The House that LUV Built
October 11, 2011 | Categories: Blog
By Chris Beerman
In my case, the facility question was by far the most important issue that needed to be resolved before moving forward with Lexington United Volleyball. Reality is, basketball is the #1 sport in Lexington. When I began researching potential practice sights, I soon discovered that literally every available high school or church gym in the city is used for that sport from January through March. The local club I had worked for the past two years had rented court space from the best basketball facility in Lexington and the other clubs had used the other multi-purpose facility in Lexington. As I continued to research court space, I quickly realized I would somehow have to also use these facilities as a home base or it would be extremely difficult to even have a club.
The other facility option that was often discussed was to lease or buy our own building. In analyzing the current national club landscape, the number of volleyball facilities in this country has exploded in the past 5-7 years. Munciana, who is our partner in this club venture, had opened their facility in 2010 and had seen their entire operation go through the roof. Of course Munciana had a 30 year head start on developing their brand and has been one of the most successful clubs in the nation, so keeping a realistic notion of expectation and costs involved was very important. Ideally having your own courts and being able to schedule practices, tournaments, lessons, camps and other events at any time is a dream situation, but the reality is there are huge costs and aggravations in deciding to own verse rent court space.
It was decided that in our situation, with the unknowns of a new club and potential number of players Lexington could support, a building at this time wasn't financially feasible. Once the facility option had been exhausted, I decided to meet with the owners of the basketball facility and discuss my vision for the club: camp, practice, lessons, hosting tournaments, and if they were open to a volleyball partnership. I was very sensitive to the fact that the other club had been using the facility and the owners and I wanted to make sure that club had the right of first refusal, and was not to be "kicked to the curb". In the end, the other club decided not to pursue another year with the basketball facility and that left our club as the sole volleyball entity within the building.
This development was a real coup and allowed us to set a schedule and visualize our club's size based on the practice space that would be available. It also allowed us to be housed in THE nicest and most well-known facility in Central Kentucky. As it turned out, the other multi-purpose facility also lost it's primary court renter and that stroke of luck allowed me to reserve valuable court space for my regional program, opening up even more playing opportunities for the Lexington volleyball players. Finally, my short season program found a home at a local high school who would rent me their court space after their basketball season ended. After much negotiating and hustling for court space, I had a home for all of my competitive programs and that was a huge relief moving forward! Once I had secured a place to practice, the next issue was forming my coaching staff.