The Host with the Most
By Ivan Dashkov
As MGA was starting to become a reality, the owner, Fabian, reached out to the local volleyball community to start the process of securing rentals for the facility. One of the goals of MGA is to grow volleyball among all ages and skill levels. MGA is in a unique position with 12 courts because it has the ability to host several different volleyball activities among many age groups at the same time. Now it was time to set up partnerships for rentals and events and secure other ways to generate revenue within the facility.
MGA set up a court rental rate, and for rental groups there is room for negotiation before signing a contract for an extended amount of time. If you walk off the street and want to rent a court for one hour it is 75 dollars. However, with organizations that will be renting a lot of space and/or reserving court time for the long term, the will go down to 55-65 dollars per hour.
The first key partnership was with SMASH Volleyball. SMASH is the premier juniors' volleyball club in New England and next season SMASH will base all of its teams out of MGA. The club will be able to add more teams per age group as well as a boys program. SMASH signed a contract to rent the facility for at least three years. Practices in the past for SMASH have been held in small gyms and MGA gives them a large place to practice as well as the ability to have multiple teams practice by themselves and then scrimmage each other on the same night..
MGA opened its doors by hosting the final two NERVA tournaments of the season. NERVA has done a wonderful job running juniors in New England and the facility will continue to host many NERVA tournaments. The first two tournaments each had over 500 people in attendance and that was with the use of only the first four courts. A gate fee was not applied at any of the tournament, however, in the future the facility plans to charge 5 dollars at the door. MGA does not plan on splitting the gate fee with the host club or organization unless an outside party rents MGA to have a gate fee event, and then a split would be negotiated.
MGA's capacity to host large tournaments and its central location in New England makes it a prime place to host NERVA (New England Region Volleyball) events. Along with SMASH and NERVA, the Canton Cobras Volleyball Club will be based out of MGA and we are working with other juniors programs to have their programs in MGA. MGA will also host several camps and clinics too.
Boston has a large population of adult volleyball players, so the next step was tapping into that demographic and potential client base. There are two organizations, Boston Ski and Sports Club and Social Boston Sports that provide high level social volleyball leagues in the area. MGA has partnered up with both of them to host leagues in the fall. The leagues will serve as trial runs for the future, and the hope is that these leagues will grow into partnerships that will last many years and be beneficial to both groups. MGA is also in talks with Yankee Volleyball. Yankee is the USAV sanctioned adult program in New England. It is our hope to bring Yankee into MGA and host large adult tournaments that New England rarely has.
Another successful idea was having open gyms. Every Monday night MGA has high school teams come in for captains' practices and for the ability to scrimmage other high school teams in the offseason. Every Wednesday night is college night at MGA, where the local college kids and young adults come to play. Friday is family night and MGA has high school players as well as college kids playing on the court.
Another revenue source for MGA is food and concessions. There are two vending machines, and a concession stand that is used for larger events. MGA is also working with local restaurants and eateries to help supply food for camps and tournaments.
There are plans for an apparel and equipment store, but for now the facility is using a room that is dedicated to selling merchandise. MGA will wait until late summer/early fall to complete the store, just in time for larger events to begin. It has been an exciting journey to piece together the various revenue sources for MGA Sports. The demand and anticipation for this facility in Boston has been long overdue, so many parties are anxious to get events on the calendar. MGA has high hopes for the future of this facility and the impact it will have on the local volleyball community, and slowly but surely the pieces were falling into place.