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Opal Group’s Campus Athletics Facilities and Pro Sports & Entertainment Facilities Summits 2023

Opal Group successfully hosted the Campus Athletics Facilities and Pro Sports & Entertainment Facilities Summits 2023 in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. The three-day event, held at Live! Hotel Philadelphia offered unparalleled opportunities for networking and learning. Attendees were treated to more than 10 hours of meticulously planned educational sessions and the chance to hear from top-tier speakers in the industry. From sports executives to architects and engineers, leaders from all facets of the sector convene together for this valuable experience. The event was an unforgettable experience that left a lasting impact on everyone in attendance.

In college athletics, recruiting exemplary student-athletes is vital to building a successful program. While championships are undoubtedly important, so are the academic credentials, overall image, and sense of pride associated with a university. One of the most telling aspects of any athletic brand is its facilities. The facilities testify to a school’s commitment to excellence on and off the field, from state-of-the-art training centers to top-of-the-line stadiums and arenas. As such, investing in these critical components is necessary for any institution that wants to stay ahead of the game in today’s constantly evolving college athletics landscape.

The Campus Athletics Facilities Summit (CAFS) is the must-attend conference for Division I college and university Athletic Directors. This summit focuses on enhancing facilities and event operations, and attendees can expect to gain valuable insights from peer-to-peer collaborative sessions and organic conversations. The professional development aspect of the conference provides a platform to learn about real-world and practical solutions to common challenges faced by Athletic Directors. The networking and meetings are ideal for connecting with industry experts and discussing strategies to support college-level athletic facilities.

The Pro Sports & Entertainment Facilities Summit (PSEFS) presents an excellent opportunity for executives working in the sports and entertainment industry. This invitation-only executive conference is tailor-made for Vice Presidents and Directors of Construction, Operations, Event Services, and Guest Experience. It allows them to connect, share knowledge, and discover solutions to enhance their facilities and operations. Unlike traditional conferences or tradeshows, PSEFS offers undivided attention from senior administrators through targeted sessions, networking functions, and pre-arranged meetings. The summit focuses solely on executives, encouraging them to collaborate with peers, learn from the best in the business and keep up with emerging trends in the industry. Attending the PSEFS conference could catalyze the next level of a professional career in the sports and entertainment industry.

They kicked off the first day of activities for the Campus Athletics Facilities Summit and Pro Sports & Entertainment Facilities Summit with exceptional experiences. The day began with a tour of the athletic facilities of Temple University, the largest university in Philadelphia and a hub for diverse future leaders from across the country and the world. Founded in 1884 as a night school, Temple has grown into a renowned international institution dedicated to empowering students to learn, excel, and make a real impact in their careers. This visit gave summit attendees the unique opportunity to look at the facilities and see what makes Temple University a higher education and athletics leader.

The opening keynote fireside chat at the event was a truly inspiring presentation. Shawn Springs, founder and CEO of Windpact, and Daniel Hughes, founder of Athletes Influence and Partner at LOHAS Advisors, engaged in a thought-provoking conversation about the responsibility of the sports industry to provide the best possible support and facilities for the upcoming generation of athletes. As a former 1st round draft pick and 13-year NFL player (Seattle Seahawks, Washington Commanders, and New England Patriots), Springs is well-versed in the challenges and opportunities that athletes face on their paths to success. Their discussion emphasized the need for holistic development beyond physical training to help athletes thrive in and outside their respective sports. The keynote address offered valuable insights and perspectives on the industry’s evolving role and how to create real change in the lives of athletes.

Participants engaged in thought-provoking discussions surrounding various topics during the Campus Athletics Facilities Summit. From Managing Expectations with Limited Resources to Best Practices for Leveraging Donors and Fan Support, each theme was carefully selected to provide valuable insights and tools for those in attendance. In addition, the summit addressed pressing concerns such as inflation and funding projects. It was inspiring to see so many dedicated professionals come together to improve their facilities and enhance the experiences of coaches and athletes alike. Thanks to the efforts of Opal Group, participants left the summit feeling empowered and equipped to tackle the challenges ahead.

Industry experts and enthusiasts alike were awed by the valuable insights shared during the Pro Sports & Entertainment Facilities Summit 2023 presentations. Attendees were treated to engaging talks that provided an in-depth look into the latest trends and strategies within the industry. Each presentation offered a unique perspective that captivated the audience, from discussing sustainable design choices to exploring ways of maximizing facility use. Furthermore, attendees were given access to best practices on revenue streams for capital improvement while learning about the ultimate experience that season ticket holders, VIPs, and members should have. Overall, the summit provided a fantastic platform for learning and collaboration among professionals in the sports and entertainment field.

The highly anticipated closure event of the summit was a comprehensive tour of the impressive Lincoln Financial Field facilities, which serve as the home of the renowned Philadelphia Eagles. The stadium’s construction began in May 2001, and a little under 28 months later, it hosted its first soccer match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona. The Inaugural Game, held on September 8, featured the Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lincoln Financial Field is a world-class stadium that offers fans an immersive experience with improved sightlines and state-of-the-art amenities and services. Overall, participants were in awe of the well-designed facility and enjoyed learning more about its impressive features and history.

Are you looking to collaborate and share best practices with senior administrators in the Architecture, Interior Design, Facilities, and Technology industries? Join Opal Group’s Summits Division for invitation-only strategy forums that deliver a unique conference experience. Our tailor-made, more focused sessions are designed to facilitate meaningful conversation and networking opportunities. Take advantage of this chance to connect with peers and learn from top industry experts. Please register now to secure your spot at our upcoming summits in Commercial, Education, Healthcare, Multi-Family, Research/Laboratories, Retail, and Sports Facilities.



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