ICMA Names SFA/SFM as Industry Partner | Sports Destination Management

ICMA Names SFA/SFM as Industry Partner

Jan 12, 2015
Sports Industry Developments Necessitate Go-to Resource for U.S. City and County Governments

In recent years, the cost and complexity of publically funded sport and recreation centers and their ongoing operations have forced government bodies to make difficult decisions, often with little information other than that provided by local clubs and leagues.  In its effort to support the needs of its nearly 9000 members, ICMA has tapped SFA|SFM to assist in the development of curriculum and resources related to community sport, sports tourism and community recreation. 

The Sports Facilities Advisory|Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM), the nation’s leading expert in the planning and management of community-based sports parks and recreation complexes, has been chosen to represent the sport and recreation center industry on the International City/County Management Association’s 2015 conference curriculum committee. As such, SFA|SFM serves as an advisor to the organization’s members as cities around the globe look to respond to massive changes in sport and recreation, health and the management of parks and recreation facilities.

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  Still, over the past decade there have been sharp declines in certain sports participation rates and major challenges related to access of quality facilities for those who live in less populous or urban communities, or among cities that report a lack of finances to support a community sports service, according to SFA|SFM Founder and CEO Dev Pathik.  

As sports have become increasingly organized and competitive, it has created a need for more and better venues for both local teams and for travel tournaments. Government entities are now investing in sports tourism with the development of new tournament style destinations that can also serve local community needs. The economic development opportunities through sport come from visiting teams and competitors who fill hotel local rooms.  In the frenzy to take advantage of the sports tourism boom, government entities have come to rely on SFA|SFM as the go to resource for strategy, market research, advice, and management.

With the industry evolving at such an overwhelming pace, cities now investing in sports and recreation across all facets need a knowledgeable resource to turn to for guidance – a fact which prompted the ICMA’s inclusion of SFA|SFM in its 2015 conference planning committee in an effort to provide quality resources and advise to hundreds of cities.

SFA|SFM has developed a proprietary market research process which forms the backbone of its planning and venue management services.  Since 2003, the firms have served a portfolio totaling more than $4 billion in planned and operational youth and amateur sports facilities which host local fitness, community sports, tournaments, and even concerts and special events.  In 2015 alone, SFA|SFM client facilities will host more than 15 million visits.

Noting that ICMA’s membership includes representatives from other countries, Pathik observes that social and economic issues surrounding sport and recreation can be integral to the national pride and standing of country on the World Stage.   SFA|SFM’s international clients have ranged from the National Sports Authority of the Bahamas to the Canada Games Centre, and others in the Middle East, Caribbean/Latin America. 

An important message SFA|SFM delivers to ICMA members is that success in developing and operating sports facilities is not automatic or guaranteed. “A major component of the service we provide for our clients,” Pathik says, “consists of market research, strategic planning and feasibility studies. We pride ourselves on setting the industry standard for accurate predictive analytics and strategy development, and we look forward to working with ICMA and its members to help them get the results they want and need.”

The ICMA annual conference planning committee consists of over 90 people, including city and county managers, economic development personnel, and strategic partners. The 101st International City/County Management Association Annual Conference will be held September 27-30, 2015 in Seattle/King County, Washington.

About the International City/County Management Association: Founded in 1914, ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. ICMA’s mission and vision is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build sustainable communities that improve people’s lives worldwide. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA’s members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.

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,” SFIA. espn.go.com/pdf/2013/1113/espn_otl_sportsreport.pdf

  2. "Environmental Barriers to Activity." Obesity Prevention Source. N.p., 20 Oct. 2012. Web. 21 Dec. 2014. hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/physical-activity-environment/      

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