Sports facility development and the role of forecasting
In the late 1980s forecasts were made of the number of admissions for swimming in Sheffield to the year 2001, under assumptions which reflected the building of the World Student Games facilities and the closure of the four older swimming pools. This chapter examines what happened subsequently to swimming participation in Sheffield and analyses the relationship between the reality and the forecasts. In doing so the chapter addresses the following issues:
• the problems of forecasting sports participation; • the impact of new facilities on swimming participation; • the relationship between a city-wide initiative and an important, constituent,
sports activity; • the role of forecasting and rational planning in decisions to build new facilities.
Standard texts typically portray the model process for the planning of new recreational facilities as consisting of assembling the right management information to service key decisions such as facility type, size and location. Illustrative of such an approach is the following: