a multipurpose venue within Pasco County: Optimal central location for the intended purpose Superior access to interstates and major roads Part of a successful upscale mixeduse project Room to expand facility, if warranted Infrastructure is in place to handle the facility Ancillary facilities (restaurants, hotels, etc.) are in place and can expand Community and residents of Pasco County want it here Experienced, well qualified management team with proven experience and credentials Economic impacts to Pasco County are very substantial 2. Company Analysis We have assembled top industry resources within our team to provide the support that this planned sports complex with the best possible shortterm and longterm outcome. We have combined our industry strengths with the Porter family’s local knowledge and understanding of the present and future plans within the Wiregrass area. Our team also has members within it that have been part of the concept planning group that provided the earlystage design submittals to Pasco County. Our team consists of: Wiregrass Sports LLC (The Porter Family): Active members of this partnership from the Porter family include Don Porter, Bill Porter and JD Porter. The Porters have been longtime residents of Pasco County and developers of the area known as Wiregrass Ranch. The Porters know and understand sports of all types, but they also understand that they do not possess the management experience to operate and maintain a facility of this nature without skilled industry partners. The Porters have teamed with Diamond Nation and Turf Solutions Group to provide a solid team to deliver firstclass results for the facility and for Pasco County. Diamond Nation: Diamond Nation, LLC (the “Company”) was founded in 1997 as The Jack Cust Hitting School, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company. In 2009, the Company changed its name to Diamond Nation. Diamond Nation is a leader in amateur baseball and softball player development and considered by many of its peers as the most comprehensive baseball/softball company in the country. We have positioned ourselves at the forefront of the industry through quality programming, facilities and employees. In 1997, the Company started with a small 6,000 square foot indoor batting facility in which classes and lessons were given primarily on hitting. Through continuous 7 customer satisfaction the need for additional facilities existed and in 2000 the Company built Central New Jersey’s only professionally lighted artificial turf baseball field which unique design allowed for either one 90’ field game or two 60’ field games to be played. Shortly thereafter in 2003 that same field was covered with the Nation’s Largest Amateur Sports Dome. At 140,000 square feet and 130’ at its peak height baseball in New Jersey was changed for good as players in the northeast could now practice and play on a year round basis putting the area‘s players on a more level playing field as those players in warm weather states. With year after year growth and popularity amongst our programs the Company was outgrowing its facilities once again so in 2007 the planning stages began for a stateoftheart training and tournament complex. With the additional facilities the Company decided to increase its presence in the softball market and partnered with Jennie Finch, the world’s most popular softball player, to develop a national softball academy. In June of 2009 Diamond Nation was born and opened its doors to teams from around the country for tournament and league play. Since opening, thousands of teams nationwide have attended events including baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse at Diamond Nation. Diamond Nation Facility Flemington NJ Led by strong leadership team of professionals with years of experience running a multitude of businesses, Diamond Nation is poised to sustain its leadership in the industry and develop an even larger market presence. Jack Cust Sr., Founder & Owner – Diamond Nation Jack Sr. and his son Jack Jr. founded Jack Cust Baseball in 1997. Jack Sr. is well known and respected throughout the state of New Jersey for his contributions to baseball and for his wealth of knowledge and guidance he continues to pass on to players in the college recruiting and major league draft process. After having trained all three of his own sons, Jack Jr., Kevin and Mike, each was drafted out of high school by major league teams. An accomplished player himself in the 70′s, Jack played at Cathedral HS and went on to play collegiate baseball for Mike Sheppard at Seton Hall University. There he hit a grand slam in the NCAA Regional Final in the 9th inning to lead Coach “Shep” to his first College World Series appearance. Jack Sr. is responsible for the development of our hitting curriculum we call “The Process” that is preached in our Nationally Acclaimed Hitting School. Keith Dilgard, President & GM – Diamond Nation Keith Dilgard came to Jack Cust Baseball in 2005 after owning and operating his own baseball academy for the previous six years. Keith serves as the President and General Manager for Jack Cust Baseball and is responsible for the day to day operations. Keith is well known throughout New Jersey baseball for his playing and coaching career. Keith was drafted by the San Diego Padres out of BridgewaterRaritan HS in 1993 and attended Florida CC at Jacksonville where he was an AllAmerican. He was again drafted in 1994 