In 1999, it cost about $290 million to build LP Field, Nashville, Tenn., home to the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans.

Just 15 years later, the cost to build a major NFL stadium has soared to upwards of $1.3 billion, according to Mike Wooley, Venue Solutions Group.

Wooley addressed attendees during the Venue Operations Summit on the topic of Capital Expense Planning.

“When facilities were built around that time, they were built to last about 30 years,” Wooley said. “But, because of current costs, they have to last more than 30 years. You have to plan for a 50-year or more investment.”

Facility managers have an obligation, he said, to determine where investments will be made and that’s not always easy. It can get particularly frustrating if monies have to go into areas that could have been better maintained.

Wooley began by showing images of maintenance failures such as:

• Rotting water hoses and a wooden
pallet on a rooftop, both of which
can undermine roofing material
• Rusting steel structures
• Outdoor insulated piping being used
as a ladder with rips in the insulation
• A storage room with cardboard
boxes stored on top of electrical
equipment, and leaking ceiling tiles
• Peeling ceiling paint
• Inadequate signage
• An old thermostat with no covering

He suggested creating a checklist of areas and equipment such as controls, technology, food service areas, and roofs. And, under each of these main topics, make a list of specialized items and areas.

The development of costs may involve looking at peer facilities, at newly constructed facilities and at the most current construction costs data.

“Get third-party verification,” he said. “Just getting someone else to put their eyes on what you're doing is helpful. And, understand your building. Where is your building in its life span?”