Things Are Not So Cool At Ucf
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Management Decision Problem:
Should UCF build an ice rink near or on campus? If there is not a sufficient amount of demand, nothing will be done. If there is a sufficient amount of demand, the ice rink can be built in one of the three ways: building a brand new ice rink, transforming the old arena into an ice rink, or sharing with new arena with the basketball team by building a court on top of the ice.
Is there a sufficiently large demand for an ice arena on or near the UCF campus?
Through interviewing people on the ice hockey team, we found that the players and coaches are all in favor of an ice arena on or near campus. Most of the players have to drive at least thirty-five minutes one way to get to practices and games. They feel that more fans would attend games if there was an ice arena closer to UCF as this is where most of their fans come from. The UCF Ice Hockey Team treasurer said that, “the school would benefit from an ice rink greatly. The rink would be occupied daily by a number of activities (e.g. public skating, hockey leagues, practices, games, birthday parties), which would generate a large amount of revenue for the school. Due to the vast amounts of students at UCF and the many residential areas surrounding campus, these activities would be very profitable.”
A few local residents were then asked how a new ice arena would benefit them. They replied by stating that, “there would be a closer place to skate, which would be a fun entertaining thing to do on the weekends or even during the week”. Some even expressed interest in joining hockey leagues or participating in other ice sports. This helped to support the statements that the UCF Hockey Team treasurer made about potential revenues brought in from daily ice related activities.
A marketing representative from the Florida Seals Hockey Team, Kristin DeCubellis, was also interviewed as a resource. We were trying to determine if there is any demand from the Seals for a different ice facility to call home. According to Kristin the arena the Seals now call home was just recently built and is most likely much bigger than any ice arena UCF would have built. She said that unless marketing research reveals an overwhelming demand for Seals hockey games to be played in the UCF area (meaning close to sold out crowds every game) was found, then it is highly unlikely that the Florida Seals Hockey Team would find switching ice arenas beneficial to their current situation.
Our group continued research on the topic of building an ice arena in the UCF area by conducting 2 depth interviews. The first person interviewed was Teddy Saunders, a 23 year old UCF student majoring in marketing. Teddy is a very athletic person that is involved in all kinds of sports such as basketball, football, and even skating. Teddy has been interested in sports since before he can remember and works at the Orlando Skate Park which keeps him very involved in the extreme sport industry. The influence of sports found in Teddys life has given him the opportunity to be familiar with ice arenas as well the sports and recreational activities that occur there. Secondly, Rick a 48 year old male was interviewed. He lives in the UCF area with a wife and three school-aged children. Rick works as an Optometrist in Research Park (also UCF area). He is Canadian, originally from Canada and has only lived in sunny Florida for 4 years. Due to being from a Northern area he was very familiar with, knowledgeable about and interested in ice sports in general. Thanks to this familiarity Rick had quite a lot to contribute.
During the first interview it was surprising to find out that Teddy was quite knowledgeable about hockey because he is from Canada and his family has always been into the sport. Teddy also knew a lot about ice sports by watching the Winter Olympics. He finds that watching the Olympics along with other televised ice sports helps to keep him current with the industry despite living in the sunny state of Florida. Further into the depth interview a change in Teddys feeling towards an ice arena being built in the UCF area could be sensed. Originally it seemed as though he wasnt at all interested in the idea but as the interview progressed it was easy to pick up on the fact that Teddy was warming up to the idea of having an ice arena close by. He found himself attracted to the fitness aspect of the arena along with the possibility of social gatherings such as dates, pep rallies, games or just ice skating with friends. It was interesting to watch his development from a person that was uninterested to one that would even attend arena events.
Teddy was familiar with neither the UCF hockey team nor the Florida Seals hockey team. He felt they most likely need a better marketing campaign and more advertising to get the word out and increase attendance.
Toward the end of the interview Teddy made it clear that if there were an easily accessible ice arena he would definitely use it. He finds the obstacle of having to drive 45 minutes to do any kind of ice arena activity quite a large deterrent. Dealing with traffic, money spent on gas and time constraints are the biggest issues for Teddy when it comes down to traveling in order to attend an ice sporting event or go ice skating.
Teddy feels that an ice arena should be built near the UCF campus but not on it because he doesnt think the demand nor funding would be available for an on campus ice arena. He said if there was a local arena he would go to hockey games and maybe even try speed or figure skating. Teddy also pointed out the profit, spirit and employment an ice arena could bring to the area. He stated, “Its definitely a good idea but the means of exposure for a new ice arena need to be broadened and show the public all they could receive beneficially from an ice arena being built on or near the UCF campus.”
The second depth interview conducted was very helpful thanks to the knowledge of the person interviewed. Rick was very familiar with winter sports and ice arenas and therefore had a lot of insightful input. He was very involved in different sports growing up and although he wasnt very involved with skating