by the New York Yankees. He accepted a scholarship to Mississippi State University in the SEC Conference and was drafted once again by the Cincinnati Reds in 1996. In 1997, he pitched in the College World Series before a shoulder and elbow injury ended his playing career. Keith is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Business. Mike Cust, Sales Manager Tournament and Leagues – Diamond Nation Mike was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 35th round in 2001 but did not play professionally. Like his father Jack Cust Sr., Mike earned a baseball scholarship to play at Seton 9 Hall University from 20022007 and during that time he studied at the Stillman School of Business in which he majored in Management. Mike started his coaching at the Jack Cust Baseball Academy as the head coach and instructor for the Diamond Jacks 18 and under team. He came on board for Diamond Nation’s management team in late summer of 2009 in which he started out as a sales representative. He is currently the Sales Manager at Diamond Nation and is responsible for generating revenue through various programs that Diamond Nation has to offer including baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse. Turf Solutions Group: With more than 25 years of experience in recreational land design and development, Turf Solutions Group (TSG) provides the designers, planners, project managers and construction resources to ensure materials and projects are completed on time and on budget. TSG specializes in design and construction for sports field complexes, athletic fields, athletic facilities, golf courses, golf practice facilities and military site improvements, throughout North America and parts of Europe, Asia and Central America. TSG has provided services in 40 states within the United States from coast to coast. Clients of Turf Solutions Group LLC We continue to grow in the area of sports facility design, planning and construction. It is very rare to have expertise in design and construction within one company, and we are at an advantage in our marketplace as owners shift to design/build and design/build/operate models for their new facilities. Jason Payne, Managing Partner – Turf Solutions Group Jason is one of the founding partners of TSG. Jason is responsible for the marketing of TSG and business planning for clients. Jason is a long time sports enthusiast and had led TSG into its growth in the sports facility design, planning and construction market. He owned a technology business in Illinois that developed software applications for the transportation and logistics industry before selling it to a public company in the mid 90’s, and Jason also is a partner in a business advisory company that specializes in the sale of niche businesses to private equity firms. Bill Phillips, Senior Architect and Facility Planner – Turf Solutions Group Bill is one of the founding partners of TSG. Bill is a landscape architect and land planner and directs all design activity performed by the company. He has spent more than 25 years designing recreational facilities for municipal governments, park districts and private clients in the United States, South America and Asia. Bill has spent the past 10+ years designing and planning many facilities from sports complexes to championship golf throughout the United States, Central America and Asia. Bill and the TSG design and planning staff have worked with many of the top names in the sports industry. Scott Pierce, VP Construction & Planning – Turf Solutions Group Scott is one of the founding partners of TSG. Scott has more than 20 years of experience in the construction of recreational facilities. Scott coordinates all phases of construction planning and construction for TSG. Scott has been the project manager of more than 50 projects during his career, and he has experience with all sizes of sports facilities. He has completed projects in the United States, Europe, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mead Babcock, President and GM – Turf Solutions Group Mead joined the partnership group as an owner in January 2007. Mead serves as President and General Manager of TSG and is responsible for the daily operations of TSG and overseeing administrative functions of accounting, contract development and human resources. He is a Certified Public Accountant and spent most of his career in executive management roles within a publicly traded utility holding company based in Illinois. Mead also has experience in leading new business launches, successfully starting a fiber optics network business that was later sold to a regional company yielding a high rate of return for the corporate investor. Andy Paulson, Logistics & Finance – Turf Solutions Group Andy is a logistics and finance planning manager at TSG. Andy joined TSG in 2006, and he was a 15year commercial banking veteran prior to joining TSG. TSG works directly with the partners on a daily basis to review project financing, high level logistics planning, and resource allocation to most of the larger projects. Andy also assists in document preparation to support financing, financial modeling, permitting, annexation and zoning with many of TSG’s clients. Section Summary: Our entire team is committed to delivering the best results possible for ourselves and Pasco County, and we continue to invest in new technologies that will continue to provide our team an edge over others in our market. We bring partnerships with national sponsors right into the equation from day one, and we are already staffed and equipped to begin marketing and promoting the Wiregrass Sports Complex of Pasco County from the day that we are partnered with Pasco County. 