Rocky Top Sports World Designated “2014 Place to Watch”—The Sports Facilities Advisory Deems Active Management Vital to Prosperity

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SportsEvents Magazine has selected Rocky Top Sports World as one of 2014’s places to watch, a recognition The Sports Facilities Advisory says is influenced by effective management methods designed to accelerate growth and improve bottom-line results.

Sports Facilities Advisory
Sports and sports-related travel have continued to prosper even through the Great Recession, and these bear no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Rocky Top Sports World, a multi-purpose sports and event complex managed by the Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA), was chosen as one of SportsEvents Magazine’s “2014 Places to Watch” list, earning a feature in the publication’s 10th anniversary January issue. According to Don Schumacher, Executive Director of the National Association of Sports Commissions, the recognition is a testament to the continued growth of sports tourism and to SFA’s management and marketing practices. SFA’s employees manage all aspects of day-to-day marketing and management.

SportsEvents Magazine focuses on sports event planning with spotlights on destinations and sports complexes, interviews and profiles and other items of interest to the industry. Facilities featured on SportsEvents Magazine’s annual “Places to Watch” list are voted on solely by professionals in the sports events industry.

Rocky Top Sports World, which will open in spring 2014, is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The $20 million project is a joint venture between the city and Sevier County; SFA was brought onboard as a private operator to manage the center, as well as to book athletic tournaments and events that attract teams and visitors from all over the U.S.

SFA CEO Dev Pathik says the county and city officials who planned Rocky Top Sports World deserve credit for recognizing the opportunity for Gatlinburg to benefit from the booming sports tourism industry—youth sports and sports-related travel drives an approximate economic impact of $7 billion per year, according to Pathik (1).

“Sports and sports-related travel have continued to prosper even through the Great Recession, and these bear no signs of slowing down anytime soon,” said Schumacher.

Former Gatlinburg Mayor and current city council member Mike Werner commented, “The recognition of Rocky Top Sports World serves as encouragement for us to continue to think innovatively about tourism in Gatlinburg and Sevier County.”

SFA provides two levels of sports facility management:

●Full-Time Management Services (FTM) and Advisory: Includes a five-year financial forecast and business plan, and placement of a full-time SFA General Manager (GM) and other management staff, as needed and based on the facility type and requirements. The GM is selected based on the specific type of facility and the financial and other goals established in the five-year forecast and business planning process. SFA’s FTM service can be placed in both new operations and existing operations, and is available to both private and publically-funded owners;

●Asset Management Services (AAM): This is ideal for facilities that already possess a GM with quality leadership, but want to improve performance and optimization. With the AAM program for sports facility management, SFA produces a five-year financial forecast and business optimization plan outlining the critical steps to improving a facility’s performance. Under the leadership of an SFA advisor, the GM and other management staff will participate in weekly management team meetings by phone, as well as monthly meetings in person.

In addition to its work as a private operator, SFA also serves public sector clients in identifying and negotiating private sector investment and/or private sector use of facilities.

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 management 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 upon its mission to dramatically improve communities through the opening or optimization of sport and recreation centers. For more information, visit

1.Souza, Kim. “Amateur Sports Facilities Sought to Spur Local Economies.” N.p., 09 Jan. 2014. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.

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Karla Jo Helms
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