Citing economic impact figures of $100 million in five years, the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) identifies the project as a major driver of jobs
Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
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KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – Against the backdrop of a weekend-long hockey tournament – exactly the kind of business it hopes to drive – the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) released the findings of a study it commissioned by Sports Facility Advisory (SFA), a Clearwater, Fla-based consulting organization.
The SFA conclusion was clear: The county is prime for a multi-sport, tournament-ready sports complex.
The VFTCB’s next steps are to locate a landowner and developer and to hand over the SFA recommendations. Once built, the VFTCB will concentrate its full-bore sales efforts to fill the space weekend after weekend.
At the February 26 press event announcing the findings, VFTCB President and CEO Mike Bowman asserted that the facility will attract youth activities ranging from volleyball to competitive dance – even pickleball. “This project is about jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs,” Bowman said. “It will benefit every resident of Montgomery County.”
Bowman sees the facility’s usage causing a measurable, formidable upswing in the support businesses that surround it: hotels, restaurants, family attractions, museums, arts and culture venues – even the county’s network of 96 miles of trails. That demand, he asserts, will create sustainable employment opportunities.
Andy Carl, VFTCB Sports Sales Manager, spoke of lost business along the way – tournament organizers who chose to go to other destinations they determined to be more “tournament ready.” The VFTCB sales efforts are collected under its marketing banner Valley Forge Sports: Never Stop Fighting. Carl summed up the SFA’s findings by outlining next steps: “Find the land; clear the space; build the complex; and Valley Forge Sports will fill it.”
Estimated costs for the 92-acre, 12-field, 108,000-square-foot complex range $35-$50 million, none of which will come from the tax base of local residents. The expectation is that a private developer will take the recommendation and work with area landowners to bring the project to reality. The VFTCB is continuing to discuss the proposal with interested parties.
The VFTBC has positioned the investment in the context of its considerable return, an estimated $100 million over the first five years of its operation.
Nationwide, youth sports is a $300 billion industry, according to the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), a Cincinnati-based industry expert. NASC data show the business to be recession-proof, with parents indicating they will forego their own travel plans to ensure their children can participate in sports tournaments. When parents travel for sporting events, they habitually bring various family members and spend an average of $900 in the markets in which their children play.
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The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 400-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board’s award-winning website, valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosts The Pursuit, a nationally recognized blog. The VFTCB oversees a portfolio of brands that include Valley Forge Sports, Montco 360, Destination Montco Weddings, Patriot Trails and Destination Montco Golf. It is also the publisher of the new dining magazine Crave, issued twice yearly.