Sports & Entertainment Park earns prestigious industry award

KENNESAW, Ga. | Aug 24, 2017

International Association of Venue Managers honors Kennesaw State

Kennesaw State University’s Sports and Entertainment Park was recently awarded the Education & Service Award from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) during the 2017 Venue Industry Awards in Nashville, Tenn.

“We are thrilled to be recognized with such a prestigious award,” said Zach Kerns, executive director and general manager of the KSU Sports and Entertainment Park. “This award affirms the great work our staff does every day to develop the next generation of venue managers through Night Owl Productions, our trainings and events. Other venues are taking notice of what’s happening here at KSU.”

The IAVM award recognizes member involvement through community outreach, educational opportunities, mentorship, and internships that demonstrate excellence and leadership within the industry, as well as giving back to the community.

Fifth Third Bank Stadium

Kennesaw State’s 88-acre multi-purpose sports and recreation park consists of five main facilities, including Fifth Third Bank Stadium, which is home to the Kennesaw State Owls and Atlanta Blaze professional lacrosse.

The stadium, built in 2010, has hosted 25 professional soccer matches, 60 collegiate women’s soccer games, 41 collegiate women’s lacrosse matches, 12 football games, seven concerts, six festivals, 11 domestic sporting events and seven international sporting events.

In addition to facilities management, Kerns also oversees Night Owl Productions, a student-run company that provides hands-on experience in event planning, technical operations and guest experience for both student and community events, such as music concerts and Owl-O-Ween, an annual hot-air balloon festival.

This summer, the stadium field, which has been named Sports Turf Management Association’s Field of the Year for two consecutive years, has undergone construction to improve a seven-year-old drainage system and change out the natural turf with a new Bermuda grass, ideal for the southern climate.

“We are always looking to stay ahead of the curve and maintain the field’s excellence,” said Kerns. “We are dedicated to going above and beyond to provide the best playing surface for our tenants.”

The field will be completed for the women’s soccer season opener on Sept. 1 and KSU football, now in its third season, for its home opener on Sept. 9.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit