Improving communities through sport


Venue Planning

C2C Phase: Project Development

SFD’s Venue Planning results in a superior facility that is designed to meet the sports/recreation-specific programming models, is operationally efficient, and is within budget. 

Venue Planning is the process by which a facility moves from a business plan or financial forecast to architectural plans and schematics. The process is a collaboration between an architect, facility owner, and operator. 

At SF Companies, this service pairs our program-driven design approach with our extensive operational expertise. Who better to provide inform the layout and structural design of a facility than a team with sport-specific experience and access to 20+ currently operating facilities?

Through the design and construction process, our team provides valuable direction and insight into critical systems and elements of the facility layout above and beyond your traditional architectural design services including:

  • Sport Equipment/Surfaces Specifications and Design Requirements
  • Sport Rule Comfort and Compliance Requirements and Review
  • Cash Handling Plans & Schematics
  • Technology Requirements & Schematics
  • Value Engineering Studies
  • Operational Budget Impacts for Design Decisions
  • Facility Branding/Ambient Media
  • Sponsorship Inventory & Design
  • Facility Wayfinding & Signage
  • Furnishing Schematic


SFD is built for collaboration. We partner with your existing architect or design team – or we can help you select one. As we bridge the gap between facility and design operations, we reduce risk, bring clarity to common issues, and ultimately produce the best facility for your budget and goals. 

Service Highlights

Study Duration:
12-18 Months 

Best Suited For:
Multi-faceted Project Teams
Large-Scale Sports Complexes
Early Project Engagement

Led By SFD Development Advisors:

Together, we can create your ideal facility.

Eau Claire, WI

During the planning and design process, SFM worked as an “Owner’s Representative” in partnership with the design and construction teams to ensure the facility design supports the Pro Forma. This included critical adjacencies, space planning, and operational details. The SFM venue design team ensured the athletic spaces and equipment meet the requirements for leagues, tournaments, events, and other supporting programming through our FF&E (Furnishings, Fixture & Equipment) procurement process.

Harrisonburg, VA

Horizons Edge Sports Campus is comprised 55 acres located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, VA.

Sandusky, OH

This new 145,000 square foot sports complex features 10 full-size basketball courts which convert to 20 full-size volleyball courts.

Why SFD?

No other team can bring SFD’s wealth of experience opening elite youth sports, community recreation, wellness and event destinations to the table with a true operator’s perspective. From kickoff call to grand opening, we collaborate with you to create a facility that meets the needs of end users, delights guests, and operates efficiently.

Program Driven Design

Sports tourism, leagues, event rentals, community use, sports clinics, and other programming options all drive hundreds of design considerations. Those considerations can be multiplied when you consider multiple sports that a facility may need to cater to. SFD’s Venue Planning team understands what these considerations are and the impact of those decisions. SFD’s venue planning services are designed to lead the design team through these considerations to optimize the final design.

Marketing and Branding

Our branding and marketing team creates facility branding plans including budgets, schematics, and benchmarks with the goal of engaging your most important audiences. Your facility must compete with other venues for guests, teams, and events. We help you build a compelling brand vision with a variety of best practices that have generated success for some of the nation’s most popular youth sports destinations.

Construction Budget Validation/Evaluation

Our experience with sports, recreation, and FEC facilities makes us adept at value-engineering projects to meet budgetary requirements and still meet your facility’s goals

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Cedar Point Case Study

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Cedar Point Case Study

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