(Clearwater, FL) August 18, 2017: The boom in youth travel sports has led to major changes with far-reaching impacts for sport in America. Youth travel sports now accounts for billions of dollars in new facility developments and sports tourism related economic impact. Two such changes are heightened income inequality for kids to access sports and early single-sport specialization.
This changing landscape has increased income inequalities making it more difficult for lower income children to play sport. Often the fees associated with high performing travel sports teams can be in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Furthermore, there is a large cost associated with the travel itself – from meals on the road, to multiple nights in hotel rooms. There are many families in America who simply can’t afford to play.
Additionally, privately run sports clubs often encourage athletes to specialize at earlier and earlier ages. This narrow approach to player development is counterproductive to creating great athletes. Illustrating that fact, thirty of the thirty-two 2017 NFL draft picks were multi-sport athletes in high school. Single sport participation has become such an issue, in fact, that The Aspen Institute’s Project Play has created a special task-force called the Shared Goals Initiative with industry leaders like Target, Dicks Sporting Goods, and the U.S. Olympic Committee to uncover ways to encourage kids to sample multiple sports.
HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel has been investigating these changes, and their effects, and will highlight a story on youth and amateur sports on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Led by producer Nick Dolin and Correspondent Jon Frankel, the show includes visits to the City of Myrtle Beach where SFM operates the Myrtle Beach Sports Center. The story will also include interviews with SFA and SFM Founder and respected industry thought-leader Dev Pathik.
Dev met with HBO camera crew on location in Rocky Mount, North Carolina where the Sports Facilities Advisory has planned a 165,000 square-foot indoor tournament facility that is currently under construction and is set to open in September 2018. The Rocky Mount Event Center, opened and operated by the Sports Facilities Management (SFM), will be an economic generator that hosts both large special events and sports tournaments as well as more local offerings like sports leagues, birthday parties, weddings, and meeting spaces for the community and citizens of Rocky Mount.
Pathik said, “The Rocky Mount Sports and Events Center is a unique facility that has been intentionally designed to optimize sports tourism revenue for the City of Rocky Mount while simultaneously serving as a downtown revitalization project that will provide access to sport for lower-income kids and families. It’s facilities like this that are combatting two of the biggest issues facing youth sports.”
To record or watch the episode, tune to HBO Real Sports on August 22 at 11PM EST.
Sports Facilities Management, LLC (SFM) and Sports Facilities Advisory, LLC (SFA) are both headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. SFA, founded in 2003, has produced more than $8 billion in institutional-grade financial forecasts for youth and amateur sports complexes, while SFM provides industry-leading, results-driven management solutions for sports, fitness, recreation and event venues, nationwide. Since 2014, SFM-managed venues have hosted more than 50 million visitors and generated millions of dollars in economic impact. For more information, visit: www.sportadvisory.com.