An examination of factors affecting student-athlete satisfaction with stadium facilities.
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Marsh, John Patrick, 1984-
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College athletic departments are in the midst of an era of rapidly increasing budgets and an accompanying facility construction and renovation boom (Fulks, 2015). Athletic departments are building bigger, nicer, more state-of-the-art facilities at extremely high rates and the building boom has persisted through the most recent economic recession (Bennett, 2012). As facility construction and renovations boom the question becomes, what impact are these new facilities having on their institutions and more specifically their athletes? Researchers have examined the impact of numerous factors on the student-athlete experience, but not the impact of the built environment, specifically athletic facilities. To conduct this type of research, a tool to assess facilities from the student-athletes' perspective must be developed. Therefore, this study developed and validated a survey scale to measure student-athlete satisfaction with football stadium facilities. A reviewer of consumer satisfaction, facility evaluation, and service quality literature informed the development of a three factor (functional, atmospheric, and athletic) theoretical model with one moderator (financial). From this model a 54-item survey was developed with all responses using a seven-point Likert scale. The survey was distributed to football student-athletes (n=779) from a cross-sectional sample by NCAA division of ten universities across the United States. Exploratory factor analysis revealed six underlying factors of student-athlete satisfaction with stadium facilities: functional, convenience, game day, audio video, safety security, and aesthetics. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a good fit to the data (x 2 (1388) = 5516.73, p<.001, CFI=.89, TLI=.88, RMSEA = .08]. Additionally, financial variables were found to have weak positive correlations to each of the six underlying factors resulting in a final model for student-athlete satisfaction with stadium facilities of six factors with one moderator. The instrument developed from this study has numerous theoretical and managerial implications. The instrument can be used by researchers to examine the impact of athletic facilities on the student-athlete experience, student-athlete recruitment, and student-athlete retention. Additionally, the instrument can be used by athletic administrators to provide valuable information from the student-athletes that can be used when making facility-related decisions.