Myrtle Beach Sports Center Announces Signing of 17 Event Contracts; New Facility, Scheduled To Open in March 2015, Has Nearly Sold Out Its First Six Months

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Coastal South Carolina’s new 100,000-square-foot facility, riding the crest of the apparently recession-proof youth/travel sports boom, has only two weekends available before mid-August of next year.

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Having the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center allows NTBA to now bring its first-class tournaments to a first-class facility.

Myrtle Beach, SC is the third largest tourism destination in America behind Orlando and Las Vegas – its longtime focus on sports is one reason the beach town has become so popular. John MacDonald, General Manager of the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center located in Myrtle Beach, has announced the signing of 17 event contracts for the new facility, which is scheduled to open in March 2015. “Response has been phenomenal,” says MacDonald. “There are only two weekends still open for the center’s first six months of operation—Easter and Memorial day.”

Myrtle Beach Sports Center will include 100,000 square feet of year-round tournament and events space. The center offers eight high school basketball courts or 16 volleyball courts with full-length retractable curtains. The courts are also lined so as to be configurable as four collegiate/professional basketball courts.

“Basketball and volleyball aren’t the only options, of course,” says MacDonald. “The center has 70,000 square feet of free-span space; it’s designed to host mat sports, table tennis, pickle ball, trade shows, and many other types of events.”

When not at the Sports Center, MacDonald notes, athletes and their families will have a host of area activities to choose from. These include the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, named the nation’s number-three boardwalk by National Geographic; Family Kingdom Amusement Park, considered the fifth-best amusement park in the country; the Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach State Parks; a wide variety of musical entertainment, including the Carolina Opry; and extensive, family-friendly shopping.1

“This new facility and its locale in one of the major tourist destinations in the U.S.,” says MacDonald, “makes it a must stop for any event owner that wants to provide athletic teams with the ultimate in customer service, facilities, value, and guest experience—in and outside of the competition venue.”

Among the groups that will be moving their events next year to the Myrtle Beach Sports Center sits the National Travel Basketball Association (NTBA). Says NTBA President John Whitley, “Having the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center allows NTBA to now bring its first-class tournaments to a first-class facility. We will be hosting our State and National Championships at the MBSC, and being able to have the games under one roof is simply a win-win for all involved, but especially the spectators.”

A key factor in the success of the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center, and of similar facilities nationwide, is an explosion of interest in youth and travel sports. “Youth sports tourism wasn’t even a category four years ago,” says Dave Hollander, a professor at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports, “and now it’s the fastest-growing segment in travel. You’ve got millions of kids involved, parents spending thousands of dollars, and cities building facilities to host events. It’s just huge.”

According to a recent USA Today survey, at least 35 million kids between 5 and 18 currently play an organized sport each year in the U.S. Of these, 21 million are involved in non-school youth sports. “I don’t see this as trending downward,” says Hollander. “Check out the local youth sports TV channels in your neighborhood. They are continuing to grow. Cities and towns are seeing benefits as these trips turn into mini-vacations for families, so their incentive to be a player in this is also growing.”2

While the opportunity is real and growing, Dev Pathik, Founder and CEO, Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management, cautions that becoming a player in youth sports requires accurate analysis and planning. Speaking of the Myrtle Beach Sports Center, he says, “The city engaged us to produce a detailed financial forecast and economic impact projections for [Myrtle Beach Sports Center] from the time the project was in its infancy, and then hired our management team, to oversee the pre-opening and day to day operations.”

This careful and detailed approach, notes Pathik, is essential to the success of any new sports facility. “Even with a great location and a booming market,” he says, “you have to make certain that what you’re doing is precisely calibrated to the market. We understand this because it’s our business.”

SFA|SFM works with government entities, financial institutions, private developers, institutional clients, and faith-based organizations to help them—from the ground up—to optimize the return they make on their investment.

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 $4Billion 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 http://www.sportadvisory.com/home.html.

1.    “List of Attractions in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attractions_in_Myrtle_Beach,_South_Carolina

2.    Koba, Mark, “Spending big on kids’ sports? You’re not alone” CNBC, January 13, 2014. cnbc.com/id/101326773#.

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