3. Industry Analysis We believe that a sports complex catering to baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse provides a good balance of team tournaments and facility usage throughout the entire calendar year. Youth sports participation continues to rise as noted in this section, and teams tend to gravitate to the facilities that have the best amenities, are well maintained, and are actively marketed to the teams. Based on the current size and growth in the respective sports listed in this section, we feel like the number of sports fields supporting each sport for this facility in this location is quite suitable. National Associations of Sports Commissions (NASC) and numerous sports and travel magazines cite the consistent growth in sports related travel and the need for quality tournament facilities. The NASC Sports Events Symposium earlier this year had record attendance and an 11% increase in attendees since 2010. Almost 300 host organizations attended to meet with event owners and industry professionals. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) has just published its "U.S. Trends in Team Sports (2011 edition)" and some of the stats on youth sports are interesting. According to SGMA’s report: The growth in youth team sports since 2009 is now being fueled by America’s 13 and 14 year olds, the peak ages of sports participation for children. Nearly 70% of children (age 617) in the U.S. are playing team sports and three out of four teenagers are now playing at least one team sport ... ... In 2010, sports participation among 13 year olds and 14 year olds increased 22% and 14%, respectively, versus 2009. The SMGA is a trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry and also does research in the sports and fitness industries. The facility will be comprised of baseball, girls fast pitch softball, soccer and lacrosse (18 years old and younger). Here is some statistical information for each: Baseball: According to the Little League Baseball and Softball participation statistics following the 2008 season, there were nearly 2.6 million players in Little League Baseball worldwide, including 400,000 registered in Softball. For tournament purposes, Little League Baseball is divided into 16 geographic regions; 8 National and 8 international. Each Summer, Little League operates seven other World Series tournaments at various locations throughout the U.S. (Little League softball and Junior, Senior, and Big League baseball and softball) Softball: Softball is the most popular participant sport in the United States, as it is estimated that 40 million Americans will play at least one game of softball during a year. It is played by men and women both recreationally and competitively. Softball is played, at some level, in over a hundred countries around the world. The International Softball Federation has 113 member countries, (excluding dependent territories). Competitive fastpitch softball for girls is growing increasingly popular. All over the USA, there are thousands of teams that compete yearround at tournaments. During most of these tournaments the biggest goal is not winning the tournament, but attempting to get as many college coaches as possible to observe (a) particular player or players. Competitive teams are now beginning around eight years old, if not younger. Depending on the team they can travel all over the USA or even out of the country such as to Canada, the summer and fall for many weeks and days at a time. There are many different sanctioning bodies of softball: USSSA, ASA, ISA, NSA, WSL, and SASL just to name a few. One of the biggest is the Amateur Softball Association, also known as ASA. It is known as the National Governing Body of Softball, was established in 1933 and has over 240,000 teams. Lacrosse: According to US Lacrosse, the National Governing Body of Lacrosse, it is one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States. Youth participation in the sport has grown over 138% since 2001 to nearly 300,000. No sport has grown faster at the high school level over the last 10 years and there are now an estimated 228,000 high school players. Lacrosse is also the fastestgrowing sport over the last six years at the NCAA level with 557 college teams in 2009, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 500 college club programs, including nearly 200 women's teams that compete at the US Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates level. Soccer: The number of youth soccer players in the United States has doubled, to 4.04 million players, since 1990, according to the United States Soccer Federation. At the same time, the number of high school soccer players has more than doubled since 1990, to 730,106 athletes, the fastest growth rate among any major sport, according to statistics compiled by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. The number of women’s collegiate teams has jumped 115 percent since the United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, and the number of men’s teams rose 27.6 percent over the same period, according to the N.C.A.A. Section Summary: Given all the other natural, cultural, and entertainment venues within an hour’s drive of The