The facility planning process can be long and extensive. Whilst extensive, the effort involved in planning, will pay significant dividends once the facility is constructed and operational. A large facility development is often a once in a generation project. As such it is important to get it right.
The steps below highlight a typical facility planning process from initial idea through to construction. The level of detail required in each stage of the process will depend on the scale of the project, but typically the key principles and steps remain the same.
Stage 1 – Needs Assessment
- Key questions – what do we want to achieve, why and who for?
- Key information – what are the local demographic growth trends, who are our key local partners (Council, other clubs & community organisations) and what do they wish to achieve?
- Decision point – is it better utilise our existing facility, upgrade our existing facility or build a new facility?
Stage 2 – Feasibility & Site Assessment
- Key questions – what do we wish to build, where do we build it, how much will it cost, who are the funding partners and how do we make it work?
- Key information – conduct a site assessment, visit other new facilities, consult with key partners, prepare draft concept and management plans, analyse management, operational and life cycle costs. See the Football Facilities Audit results below to inform your club’s project priorities.
- Decision point – shall we proceed, modify, postpone or stage the development, or abandon the proposal?
Stage 3 – Detailed Design & Costing
- Key questions – what scale of facility do we need?
- Key information – prepare a design brief, prepare a project budget, seek the necessary approvals, appoint a design team, develop detailed designs and costings. See the AFL Preferred Facility Guidelines below for help.
Stage 4 – Construction
- Facility construction and commissioning.
Football Facilities Audit
In order to further support the planning of facilities upgrades, AFL Queensland regularly audits each club’s facility. These audits provide objective feedback relating to how each facility compares with the AFL Preferred Facilities Guidelines and advises community clubs on project priorities at their ovals.
The Football Facilities Audit scores below can be used by individual clubs to benchmark their facilities provision relative to others in their league and other AFL Queensland affiliated competitions.
EMBED Football Facilities Audit ladder.
AFL Preferred Facilities Guidelines for State, Regional and Local Facilities
It is recognised that not all community football facilities can be, or need to be, developed to the same standard. In 2012, the AFL published a national document to guide community football clubs in the development of their facilities infrastructure. The AFL Preferred Facilities Guidelines for State, Regional & Local Facilities specifies preferred standards of facilities provision to support the delivery of club programs and activities at all levels below the professional national competition.
The document has been developed in order to guide clubs, leagues, schools and Councils in the design of new community football facilities and provide direction regarding the refurbishment of existing infrastructure. It is acknowledged that many existing facilities in Queensland and the NSW Northern Rivers may not presently meet the AFL Preferred Facilities Guidelines. In instances where this is the case, the guidelines should be used as a key tool during the project planning phase to inform any facilities improvement designs that are developed.