SFA & SFM CEOs Weigh In on Coronavirus Impact to the $25 Billion Youth Sports Marketplace

Industry: Recreation

COVID 19 is having dramatic impacts across society. Youth and amateur sports facilities are closed in many states and tournaments are cancelling or postponing.

Clearwater, FL (PRUnderground) March 18th, 2020

Parks and recreation, little league, travel sports, fitness facilities, and tournament venues play a vital role in community health outcomes, social outcomes, tourism, and our economy.

According to Evergreen Research, the youth sports marketplace is a $25B economy.  Additionally, the Aspen Institute Project Play has highlighted the important role that sports play in health and social outcomes, as well as the importance of providing access to sports for low income kids. Data from the Sport and Fitness Industry Association, which tracks trends in the youth sports marketplace, suggests that youth sports participation has been on the rise over the past several years in parallel to the growth in the economy.  However, COVID 19 is now impacting the youth sports landscape in thousands of communities across the U.S. impacting the 45 Million + athletes and their families that drive the youth sports economy.

SFA & SFM CEO’s Dev Pathik and Jason Clement, who have advised more than 2,000 communities and spoken about the sports marketplace on HBO Real Sports, NBC Today Show, Forbes Sports Money, CNBC and other media outlets weighed in on the impacts of COVID 19 on the youth sports and tourism marketplaces that their firms serve. SFA CEO Dev Pathik said, “The youth sports marketplace has been recession resistant until now. In the previous downturn, parents stopped going out to eat or they would delay a vacation to fund their kids’ sports programs. This is different. We still have the same consumer demand and priorities, but the places where kids play are now closed as we ride out this COVID 19 viral storm.”

The Sports Facilities Management operates the largest network of sports tourism, league, and local sports venues in the U.S. hosting 25 Million visits and producing $200M annually in tournament driven tourism into markets like Myrtle Beach (SC), Gatlinburg (TN), Sandusky(OH), and Panama City Beach (FL). SFM CEO and Founder Jason Clement heads up the team of 700+ employees who manage events, venues, food and beverage, community recreation, local league and other programs. Clement acknowledged, “The last week has been a reaction to the evolving situation. Closings and postponements will mean that 2020 projections will change. That is a reality. This week we have pivoted to strategize for the ‘comeback’. We are already re-booking events, creating new events to aid in various sports recovery, and the marketplace is asking us when they can return. The good news is kids are not, so far, as severely impacted by the virus. We can already see a massive rebound in the fall. These changes will lead to a relocation of events, cancelled high school activities, new showcases for athlete exposure, and we know that tournament driven travel will be a major player in the tourism rebound. The youth and amateur sports industry will be a leading force in the economic recovery around the country.

About The Sports Facilities Companies

The Sports Facilities Companies (SFC) are the Nation’s leading resources for the management and development of sports, recreation, wellness, and events facilities. As a turn-key solution for community leaders and developers alike, SFC services span the gamut of sports and recreation needs from sports tourism & recreation master planning, program planning, and feasibility through professional facility management services. Our 40+ managed venues and 1500+ team members, represented by the SF Network, welcome more than 25 million guest visits and produce over $250 million in economic impact each year. To learn more, please visit SportsFacilities.com and theSFnetwork.com.

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