Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Jennifer McGarry, Dr. Joseph Cooper

Field of Study

Sport Management


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Despite the “greening” trend of professional/university sport organizations adopting more environmentally friendly approaches to the management of their sport facilities, a significant “greening gap” has grown between those organizations and the thousands of small community sport facilities (SCSFs) across the country that have yet been able to integrate environmentally sustainable (ES) policies into their operations and management.

As limited research existed in this area, I conducted a qualitative research investigation utilizing the framework of the diffusion of innovation theory to explore SCSF managers’ perceptions concerning the implementation of ES in the maintenance and operation of their facilities. I conducted interviews with SCSF managers across New England to assess awareness and priority of ES in the SCSF managers’ jobs, as well as to identify what barriers the they saw as preventing them from implementing more ES enhancements.

The results indicated that SCSF managers perceived that a lack of available funding was the greatest factor preventing them from implementing ES enhancements. However, a deeper analysis of the data revealed that it was not funding, but rather a fundamental lack of understanding of ES – or at least an inability to articulate what ES meant in the context of their job – that was the most significant factor limiting the adoption of ES innovations.

Accordingly, the implication of these findings suggest that the roadmap to increased adoption of ES initiatives at SCSFs begins with an enhanced educational focus with the goal of elevating ES to a foundational pillar within university Sport Management curriculum.

Major Advisor

Dr. Laura Burton