Facilities Groups Judge Impact On Youth Sports Marketplace

U.S. Air Force Photo/Beau Wade

Youth and amateur facilities across the U.S.—indeed, across the globe—are on hiatus, along with the rest of most of the fitness industry, because of COVID 19. Whether it’s Parks and recreation, little league, travel sports, fitness facilities, and tournament venues, all of which play an important role in the community as well as the economy, adding up to an estimated $25 billion annually*, more than 45 million** athletes and their families are affected.

The CEO’s of Sports Facilities Advisory and Sport and Facilities Management, this week commented on the impact.

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.”


SFM CEO and Founder Jason Clement added, “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.”

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 $200 million annually in tournament driven tourism into various markets across the country.

*per Evergreen Research

**per Sport and Fitness Industry Association

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Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at jerry (at) jerrymilani (dot) com.