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Sports Tourism Facilities

Strategic Plan for Sports Tourism Facilities - Fairfax County, VA

CSL, with the assistance of CHA Consulting, was recently selected by the Fairfax County Park Authority, in partnership with Visit Fairfax, Fairfax County, Nova Parks and other community partners via a competitive bid process to conduct a sports complex market analysis and feasibility study in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Located just outside of Washington, D.C., the County is home to over 1.0 million people and offers numerous indoor and outdoor amateur and recreational sports facilities throughout 395 square miles.  The goal of the study is to develop a strategic plan to better attract sports tourism in Fairfax County, as well as serving to also enhance the athletic facility inventory to serve area residents. 

Our analysis consisted of a comprehensive inventory and analysis of existing recreational and amateur sports facilities throughout Fairfax County, accounting for factors such as location, accessibility, owner/operator, usage and expansion potential.  Analyzed facilities include indoor gymnasium space, indoor tracks, indoor pools/ natatorium, indoor turf facilities, outdoor triangle fields for baseball/softball, outdoor rectangle fields for soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, and other sports and recreation facilities.  In-person interviews and focus groups with more than 100 stakeholders were completed to expand the understanding of the strengths, weaknesses and challenges among these existing facilities, while investigating the potential opportunities for expanding, enhancing and/or developing new sports tourism facilities in the County.   

Additionally, our analysis considered the competitive environment for sports tourism activity in the greater Washington, D.C. marketplace, a review of comparable national amateur sports and sports tourism facilities and exploration of the potential demand for new sports facility space in Fairfax County among a variety of potential user groups and disciplines.  Recommendations included potential partnerships that could be formed to fund the development and/or ongoing operations of the recommended new facilities, analysis of the benefits and challenges of development at various sites located throughout the County, development of one or more strategic plans for operating one or more multi-sport complexes and a comprehensive cost/benefit comparison of each potential development option.   

Analyses were completed concerning site/location, construction costs, partnership opportunities, ownership/operator models, financial operations, economic impact, and funding alternatives.