Rocky Top Sports World to Host Tennessee Camp of Champs

27 Mar, 2015

On April 3 and 4, Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg, TN, will host the Tennessee Camp of Champs, an intensive event focused on honing the basketball skills of boys and girls from the ages of 6 to 17. Tennessee has historically had one of the strongest women’s basketball teams at the college level, having won eight NCAA Division I titles, the most in women’s college basketball history. The Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball team is led by Holly Warlick, who succeeded Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest basketball coach in NCAA history. Former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball stars from the 2007 and 2008 championship are reuniting at Rocky Top Sports World to host the Camp of Champs. Joining them will be Shannon Bobbitt and Alberta Auguste.

“Gatlinburg is a perfect place for this event,” says Dev Pathik, CEO of Sports Facilities Advisory and its sister firm Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM). “Sports tourism is about families, and the area has something for everybody: the Smoky Mountains, scenic downtown area with great shopping, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies — and now a spectacular new family-oriented sports tournament facility.”

Rocky Top Sports World, a $20 million project jointly funded by the City of Gatlinburg and Sevier County, was developed to help capitalize on the current boom in sports tourism.  SFA|SFM, the nation’s leading expert in the planning, development, and management of sports and community recreation centers and amateur sports complexes, helped plan Rocky Top Sports World and now manages it. The center had some 20 events scheduled months before its opening in August 2014, and is now has a year-round crowded schedule. Within the first five years of its existence, SFA|SFM projects that Rocky Top Sports World will have a $40 million economic impact on the area.

This is part of a nationwide pattern. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, just over 21 million youth in the United States between the ages of six and 17 play team sports on a regular basis.1 Increasingly, particularly at the most competitive levels, these athletes and their parents make participation in regional and national tournaments part of their family travel plans.

As youth sports become increasingly organized and increasingly competitive, it creates a need for more and better venues for meets and tournaments. “Government entities,” says Pathik, “are investing in tournament destinations. The reasoning is that if they host, say, 70,000 athletes a year, they’ll fill their hotel rooms—on weekends, which is traditionally a challenge—and the hotel bed tax will pay back to the government more than it spent on that new tournament destination.” Participation in tournament events, meanwhile, requires a level of preparation that is not available in many areas. To help provide young athletes with the skills they need to be competitive, communities and private investors are creating youth fitness and training facilities like Rocky Top Sports World.

“We are honored to be hosting the Tennessee Camp of Champs during our first year of operation,” says Rocky Top Sports World Director of Marketing and Business Development Lori Moore. “This is a world-class event, and our facilities are designed for this type of camp—six fully lit fields, a championship stadium field, and an 86,000-square-foot indoor facility with six basketball courts or 12 volleyball courts, and all the related amenities—and we’ll be able to cater to attendees, their parents, and the many visitors we expect at the Camp of Champs.”

To date, SFA|SFM has analyzed, planned, and helped fund, open or manage some four billion dollars’ worth of sports recreation facilities, working with government entities, financial institutions, private developers, institutional clients, and faith-based organizations. Pathik cautions that while the opportunity is real, success in developing and operating youth sports facilities is not automatic or guaranteed.

A major component of the services SFA|SFM provides for its clients consists of planning and feasibility studies. The company maintains that no matter how great a location may seem, there must be a certainty that that creation of a facility is appropriate and right-sized for that particular market. SFA|SFM has become known for setting the industry standard for accurate predictive analytics and strategy development.

About Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM): The Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM) is the leading resource in sports facility planning and management. SFA|SFM has served a portfolio totaling more than $4 billion in planned and operational sports centers in communities throughout the USA and internationally since its founding in 2003. Youth and amateur sports and community recreation centers now require professional planning and management. SFA’s proprietary data system—based on years of planning, funding and managing facilities, coupled with the rise of the youth sports segment—is the engine behind the development of SFM. Since its inception, SFM has become an industry leader in the management of amateur sports and events complexes, and along with SFA, provides the planning, financing and management expertise needed to turn ideas into successful recreation facilities. SFA|SFM serves both public and private clients. Its services fall into four main categories—plan, fund, open and manage—which encompass every phase from early stage feasibility studies to preparing financing documents, overseeing development and opening and full-time management services. SFA|SFM’s success depends upon its mission to dramatically improve communities through the opening or optimization of sports and recreation centers. For more information, visit www.sportadvisory.com/home.html.

  1. “2013 Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report,” SFIAespn.go.com/pdf/2013/1113/espn_otl_sportsreport.pdf


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