Has your sports club outgrown your current facility? Are you ready to move into a new location to train, host tournaments, and play? This can be both an exciting and stressful decision to make. 

A lot of work goes into planning and building a new sports facility. Between securing land, finding an agency to design the space and a company to build it, there are a lot of decisions to be made. 

And of course, there’s the small detail of determining how to pay for the new facility. While your organization might have funds to support some of this project, it likely doesn’t have enough money in its accounts to cover the entire build. You can use internal strategies to raise funds, such as fundraisers, but you could still fall short of the total needed.

To make up the difference, use these ideas for how to get funding for your new sports facility.

Research Public Grants 

If your club operates as a non-profit organization, you have the opportunity to apply for grants to help pay for the facility. According to SportAdvisory.com, there are several grants available that can be used towards the cost of a new facility. The website said one available grant is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). According to the Department of Urban Housing and Development (HUD), this is a program that provides communities with resources to address a variety of community development needs. SportAdvisory.com states that CDBG grants are awarded annually. It also says that HUD will determine the amount of each grant awarded based on several factors, including the population and poverty level in the community.

Another option is to look for funding from local agencies like the economic development commission and the chamber of commerce, according to SportsPlanningGuide.com.

Find Private Investors

Your organization can also seek private investors to fund the project. SportAdvisory.com suggests asking wealthy individuals in the community if they are interested in making a contribution. The website says, while this approach can take patience while you try to find individuals willing to give funds, it can be easier than finding a commercial lender due to banks having stricter guidelines. Local investors can be more passionate about the project than lenders as it will directly impact them and their community. 

SportsPlanningGuide.com also recommends providing potential investors with the facility planning guide, cost estimates, and an economic impact study. This can make them feel more comfortable about the project. The website added that these documents and research could encourage local hospitals, hotels, retailers, real estate developers, and landowners to invest as well.

Bank Loans

If you are unable to find investors and don’t qualify for a grant, your organization can try to secure a bank loan. When seeking a loan, it’s important to have all of the necessary paperwork and documents completed before starting the process, as lenders can be very particular about what information is needed for the application.

Before starting this process you should be aware that applying for a commercial loan can be very different from applying for a personal loan, so it’s best to find an expert to guide you through the process.

When selecting a bank, your organization should research potential lenders before choosing one. SportsFacilityExpert.com recommends talking to local bankers to discuss what options are available, and to compare several banks to determine who can offer you the best rate on the loan.

Find Partners

Another option for funding the new sports facility is to partner with other organizations that can also benefit from it. SportsPlanningGuide.com suggests some potential partners can include tournament rights holders, sponsors, and local schools and universities. While these partnerships can help add funding, the website states that you shouldn’t rely on these contributions to make up a lot of your funding. Instead, the bulk of the money should come from investors, loans, and grants, as the money from these partners can be minimal.

When courting partners, you should present them with the core information about the facility and the building plans. SportsPlanningGuide.com recommends providing documents addressing common questions partners might have, including how the club will address ongoing financing, management of the facility, events, accounting, and customer service.

While planning your new sports facility can be a fun process, finding the funding can be a tedious — but necessary — task. Being organized, performing research and gathering all of the necessary information and documentation can help when pursuing grants, investments, loans or partners.

Club Budget Spreadsheet
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