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Plan Services


The first step in every SFA project is a discovery call where we will learn more about your vision, goals, and background.

Following this call, if we believe we can make a significant difference in your project we will prepare a proposal to formalize the research, strategic planning, program planning, feasibility, and financial modeling phases that are the foundations to decision-making and financing for every new sport or recreation project. SFA’s preliminary Market Study and Data Review includes a review of your existing plans combined with an analysis of market data using SFA’s Market Study Factors.This includes a review of numerous factors including regional competition, the regional demographics, sports participation rates, local pricing, and other factors that contribute to project feasibility and project financing.We utilize this analysis and the review of your concepts and comments to begin to form early strategy recommendations, to identify potential hurtles to financing or operational performance, and to identify alternative program options that may need to be added or adjusted to improve the likelihood of long term success.Our goal at this stage is to acquire knowledge and insight.


An SFA Business Development Planning & Strategy Session (BDPS) is an in-depth discussion of your vision for the project.

Our goal at this stage is to identify a strategy for project financing, strategic partnerships, operational success, and to address any major obstacles that might undermine the feasibility of your vision. Facilitated by experienced Sports Facility Finance and Strategy Advisors, this session takes place in your market or in our Florida based offices.This session will be designed following our review of pre-work, market study data, and a review of any current documents and plans.The outcome of this session is a clearly defined set of objectives for the vision, value proposition, differentiators, strategic partners, and programming of your new facility concept.If your program plan is fully developed and you are seeking financing support, this session will be primarily focused on financing options, strategic partnerships that can enhance pre-opening valuation and reduce risk.This stage often includes interviews with multiple stake-holders including regional organizations, user groups, and prospective strategic partners.In many cases the BDPS leads to the development of an improved program-plan (this is the facility elements including playing surfaces, restrooms, food concessions, and other areas with square footage requirements for each), construction and start-up costs, land requirements, and other facility elements.This provides the total project development cost range and results in the foundations of the feasibility and financing documents. The BDPS allows clients to share their vision for their project in full. With thoughtful, probing questions, SFA is able to assist clients in expounding on aspects of their project that they may not have thought of beforehand. SFA takes information gathered from this session and uses it as a guide to create the strategies which will be critical to creating a path forward. The BDPS is often an on-site client experience, though the service can also be done remotely. The information discovered and resolved in the BDPS session is reflected in the financial forecast and integrated into future deliverables, including market opportunity reports, feasibility reports/studies, investor information packets, etc. The BDPS is customized to ask the questions and generate discussion around the definitions of success for every client. In most public scenarios, definitions of success revolve aroundcommunity impact: economic, social, educational, health, access and in most private scenarios, definitions of success revolve around direct or indirect return on investment.


The Market Opportunity Report is a narrative report that serves as an analysis of the market, including a summary of local demographics and socio-economics, sports participation rates, trends and key insights related to the youth and amateur sports industry, an evaluation of existing service providers that may impact the facility, etc. The Market Opportunity Report gives clients an understanding of all market factors that could potentially affect the success of their project. This report often serves as an intermediate step before a decision is made whether or not to proceed with a full financial forecast. For local recreation projects, public clients will receive a report addressing factors similar to that of the private client. For sports tourism projects, public clients will receive a report that is focused on understanding the market opportunity for a municipal sports complex to generate economic impact through sports tourism based on an analysis of existing events taking place in the market, the quality of comparable facilities in the region, and the existing inventory of sports tourism assets within the market. Private clients will receive an 8-14 page report that hones in on the market opportunity of a sports business to capture market share based on proven industry metrics for financial success, national benchmarks, and key performance indicators.


The Feasibility Study provides clients with an extremely detailed, comprehensive analysis of project feasibility.

The study includes a description of the project plan, methodology and background, products and services offered by the facility, strategic partnerships, a detailed market analysis, an analysis of comparable facilities, an overview of financial projections, and recommendations for project development. The Feasibility Study is used by clients seeking the support of outside funding sources who require a detailed and comprehensive analysis of project feasibility. The best feasibility advisors leave “no stone unturned” to provide a full feasibility analysis, arming clients with all the relevant information needed to acquire funding. The Feasibility Report provides clients with an easily digestible analysis of project. The report includes details related to market and demographic characteristics, potential sports participants, existing service providers, an overview of the facility and opinion of cost, financial picture, and recommendations for project development.

The Feasibility Report is the most frequently used document by clients seeking the support of outside funding sources.

The report is detailed, yet brief enough to give investors or financiers a complete picture of SFA’s analysis for the project. Public clients will receive a report that is focused on understanding the total feasibility for a municipal sports complex to improve local recreation options and/or generate economic impact through sports tourism while also focusing on cost-containment strategies to reduce the long-term impacts of increased debt payments and ongoing operational subsidy on the municipality’s budget. Private clients will receive a report that hones in on the total feasibility of a specific sports business based on proven industry metrics for financial success, national benchmarks, and key performance indicators.


SFA produces the industry’s best Financial Forecast (Pro Forma) documents.

SFA produces the industry’s best Financial Forecast (Pro Forma) documents.  The SFA Pro Forma is an Institutional Grade Financial Forecast that includes the Program Plan, Land Requirements, Preliminary Construction and Start-up Cost Estimate, a detailed 5-year financial forecast, and additional elements such as economic impact study, health implications report, and others that are selected and  developed based on the project financing strategy.  Pro Forma and budgets prepared for municipalities or national governments are grounded-in-reality.  Led by our extra-ordinary team of Sports Planning Advisors and tapping into SFA’s incomparable access to pricing/programming/current day operational performance of other facilities/ these deliverables allow public officials to make informed decisions about project feasibility, financing, and the risks/rewards associated with new sport and recreation facility developments.     In every case, one key difference between SFA and others is that we also look at project financing options, innovating program planning to meet your goals, and we consider the long term operational realities for new facilities so that public officials and citizens are empowered by SFA deliverables.   

 Pro Formas tailored to private clients focus on optimizing facility operations, maximizing return on investment, and implementing the most effective cost-containment strategies to deliver a reasonable rate of return for investors.  These document deliverables are also developed to impress funding sources with quality-research, sound strategy, powerful strategic alliances, and use forecasts that are backed up by letters of intent or other commitments that reduce risk for funding sources.  We call this approach – Planning for Finance and it leads to great outcomes for our clients.


Beyond the building or complex, sports impact communities in big ways.

The impact of youth and amateur sports is often much greater than the impact on people in the building and the financial performance of the facility itself — the impact on spending in the community is often a powerful message to show the impact of the facility on people who will not be direct users. For private clients, economic impact can become the foundation for creating a public/private partnership. For public clients, economic impact can become the foundation for generating support from locals who need to back the project in order for it to move forward. Using a proprietary analytical process, SFA’s economic impact report translates the projections from the pro forma into non-local days in market, the number of room nights generated, the average daily expenditure of non-local visitors through purchases for lodging, dining, entertainment, retail, travel, and associated expenses. We focus on the direct economic impact generated through spending by non-local attendees who would not be in the market but for the events/programs offered at the facility being analyzed. Direct spending projections can also be translated into tax revenue generation projections.

The SFA Difference

Because of SFA’s extensive and varied portfolio, strategic relationships, operational experience, and real-word operations managed by our sister company SFM, we have unprecedented access to industry leading data and a wealth of operational experience. This unmatched access to data allows for a more comprehensive understanding of opportunities and challenges with which to analyze clients’ data.