The Sports Facilities Advisory Deems Youth Sports and Sports-Related Travel “Recession Resistant”—Youth Sporting Events Create $7 Billion in Economic Impact

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The Sports Facilities Advisory says that despite a struggling economy, youth sports participation and sports tourism have thrived and blossomed into a fiscal impact of $7 billion.

Sports Facilities Advisory
And throughout the recession, as sports-related travel continues to grow, more communities are recognizing this enormous opportunity to fill their hotels on weekends with youth and amateur sporting events.

In tough economic times, people tend to scale back on excess spending—in September, 2013, consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity, only rose 0.2%, despite a personal income increase of 0.5% (1). But throughout the nation, youth sports and sports-related travel have remained steady, despite the Great Recession. According to Sports Travel Magazine, 27% of all trips taken last year were for the sole purpose of attending an organized sporting event, a number that increases to more than 90% when all trips involving some sports activity are considered. The Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA), a leading resource for new and existing amateur sports complexes and recreation centers, says the trend is likely fueled by numerous factors, including parents’ desire to see their children succeed and, surprisingly, by the distressed economy, itself.

SFA’s CEO and founder, Dev Pathik, attributes the growth of youth and amateur sports to parents’ devotion to securing their children’s futures. Per Pathik, college scholarships and professional athletic careers are also a motivating factor because more parents today worry about the cost of education or that their children will face a future of stagnant wages and blunted careers (2). Nationwide, 53 million traveling athletes participate in youth sporting events, generating an estimated $7 billion of economic impact (3). Florida-based SFA says that the potential financial impact of youth sports participation and sports-related travel brings the most benefit to communities.

Case in Point:

Over a five-day period in July, 2011, college basketball scholarship hopefuls stopped in DuPage County to show off their skills for coaches from all over the country at the Nike Tournament of Champions.

The kids, their parents, coaches and tournament organizers stayed in area hotels, ate at area restaurants, filled their cars with gas and shopped to the tune of $6.8 million in economic impact (4).

In addition to securing a financial future, Pathik says that parents are also driven to help their children stand out by the fear that their kids will otherwise get involved in unhealthy activity – many parents largely feel a need for children to participate in sports because at a sociological level, they feel as though there is a lack of safe outlets for kids today.

Pathik encourages the act of improving communities, as well as the economy, by making recreational activity more readily available to children with the addition of youth and amateur sports complexes and recreation centers.

“Parents want their kids to be involved in structured sporting activities that offer a positive environment,” said Evan Eleff, SFA’s Vice President of Client Services. “And throughout the recession, as sports-related travel continues to grow, more communities are recognizing this enormous opportunity to fill their hotels on weekends with youth and amateur sporting events.”

SFA assists clients throughout the nation in planning, funding and managing sports and community recreation centers. SFA’s portfolio includes more than $3.5 billion in planned and operational facilities, as well as being the industry leader in the managing of such complexes. The company will assist in opening more than 1.5 million acres of additional indoor facilities, as well as 600 acres of outdoor facilities, within the next year.

For more information about the Sports Facilities Advisory and its suite of planning-funding-opening-management services, visit

About Sports Facilities Advisory:

The Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA) is a leading resource in sports facility planning and management. The Sports Facilities Advisory has helped to plan, fund, open and manage dozens of multimillion-dollar sports complexes in communities throughout the USA and internationally since its founding in 2003. The company serves 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’s success depends on its mission to dramatically improve communities through the opening or optimization of sport and recreation centers. For more information, visit

1.“U.S. Consumer Spending Tepid as Households Boost Savings.” N.p., 08 Nov. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

2.Cook, Bob. “Youth Sports Arms Race Reflects Successful Exploitation Of Reasonable Parental Anxiety.” Forbes Magazine, 27 Nov. 2012. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.

3.Lane, Matthew. “Youth Sports Could Have $10 Million Impact in Model City in 2013.” N.p., 05 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.

4.Kennedy, Kristy. “Youth Sports Tournaments May Be Recession Proof.” Youth Sports Tournaments May Be Recession Proof., 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.

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