Venue Planning

The path from concept to concrete for sports tourism, recreation, or entertainment venues is a long and detailed one that requires a great deal of coordination. To create a facility that drives economic impact, delights guests, and earns a return on investment requires the expertise and efforts of a team that understands the operational nuances of developing these types of facilities.

Why is it Important to Work with Venue Planning Experts?

The process of developing a sports, recreation, or entertainment venue is significantly different from that of other construction projects. This is primarily because of the needs of the facility users. Organizations that utilize these venues have compliance requirements that must be met in order to provide a safe and optimal environment for their participants. For example, many basketball leagues require that a court’s overrun be a specific length in order to prevent injuries when players dive after loose balls.

SFM Network’s venue planning team is comprised of architects, facility operators, engineers, and construction professionals with a vast amount of experience on a variety of sports, recreation and FEC projects. Because of our in-depth experience as facility operators, we understand the unique design and equipment requirements for sports complexes, recreation centers, and event facilities. We are built for collaboration and have worked with design teams in premier facilities through the United States to create incredible sports destinations that are both aesthetically pleasing and operationally efficient.

Components of Venue Planning

SFM’s venue planning team serves as the owner’s representative for our clients on development projects. They work in partnership with your design and construction teams to ensure that projects are completed accurately per their specific plans, the Pro Forma, and your goals.

Venue planning services include:

Sports leagues and tournaments, events, and certain programming have specific equipment and space requirements. The SFM venue design team works with your architect to ensure that these requirements are met successfully. Additionally, we bring the industry’s best practices for food and beverage (F&B), trends in technology, and optimize the architectural layout for the venue and its programming.

To compete with other venues for events, special programming, and attendees, having a clear and compelling brand identity is critical. Our corporate marketing team will partner with you to build a brand vision that helps you grow and engage your audience and then coordinate with your architect and the venue planning team to manage implementation.

Often it’s the case that the architectural design, fit and finish of a facility are approved early in the planning stages, but hit financial difficulties during cost estimating. Our venue planning team is well versed in the art of value-engineering in these cases when a target budget must be met. In a collaborative and client-centric process, our team works with the architect, construction team, and ownership groups to arrive at a functional, operationally-efficient solution true to the intent of the facility goals and KPIs.

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APEX Sports Complex

As a member of the design build team, Sports Facilities Development provided specifications, schematic markups, requirements, and operational feedback through the design process on scopes such as installed athletic equipment, scoreboards, court surfaces, turf surfaces, divider curtains, security cameras, audio/visual, facility branding, F&B and more. 

Highlands Sports Complex

As a member of the design team, Sports Facilities Development provided specifications, schematic markups, requirements, and operational feedback through the design process on scopes such as basketball systems, dasher boards, batting cages,  scoreboards, court surfaces, turf surfaces, divider curtains, facility branding, F&B and more. 


Caitlyn is a dynamic human resources professional with experience leading human resource processes for a 1,400-member company. Caitlyn’s ability to guide a workforce of high performers is instrumental to her role as Human Resources Business Partner at Sports Facilities Companies.

At SFC, Caitlyn works one on one with SF Network venues and our home office as a dedicated resource for their recruitment requirements. She manages the applicant tracking system and trainings, ensuring successful candidate pools for each venue. 

Caitlyn identifies training needs and creates/procures a professional development curriculum. She also monitors training programs to ensure that training objectives are accomplished. In addition, she ensures regulatory compliance with legal requirements pertinent to employee management are met.

Since joining SFC, Caitlyn has increased candidate engagement with our application process from 65 to over 80 percent.

Notable Projects

  • Company-wide migration to SharePoint
  • Cedar Point Sports Center, Sandusky, OH
  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • Community First Champion Center, Appleton, WI
  • Elizabethtown Sports Park, Elizabethtown, KY
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Elizabethtown Sports Park

Sports Facilities Management assessed all aspects of Elizabethtown’s (KY) existing sports and recreation assets, particularly the E-Town Sports Park and made recommendations of best practices for driving economic impact through events, tournaments, and recreation programming.

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Community First Champion Center Guide