September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 60

OPERATIONS
How to Build a Cost-Effective Gaming Center
By Ivy O'Shaughnessy and Greg Boehm
A
s esports continue to grow and evolve, local park districts and
communities are learning more and more about ways to engage
youth and adult gamers alike. A recent poll by the National Alliance
for Youth Sports found that 70 percent of kids stop playing
sports by the age of 13, while 90 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 play video
games. Providing a space for kids to play esports in your community can be a
great way to keep them involved with your park and recreation department.
One way of growing your community's
esports program is by creating
a gaming center (or a LAN - local
area network - center) where community
members can use gaming
personal computers (PCs) or consoles.
However, this does not have to
be limited to just esports and gaming.
It also can be used for programs
in game design, 3D animation and
many other science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM) fields.
The Beginner's Mindset
What are some of the most important
things to consider when just
beginning the process of setting up
a gaming center? We talked to Pat
Bodame, superintendent of recreation
for Hoffman Estates, Illinois,
who just recently finished the process
of creating a gaming center
in their community - known as
the ESports Zone - to get some
insight into the process. Here are
some of Bodame's suggestions:
Space - " Space is probably the
number one thing to think about.
You want to create an environment
that works for gamers. It is finding
that look and feel so when they enter
the space, there is the 'wow' factor.
Within park districts, space always
can be a challenge. But if you have
the right room and aesthetics, it
should work out nicely. "
Computers - " Plan ahead on
your technology needs. This was
the one area we put all of our resources
into to ensure we had the
best computers and gaming systems
for the public to use. We all
know how quickly technology can
become obsolete, and it's worth it
to spend a little more now and get
the top-of-the line systems. "
Sales and Marketing - " Think
about packages/memberships/daily
fees/rentals. This all needs to be
part of your business plan and will
help lead to success for your space.
The number one thing that was and
is still on my mind is how to generate
more revenue within that space. "
Budget - " We completed our
ESports Zone for $35,000 in upfront
costs. That does not include
yearly items, such as internet and
salaries. Our space used to be a
teen center that would cost the district
anywhere between $6,000 to
$10,000 a year to operate. "
In addition to these suggestions, it
will be helpful to gather some data
points early on from your community
to guide your decisions during
the planning process. One of the
first things you may need to do is
simply survey your community to
see whether there is interest in a
space like this. Following are some
questions that will help guide you
in designing your gaming center to
The optimal esports
gaming center
includes six to 12
personal computers,
each outfitted with
a monitor, headset,
mouse, keyboard and
gaming chair.
60 Parks & Recreation | SEP T EMBER 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
meet your community's needs:
* How many gamers are there currently
in your community?
* What games are they playing?
* What gaming systems are people
in your community using? (e.g.,
PC, Xbox, PlayStation and NinPHOTOS
COURTESY OF PAT BODAME

September 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2021 - Parks & Recreation

September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6a
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6b
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 57
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 60
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 70
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 71
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 72
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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