Facilities Operations Professionals’ Staffing Perceptions in Division I Football Championship Subdivision and Non-Football Athletic Departments

Camille Patterson – Georgia State University
Kelly P. Elliott – Coastal Carolina University
Timothy Kellison – Georgia State University
Beth A. Cianfrone – Georgia State University


Athletic training centers and competition venues are important recruitment tools for colleges and universities, and they are often sources of significant investment. As these facilities have grown in size and scope in recent years, facility management is an increasingly vital cog in the athletic department. Unlike ticketing, marketing, or management strategies, the facility management staff is rarely studied. To understand the perceptions of athletic department facility operations staff, we administered online surveys to athletic facilities operations staff department heads at Football Championship Subdivision and non-football Division I institutions. For closed-ended items, descriptive statistics were computed, while NVivo was used to code empirical material and identify patterns for the short answer items. Findings indicated that athletic departments averaged one facilities operations employee for every two facilities. Facility issues arose mostly from budget cuts, small staff, and multiple responsibilities. Additionally, these issues were remedied by adding staff, prioritizing, and planning. In light of the heavy workload, practitioners recommended hiring interns, student workers, and graduate assistants to fill gaps. Practitioners also recommended strategic planning to help budget allocators understand needs within the department.