New management named for Vicksburg’s Sports Force Park

Published 11:52 am Monday, March 11, 2024

City of Vicksburg officials announced its new management partners for Sports Force Park Monday morning during its regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The Sports Facilities Companies will take the reins from Sports Force at the Vicksburg park and Founder and CEO Jason Clement was on hand Monday to address how his company, based in Clearwater, Fla., plans to approach the new property.

“This is a world-class sports complex that’s sitting here in Vicksburg right now,” Clement said. “We’re blessed to be here and be a part of it and try to optimize it for the city.”

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Clement said his company manages sports facilities around the country and works to improve the health and economic vitalities of the communities it serves.

“Our mission here is to improve the health – mental, social, spiritual, physical health – of the City of Vicksburg,” he said. “We’ve worked in over 3,000 communities across the country. Last year, the venues that we represent and that we manage, had 30 million guest visits.”

And Clement said attracting those guest visits will be an important aspect of his company’s management duties in Vicksburg.

“We have quite a presence in the South, and in the Southeast specifically. With that comes a large network of teams, parents, providers, tournament and event organizers that we’ve had conversations with and that are all very interested in coming to Vicksburg and bringing their portfolio and network of families to visit the city.”

Clement also said his company will work to provide added benefits to Vicksburg residents utilizing the facilities.

“When we talk about optimization of the sports complex, we’re talking about not just the financial performance. Not talking just about sports tourism; but, we’re talking about providing the best programming, leagues, camps, and clinics to the residents as well.”

Clement added his company will also employ a team armed with tracking technology to keep the city abreast of how traffic is flowing, both in the park and in Vicksburg as a whole, as a result of sports-related tourism.

“Our goal and our vision for the sports complex here in Vicksburg is a blend of local use, economic impact, and financial sustainability,” he said. “Those are the goals; those are the outcomes. That’s what we are going to achieve together. We have some pretty sophisticated networks and tracking. This asset is the city’s asset. So it’s important that we have 100 percent transparency into how the complex is performing: Who’s coming; where they’re coming from; where they’re going to in the city to spend their money and produce the economic impact we are talking about.”

Clement said his team works with a large number of providers and covers a range of activities, including traditional outdoor sports like baseball and soccer, but also covering growing sports and activities like lacrosse and pickleball.

“We actually just ran (USA Pickleball’s) national indoor tournament in one of our venues,” he said. “And we’re looking forward to introducing the City of Vicksburg to all of these relationships that we have, even if they’re indoor sports or activities that aren’t happening at this complex specifically. We’re on the City of Vicksburg’s team, so we’re going to bring the full weight of our resources.”

Clement said representing Vicksburg well will be among his team’s most important directives in its effort to boost the economy on a citywide level.

“We’re going to represent the city; we’re ambassadors to the city. When we talk about the sports complex, we don’t wear our brand or our logo. We’re going to have the City of Vicksburg on our lapels, because that’s who we represent. For many, our team and our staff is going to be the storefront for the city. They’re going to be the first experience that many of these people have. What we want to do is to represent the city really well, so that they have an unbelievable experience to get exposure to the city.”

City of Vicksburg Ward 2 Alderman Alex Monsour, who helped spearhead the park’s creation while a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, voiced his confidence in the city’s new partners during Monday’s meeting prior to approving the resolution finalizing the agreement.

“I’m as excited about our sports complex as I’ve ever been,” he said.