Fields at Wiregrass facility, people will be willing to pay to travel to Pasco County and sunny Florida year round because they can get so much more value for their dollar. This location will also appeal to the sporting family as a way to turn the sporting event(s) into a family vacation. There are numerous services available that show the organized youth sports business is a consistent market and is growing annually. The National Association of Sports Commissions has produced numerous articles identifying the continued growth in organized youth sports. The recent 2011 Market Report on the Trends and Economic Impact, as published in Sports Events Magazine in March 2011 shows that organized youth sports is still very big business at over $6 billion dollars a year. As identified in this article, venue locations and quality of facilities are top considerations for event planners. While we recognize that these are sources that are directly benefiting from the success of organized youth sports and may not be bipartisan sources, the published industry information clearly indicates that youth sports have grown significantly over the last 10 years or more by, increased enrollment in US Soccer, Pop Warner football, USA lacrosse, and other organizations. According to Dr. Steve Caney, Professor of Sports Management at Drexel University there are over 40 million American kids playing competitive youth sports. 4. Customer Analysis Our target customers are sports and recreation organizations who desire to travel and compete at world class sports facilities and fields that host local, regional and national championships. These tournaments will be tied to a multitude of organizations for the sole purpose of diversifying our revenue streams and to not depend on one specific sports organization. The existing relationships that we have with several of these organizations, and our previous experience in proving we are capable of running a high quality, well structured event, will allow us to receive early commitments from several of the top organizations in the country and internationally. In addition to our existing relationships in the industry, our concept distinguishes our events from any other facility in Florida and possibly the United States. We have a goal of providing the highest quality complex with the best value and amenities. We believe we can satisfy the needs of customers and lure tournaments from other facilities because of the following: a. The highly competitive pricing for the Wiregrass Sports Complex of Pasco County, the more than 1,000 hotel rooms in a 7 miles radius of the complex, and the local restaurants in Pasco county will be significantly lower than teams traveling to Orlando for events b. The location of the complex, 2 miles east of I75, served by 6lane SR 56 allows easy access and traffic flow to and from Wiregrass. c. The amenities and existing hotels, as well as the additional hotel entitlements approved for Wiregrass makes this event venue a rare centralized location. d. Having a top shopping destination, The Shops at Wiregrass Mall, two movie theaters, golf courses, 8 rental car agencies, and numerous quality restaurants within minutes of the complex will create an experience unmatched by any other facility in Florida. When you add the great weather, beaches, amusement parks, museums, and three professional sports teams, all within a reasonable drive of 30 to 60 minutes, it will make our destination for tourists extremely attractive. Our target market is broken down into three major segments. The first is the potential revenue generated for a particular sport, the second is the gender of the athlete, and the third is the age of the athlete. We defined revenue generated of a particular sport not only in the amount of teams traveling for events, but the amount of spectators, medium household income of athletes families, and projected hotel and motel overnight stays. Using these criteria our target market consists of the following sports: a. Soccer b. Softball c. Baseball d. Lacrosse Based on the information we received from other venues around the country holding similar types and size of events we plan to attract, girls’ tournaments ages 5 to 13 created the most revenue for the county. This was followed by boys’ tournaments ages 5 to 13. As athletes get older they do not travel with as many coaches or spectators causing a dip in the hotel and motel overnight stays as well as concessions, restaurants, etc. Since the project will be funded largely by Pasco County tourist development tax dollars, the focus on events with higher hotel night stays is important. This information was gathered talking to operators and employees from facilities like Wide World of Sports, Union Sports, Diamond Nation, and other multipurpose sports complexes. We have conservatively projected our event totals for year one at the facility. This is a small percentage of the identifiable events targeted by us. Because of the conservative percentage of events we are projecting at our location, we believe we will be able to make a conscious effort to be selective and target events with the best revenue opportunity for our complex which will benefit both Wiregrass Sports and the residents of Pasco County. The anticipated customer’s demographics are families of youth sports participants that travel with the teams to local events, regional tournament, regional qualifiers and national events. There are numerous national sports organizations for each of the varied sporting event types. The customer base will be throughout Florida, the southeast and national league play. The direction will be to focus on age groups that drive a high affiliated spectator base which in turn drive the diverse economic impact the county would like to receive as a return on investment. 