Practice field for local teams

Inspired by another thread and my own struggle. Teams or groups of teams who have done this, what was your process?
I mentor 2 teams in northern Minnesota. I am also president of the Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference ( 26 teams in the northern part of the state). We are a 501c3.
The biggest centrally located town is Bemidji (pop14000) probably 10- 12 of our teams could reasonably drive there to a practice field.
What i have tried:
Talking to commercial Realtors.
Working with the development board. (Who we have a good relationship with)
Meeting with people at the state University.
Meeting with the local community college.
Driving around and calling business owners of vacant buildings.
The results.
Buildings are too small to host a field and or property owners who require full rent ( we can not afford).

It’s still in the hopeful stage, but a church bought the former Shopko (large retail space) and the plan is to have a portion of it for non-profits last I heard (so hoping to be able to have something there in the next year or so). Unfortunately this is probably a very rare occurrence.

If you have 10-12 teams that could potentially use the field have you reached out them all to see if a parent or somebody associated with a team has a warehouse or business in the area? Probably a long shot but my first time mentoring a team 9 years ago we got shop space because a parent owned a mini mall with vacant space. The school I mentor at now used to own a shopping plaza prior to this year so we had access to vacant stores --one was a fitness center with lots of space.

Look for strip malls and shopping malls to see if any are perpetually underutilized, then approach the owners directly. Realtors are paid through commissions so they generally have little incentive to help you find donated space.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.