Sports facility network update plan

Within the next ten years, the sports facility network will have significant updating requirements as several central and popular sports facilities will reach the end of their life cycle. For this reason, the Sports Services initiated working on a sports facility network update plan in the autumn of 2019.

Planning of the sports facility network

The key question in the planning of the sports facility network is how the available resources will be used to cost-efficiently maintain a versatile network that encourages citizens to exercise. How can the City of Turku provide its citizens with sports facilities that range from offering local and everyday activities, all the way to competition arenas in a proper and encouraging manner and by discouraging idleness? Long-term planning is required to control the large and ageing sport network, especially since the renovation debt continues growing and the city’s overall financial situation is increasingly challenging. Is it better to maintain a large but slowly deteriorating network or to invest in higher quality sports facilities that are fewer in numbers? How should the renewed sports facility network be financed: with taxation, user charges or by means of cooperation projects? How do the investment and renovation decisions, the allowance system and the policy outlines on the user fees of public premises affect the sports facility projects of the private and third sector operators from the point of view of developing the city’s entire sports facility network? How could the entire sports facility network be developed in cooperation with different stakeholders in such a way that all citizens of Turku would be encouraged to exercise?

Sports facility plan 2029

The material of the Sports facility plan 2029, finalised in 2016, will be utilised as the framework for the sports facility network update plan. The Sports facility plan 2029 provides a background for the sports facility network as a whole and provides guidelines for the annual and seasonal management of the network.

Within the next ten years, the sports facility network will have significant renovation needs as various central and popular sports facilities will reach the end of their life cycle. The locations that require renovation or reconstruction and locations with expiring rental agreements are:

The objective is to prepare a practical plan that considers the following:

  • How and in which order will these sports facilities reaching the end of their life cycle be replaced, considering the entire sports facility network as well as single sports locations?
  • How will the choices made promote the physical activity of the citizens of Turku and invite them to exercise by also considering locality and different user groups: independent exercisers, clubs and associations, schools, day care centres, elderly people, working-age people, children, the youth, special and applied sports, etc.?
  • How should the shared use of sports facilities be developed e.g., with the school network? (By activating school children to move and promoting the citizens’ recreational sports activities)
  • Considering the renovation and investment needs of the current sports locations, how should the renewal of the sports facility network be funded?

The update plan is compiled in cooperation with different sectors of the City of Turku. The sports facility users’ point of view is also in an important role in the formulation of the plan. The citizens of Turku, sports clubs and associations, schools and day care centres will be engaged in the planning process.

The final report of the sports facility update plan should be finalised by the end of year 2020.

Sports Services and decision-making

The operations of the sports facilities are based on the strategic programmes of the City of Turku and the strategic objectives of the Recreation Division. The Sports Committee is one of the three bodies of the Recreation Division making decisions related to the service area of sports. The Sports Committee makes decisions about, for example, the maintenance, upkeep, renovation and redevelopment of the sports facility network as well as about matters related to pricing, allowances and time slot booking policies. Decisions regarding outdoor sports facility investments are made annually for four years at a time. For large indoor and outdoor sports facilities, the decisions are made for an even longer time scale. The Sports Committee annually distributes an estimated EUR 1.4 million of allowances for the sports clubs and associations of Turku. About half of these allowances are reserved for sports conditions: rental charges for non-municipal training premises, building and renovation of sports facilities, production of orienteering maps as well as allocated special allowances.

The strategic focus of the Sports Committee includes:

  • Children and youth doing sports – the objective of engaging all children and youth in an active lifestyle
  • An inspiring sports environment and conditions are the prerequisites for an active lifestyle
  • Sports as an inspiring partner in the promotion of vitality and well-being
  • Developing the cooperation between different sports clubs and associations in order to increase the physical activity of the citizens of Turku

The City of Turku Sports Services consist of two units: the Sports Facility Unit and the Active Lifestyle Unit. The staff of the Sports Facility Unit oversee, for example, the maintenance of sports facilities, customer service and time slot reservations, planning and development of sports conditions as well as the handling of sports condition allowances. The Urban Environment Division and the Real Estate Management Centre also participate in the preparations concerning the sports facility network. The sports facility networks of the City of Turku consists of almost 350 different kinds of sports facilities. Some of the sports facilities are open for all citizens while it is necessary to book a time slot in order to use others.