Improving communities through sport

New Partners for a New Generation of Sports and Recreation Center Development Projects

Cedar Point Sports Center

For your vision of a sports tourism complex or recreation center to make its greatest impact, it’s critical to bring like-minded partners to the table that provide the resources necessary to elevate all aspects of a project. Great venues get that way thanks to contributions of multiple groups.

In the world of sports complex and recreation center development, a partner (also known as a stakeholder) is defined as any group that has a vested interest in the construction or operations of a facility. And as the sports tourism industry and the demand for high quality recreation centers has grown, so too has the types of partners that can be brought to the table to drive these projects.

In this article, we are exploring a diverse group of partner types. We will examine both why they partner with these types of facilities as well as what makes them a great partner.

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Health and Wellness Organizations

Why they seek partnerships?

Hospitals, clinics, and medical groups thrive by being connected to the community. They have a broad audience of potential consumers and a great deal of competition. They seek partnerships with sports and recreation complexes to gain greater access to residents. They want to provide continuous care to the community from youth to seniors. Healthcare is a highly competitive industry, it’s critical for health and wellness organizations to be able to connect with consumers outside of their healthcare environment. Additionally, these organizations wellness organizations receive federal funding if they can demonstrate an ability to improve the health of the surrounding community.

What they offer?

Health and wellness organizations often become tenants in sports tourism and recreation complexes as well as serve as in house nutritionists and trainers for tournaments. They also support venues by pursuing naming rights and other sponsorships.


Inside Cedar Point Sports Center is the Lee C. Jewett Sports Medicine Center. The state-of-the-art facility, a part of the Firelands Health family, provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy and sports medicine services to participating athletes and community members.

Sports Clubs/Professional Sports Teams

Why they seek partnerships?

Sports teams must be forward-thinking in terms of growing their fan base. While what takes place on the field, court, or ice is critical, so too is the pursuit of young fans before they form their allegiances.  These organizations partner with facilities to get in front of a younger audience by way of skills camps and other initiatives.

What they offer?

Along with developing camps for young athletes, sports teams rent facilities for practices and games. They may also purchase naming rights for certain venues as seen with the Pacers Athletic Center in Indiana.

Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Why they seek partnerships?

Bringing new people to their community is at the heart of what CVB’s do. Sports tourism facilities, in most cases, is the primary component of driving visits. The partnership is natural and includes building a welcoming environment around the venue for participating athletes and families.

What they offer?

CVB’s support sports tourism complexes by promoting community amenities to guests and helping venue operators produce events efficiently. The former may include providing information on dining and entertainment options in the surrounding area. The later may include providing help with zoning or organizing volunteers to perform certain event functions.

Hotels and Resorts

Why they seek partnerships?

Similarly, hotels are natural partners for sports tourism and even recreation centers because the need to attract visitors to their community. While these partnerships are important in any season, they become critical in tourism-focused areas such as Panama City Beach and Sandusky, OH where hotel stays may dwindle during off and shoulder seasons.

What they offer?

Along with offering discounts for event participants and their families, hotels lend to the overall experience a facility aims to provide its guests. A high-quality hotel, along with restaurants, and activities such as go-kart racing or Top Golf are often the items that stick out in the minds of athletes and families when they consider which tournaments to compete in. Providing great “stay and play” options help your facility standout among the crowded landscape.

For more information on developing an elite sports tourism or recreation facility or to launch your vision contact us or call us today at 727-474-3845.

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