5. Competitive Analysis Our team recognizes there are other venues across the state that will be in direct and indirect competition, however, we do not believe there is any facility in the greater Tampa Bay area that will be able to directly compete with this planned facility. There are several facilities around the state that have already realized the value of the amateur sports business and the tax revenue and community benefit that comes with it. Disney Sports opened in 1996 and has seen tremendous success and is now named ESPN Wide World of Sports. This facility plays host to over 300 events per year and has greater than 2 million people per year through its gates including players, coaches, and fans. They benefit from the fact that they are on Disney property, and it is close to many of the Disney and other Orlando attractions. They play host to many national events in baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball and more, but they do not have the available inventory in fields to handle or host typical 2 day and 3day events or even regional events. The Lakewood Ranch recently opened a multipurpose sports venue and is located in Manatee County. However they do not currently service baseball or softball. While the Lakewood Ranch facility boasts 22 multipurpose playing fields having all natural turf grass (Bermuda Celebration), they do not have the familyfriendly features and facilities onsite that we are planning for the boulevard area in our facility. Lakewood Ranch has future plans to add more amenities including retail space, permanent concessions, permanent restrooms and more. The Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Polk County offers five (5) baseball fields and eleven (11) soccer fields. They play host to tournaments in baseball and soccer throughout the seasons, but the baseball fields are all collegiatesize fields and do not properly accommodate youth baseball or any type of girls fastpitch softball. The facility is kept very clean and has plenty of parking, but it lacks any other modern amenity that make the visit into an experience. Our facility will provide shuttling to sports fields for visitors that need assistance (only Disney provides this now), higher quality of foodservice experience with brands that are recognizable to facility visitors, modern kids play areas including a climatecontrolled area for kids (Player Zone), an outdoor shaded children’s experience play area, plenty of shade structures for all visitors, indoor climatecontrolled dining area, WiFi internet access along the boulevard, and video feeds to shaded areas from the game fields for viewing. We would be the only multisport complex in central Florida to have full onsite amenities and to have beaches, amusement parks and three professional sports teams within a fortyfive minute drive. Other amenities very nearby include world class golf resorts, shopping, and great restaurants within minutes of the complex. Our advantage will be tied to our teams experience in the industry and their existing relationships with event owners and organizers nationwide along with the worldclass facilities and service that the complex will deliver. Our competition will be every facility/organization that is attempting to host events of this size, nature and magnitude. Our success factor will be the experience of the team, the worldclass facility, and the location. Another key success factor will be the professional service and experience delivered to the guests and that is the same experience that our team delivers today to over 2,200 teams each year. Listed below are strengths and weaknesses of the proposed facility located on the Wiregrass Ranch property and the same for some of our competing locations: Strengths of the proposed Wiregrass location operated by our team • Centralized location • High quality and high volume of fields to handle large tournament venues • Proximity to available hotels, shopping, rental cars, golf, theaters and Interstate 75 all within a 7 mile radius • Amusement parks, beaches, professional sports teams, museums, and more all within a 60minute drive • New modern technology within complex • TV Quality lighting and premium acoustics system • New Venue with adult and children climatecontrolled areas • Brand identity of Diamond Nation as a great facility operator and TSG’s premier facility maintenance practices will separate this facility from others much more quickly • Existing relationships with national industry leading partners in most sports that will quickly propel the marketing and identity of the facility well before it opens. • Limited barriers for growth and expansion Weaknesses of Wiregrass Sports • Uncertainly of future economic environment • Rain delays for outdoor events on natural grass fields (although we do have some synthetic turf planned on a couple of the multipurpose fields and the infield areas on the baseball/softball fields) • New Venue / Limited location identity Strengths of Competitors • Existing events with contracts in place • Existing identity of facility to teams • Existing