Improving communities through sport


Economic Development

Youth sports tourism is a $19.4 billion industry that has shown consistent growth year over year despite economic downturns, making it an ideal catalyst for economic development.

Through participation in tournaments and other programming, sports tourism destinations draw thousands of attendees to their communities each year. This often creates a positive impact for these municipalities by driving hotel stays (heads in beds) and spending in local shops and restaurants, generating important hotel and sales tax revenues.

Sports tourism destinations as well as community recreation centers are also agents for placemaking. These facilities often provide a sense of pride and place for residents and become a representation of the community to visitors. When these venues provide great guest experiences, the community as a whole becomes more attractive to businesses, increasing potential tax revenues and sparking job growth.

Since 2003, The Sports Facilities Companies have helped thousands of communities utilize sports tourism as a vehicle for economic development. Our team has planned over $10 billion dollars in community projects and have helped launched several of the industry’s most successful venues. The SFM Network, the nation’s largest network of tournament-style venues, generates over $200 million annually in hotel and visitor spend for the communities they serve.

Through our concept to concrete process, we help communities refine their concepts to make them both shovel-ready and, ultimately, financeable. Along with site selection services, we produce economic impact reports that project the revenue that a facility will generate for a community from out of town visitors attending events and programming. We also develop institutional-grade financial forecasts and establish the necessary relationships to garner funding on behalf of our clients.

Beyond planning and finance services, we provide owner’s representation, venue planning and procurement services through Sports Facilities Development (SFD), and unparalleled facility operations services through Sports Facilities Management (SFM).

How We Help

Planning Services

If you are looking to establish your municipality as a sports tourism destination, our experience in over 2,000 communities can help turn your vision into a shovel-ready project that can draw local support and political will and proves viable to potential strategic partners. Through tools such as our market opportunity reports, economic impact analyses, and financial forecasts, we help you develop a concept that’s positioned well when approaching funding partners.

Financing Strategy Development

Tools including our ProForma (financial forecast) and the economic impact analysis, help communities not only assess a concept’s potential for success, it provides the data necessary to engage funding and strategic partners. Additionally, SFA builds presentations and works to negotiate partnerships on behalf of our clients.

Venue Development

Once a project has attained the necessary funding, our development team begins the construction management and start-up services processes. These processes include vendor selection, owner’s representation, venue planning, and FF&E and OS&E procurement. Additionally, we prime your venue for success by hiring staff, building marketing and branding campaigns, and conducting business development activities.

Outsourced Management

Through best practices established while launching and managing many of the nation’s top performing venues, we further position your facility for success. Our outsourced management services are comprehensive and include staff development, training and management, facility operations, business development, event creation and programming, human resources, and legal and risk management.

Featured Projects

Paducah, KY

SFA was engaged to complete a market analysis and community needs/demand assessment, including a planning/ strategy meeting with the City, a review of design concepts, and presentations to the City regarding early-stage findings/ recommendations. SFA completed a detailed financial forecast and economic impact study and is currently engaged in ongoing discussions in regard to assisting in the execution of the plan and evaluating additional opportunities for sports and recreation.

Providence, RI

Working with the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority and the operator of both the convention center and indoor arena in Providence, SFA was engaged to evaluate multiple sites and multiple business models that could contribute to tourism-driving events in and around Providence. SFA provided insights and data related to two sites that would be suited to two different facility types, each of which was recommended based on use of land, potential development incentives, surrounding infrastructure, local demand, existing service providers, expected financial performance, and expected economic impact.

Featured Team Leader

Founding Partner

Dev Pathik is widely regarded as a premier thought leader in the youth and amateur sports space. Through his work with the Aspen Institute’s Project Play 2020, relationships with various national governing bodies, the International City and County Managers Association, HBO’s Real Sports, TODAY Show, and others, Dev has given a unique voice to the development boom of youth sports, the social and economic responsibilities inherent in these projects, and broadened the opportunity for creating successful mixed-use developments with youth sports anchors. To learn more about Dev and the other members of our outstanding team, visit our team page.

Learn how we can serve at every stage and every step

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