management and/or staff in place familiar with facility operations Weaknesses of Competitors • Lack of centralized location for most facilities • Cost of events in Orlando area is more expensive than our proposed location • Lack of infrastructure and hotel rooms near the venue and at a reasonable room/night rate • Remote locations with very limited amenities onsite A competitive advantage that the our team has that would likely be a barrier to others to enter the market or to build a similar concept would be the experience that we bring in designing, planning, operating and maintaining a facility of this nature. We have spent years perfecting our systems whether they we operational, marketing, tournament operations, or administrative. Additionally, the proposed site has the benefit of shopping, recreation, lodging, restaurants and other recreation opportunities adjacent to or within a short distance to the facility. Most other facilities do not have these same benefits or facilities nearby or even close to their venues, and we will create strategic marketing alliances with some of these nearby merchants that will benefit our facility just as we’ve done in the past. While Disney may currently have a sports complex (ESPN WWOS) that is comparable and even much larger than what is proposed at The Fields at Wiregrass, they cannot provide any other services onsite or within several miles of the park facility like Wiregrass will be able to provide in the Shops at Wiregrass, the Wesley Chapel Medical Center, the proposed Town Center and nearby SR 56 commercial development. Walking to these type of amenities is not an option at the Disney facility and any needs of the event participants such as retail, hotels, restaurants or other entertainment require vehicular transport offsite.Wiregrass Sports, LLC, one of our team members, under the Wiregrass Ranch, Inc. umbrella owns the land that is being provided to Pasco County. It also has the ability to control the adjacent lands as well to provide for future growth and expansion to the facility if required. This makes this project likely unique and allows our team to overcome a burden that likely is a significant barrier to enter into this market. If Pasco County were to consider a design/build/operate relationship for this project, it would allow our team to get to the market much more quickly because decision making and design/construction process steps could be expedited thus allowing us to go more swiftly to market with a completed facility. We would likely reduce the total facility cost by 15% and time to open by up to 20% with our team’s experience. A faster time to market with less longterm debt allows us to beat any possible competition to market with either a new competing facility or renovations to an existing competing facility. 21 6. Marketing Plan Our team will work use the same process that is currently used for marketing the Diamond Nation facility that went from 0 teams to 2,200 teams per year in just its first three (3) years of operation. The system and process that we use is proven, is costeffective, and has the best reach to the entire youth sports market regardless of location. We cannot share all of the marketing methods that we use until we under being considered for this partnership, but we will provide the same great tools and processes that will likely save this facility two years worth of time and a million dollars or more in money. We will actively promote the Wiregrass Sports Complex of Pasco County and attend all of the related sports conferences, trade shows, and yearly conventions and promotions at these events. We will market the facility in the key sports marketing magazines and periodicals and penetrate the network of sports organizations to introduce them to The Fields at Wiregrass. We will also work closely with surrounding venues to promote or to secure events other local facilities cannot accommodate in size or have to turn away due to demand. We will retain our customers by providing the best possible tournament facility at a competitive price with unmatched amenities. We will use our support staff / guest modeling ratio that has worked so well to provide a great experience for every visitor as well while many of our competitors don’t maintain a proper ratio of support staff and often lose teams the very next year because of complaints regarding not enough staff support. Gameday and tournament staffing is a very critical element – not only referees, umpires and scorers but concessions support, front gate support, medical support, and checkin support that makes the experience go smooth, fast, and pleasant for our guests. Our plan is to make this facility not only a player experience but a family experience as well. The startup concept will be to develop the eight (8) baseball/softball fields and the twelve (12) multi purpose fields as shown on plan herein. This will allow the immediate opportunity to host baseball and softball events. The multipurpose fields will allow for tournaments serving soccer, lacrosse, and possibly rugby and football. While other events can be hosted as well to include car shows, concerts, art shows, or other civic events that require large open spaces to gather, we would like to remain focused on the events using the sports fields as described above to maximize our efforts in those key revenuegenerating areas. We will build an event calendar that will maximize our schedule, with focus on time that most of our players will not be in school that will allow larger participation and increased time in market by our teams and affiliated spectators, thus increasing yield for the community, local businesses, hotel room stays and increased revenues to the County. Filling an event calendar with larger events, including critical “heads in beds.” while boosting tourist development dollars will be a focus., We have instant access to not only the 2,200 teams that went through the Diamond Nation facility last year but also the 10,000+ other teams in every sport offered that we have direct access to through these teams and our own marketing that we’ve already done. We also have some network partners like www.leaguelineup.com that has access to over 100,000 baseball and softball teams. If you go to their website and type in baseball and a Tampa zip code you will see teams pop up. If you go to Tournaments at the top and then on the left side, you will see our Diamond Nation magazine appears. We are on every free site. In addition leaguelineup.com will do email blasts for us when needed. We have partnerships with several large retailers that have extensive email and mailing lists (Anaconda Sports / Baseball Bargains, etc.) These companies have 100’s of thousands of emails and mailing lists. We are in their catalogs and can also put materials in their products that they ship out. It is not just our network they get it is our networks network. This is where our brand really would benefit this facility in all sports. We will participate in targeted national and regional sports forums, conferences and conventions. Event information will be emailed/mailed to leagues, coaches and associations to promote all events. Social media marketing will also be an important way for us to stay in contact and market to our current and future clients and sponsors. Our pricing structure will be based on a structure very similar to that of Diamond Nation. Revenue will be a mix of gate fee, team fees, player fees, concessions, and retail. Some of our tournaments may have teambased pricing while others might be perplayer pricing. It typically depends upon the type of tournament and the number of days. We have traditionally charged a $5 per day gate fee, and this is only during tournaments. Gate fees, concessions, retail, player fees and tournament fees will be in the price range of generally accepted standards for tournaments in central Florida. Initially we will need to be cost competitive to other venues in the Orlando area, however, as we become more successful and selective in our events, we can adjust gate fees and facility charges accordingly.Customer retention will occur by running highquality events at a premier facility and providing a great guest experience. Also important is to provide a fair price to value experience. We’ve found in our experience that abundant support staff and great customer service during tournaments is an absolute must, and we’ve developed this into a system that produces retention at close to 100%. The amenities around the complex will be a strong asset as well. We will develop discount packages exclusive to our tournament guests for tickets to amusement parks, local restaurants and hotels, professional sports teams events, and other attractions just like is available at Diamond Nation. By executing the goals above, we anticipate signing contractual agreements for future events in advance. This will give us a stable environment of future events and be able to better project revenues and demand. 7. Operations Plan Our leadership team is committed to developing, designing, planning and operating one of the top sports venues in the country. We will follow a similar organization structure to that of Diamond Nation given that we’ve spent years tweaking and perfecting the system to best serve the customers and reach optimum facility usage and profitability. The roles tied under each leader will have integrated responsibilities and functions that through processed accountabilities will drive the multiple functional areas as a team to success. Upon approval of the necessary agreements between our group and the County, we will begin the process of assembling and training the team to support this facility. Simultaneously, our key leaders will prospect team talent, and begin the hiring process in accordance with the event and facility timelines. The key is to assemble a professional experienced team that will be able to deliver against our goals and financial plans to bring as many large events as quickly as possible. We will be happy to share more information about our process we are if selected as lead operators of the facility. In reviewing our group in a “concept versus reality” mode, I would say that one visit to the Diamond Nation or any sports complex that TSG has been a part of developing would allow you to understand what we offer in key management and processes that are in place already to run the most streamlined, efficient and productive facility. We plan to bring all of these “best practices” with us in operating the Pasco County complex. A set of weekly recurring meetings will be conducted that will track the event schedule contracting, staffing, facility maintenance, hotel contracting, team travel and all functional areas under the management structure. These meetings are critical for consistency in the selection and management of events held at the facility. These meetings will be preset on the calendar, have specific times, agendas, and deliverable charts for follow up. Each department will function collectively under the same policies and procedures while remaining consistent to our business plan. Even though we our team operates a successful operation at Diamond Nation, additional focus will be driven on a continuous improvement model, in which our post event recap meetings will focus on and document not only our successes in the event but also any weaknesses or special circumstances that may have happened during the event. We have followed this process so far with successful results. We will look at and document all guest feedback to be included in our continuous improvement model as well. Since The Fields at Wiregrass will be targeted for tournament play and tourist development, field use will be concentrated on Thursday through Sunday with maintenance, rest, and County public use for the fields on Monday through Wednesday. We believe that our business milestones are directly tied to and integrated into the financial model contained herein, and these milestones are best shown as components of revenue, cost of goods sold, general/administrative expenses, and pretax net income within the 10year financial model. Members of our group own all of the adjacent land to the proposed site, so we are able to facilitate access to the site should the County not be able to provide such access. A key team member that will have developed relationships with the hotel teams and work closely with them will manage this area. Presently we earn a rebate fee from each hotel room of 10% of the room cost from the hotel operator for each room support our tournament, and we will implement the same processes within this complex. Hotel room tracking software programs are available that can be utilized that can show by individual event the budget/forecast/actual data per hotel by day. We would set up a stay to play group of Pasco County Hotels that must be utilized to compete in the events. We have already received support from the surrounding hotel owners in this regard and are sure we can develop and program with positive verifiable results. We have a revenue line item shown within our detailed financial model showing hotel rebate revenue. 8. Financial Plan The strategy of our team is to develop and create a foundation of high quality, high revenue events. We will align ourselves with several different local, regional, and national sports organization to limit our exposure to any one organization and give us advantage in negotiating agreements. We need to select the events that can truly be profitable and consistently generate a positive return. While these events can bring in millions of dollars of revenue into a local economy throughout the year, they are also very expensive to manage, staff and operate. Additionally, most of revenue that is spent in the community is not at the venue itself, but at surrounding hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc. We have provided for a fixed County fee and a contingent County fee within our model. The fixed fee serves as more of a facility rent payment value, while the contingent County fee is tied directly to a % of total revenue generated by the facility. Both of these values can be viewed in the attached detailed financial model found within this section, and both values are significant in nature. The County will also realize significant sales tax and tourist development tax revenue as well as the economic benefit of the millions of dollars brought into the local economy and being reinvested by the local businesses and employees. The County also has the ability to generate additional County revenue using a hotel bed tax directly associated with this project, but this would be at the sole discretion of the County. We understand that the County is seeking a security deposit or reserve of 10% of the total construction cost from the operator. We would be willing to discuss and agree to some level of security deposit or reserve, but the 10% value is high based on our industry knowledge. We would be willing to provide a reasonable security deposit or reserve to the County in one or more of the following forms: cash, letter of credit, maintenance bond, or performance bond. We would like to discuss this option with the County and agree to terms. 5Year Financial Model (Proforma) 5Year Financial Model (Proforma) 28 10Year Financial Model (Proforma) 10Year Financial Model (Proforma) 29 Detailed Financial Model (Basis for Summary Proforma) Detailed Financial Model (Basis for Summary Proforma) 30 Contact and Communication Information Should it be necessary for Pasco County to contact us with regard to this submittal, following is our contact information: Written Communications (If by Mail or Courier): Wiregrass Sports LLC Attention: Don Porter 201 North Franklin Street Suite 2000 Tampa, Florida 33602 Written Communications (If by Email): Don Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org JD Porter at email@example.com Keith Dilgard at firstname.lastname@example.org Jason Payne at email@example.com Telephone Communications: Don Porter at 8137819011 JD Porter at 8137819010 Keith Dilgard at 9088726969 Jason Payne at 3094532117 • Information contained herein is the copyright of Wiregrass Sports LLC, Diamond Nation LLC, and Turf Solutions Group LLC in entirety
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