A feasibility study is often the first formal step in determining the potential viability of a facility or event concept. Our comprehensive research, including market analysis, stakeholder feedback, and competitive and industry analyses allow us to provide recommendations – which could include validation or redirection of an existing project concept or identification of a new concept – that lead to realistic forecasts of future performance (such as facility usage, visitation/attendance, and all revenues and expenses) and the resulting financial feasibility.

Types of Services

Local market analysis
Analysis of historical operations (for existing facility/event)
Analysis of competitive local/regional offerings
Analysis of comparable facilities or events
Analysis of broader industry trends and characteristics
Stakeholder feedback (surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.)
Recommendations and conclusions regarding research and initial concept
Detailed forecasts of future operations and financial performance
Public presentations, as needed

Service Value

Assessment of your market and past facility/event operations
Inclusion of community engagement and stakeholder input into the planning process
Determining the viability of facility or event development options
Identifying, confirming, or redirecting development plans
Realistic projections of future operations
Comparing the results of various scenarios
Clearly and independently communicating results to the public and other stakeholders
Attracting and supporting capital investment and debt issuance

Case Study

The Dome Entertainment Venue and Surf Park

Virginia Beach, VA | Client: Venture Waves
Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority

Stone Planning completed a feasibility and economic impact study for a new indoor/outdoor entertainment venue in Virginia Beach. The facility will be part of a broader mixed-use development that will also include residential, retail, and a surf park. Our study analyzed the market and recommended facilities for a multipurpose indoor event center and a connected outdoor amphitheater, and we also addressed the potential viability of the surf park.

We analyzed the local market, the entertainment and event industries, the local/regional competitive environment for facilities, a set of comparable facilities, and interviewed a wide range of stakeholders. Based on our market analyses, we recommended an indoor venue with a maximum capacity of 3,200 people that can be flexible enough to host a wide range of events, such as concerts, banquets, social and corporate events, and other performances. The indoor facility would also have multiple opportunities for smaller events, through the use of outdoor terraces and interior rooms. An attached amphitheater would have a maximum capacity of approximately 5,000. We also commented on physical and operational implications of our recommendations, such as sound issues, the ability to host free vs. ticketed shows, and others.

Based on our recommendations, we forecasted the future operations and economic impacts of the recommended facility.

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Case Study

Climate Pledge Arena

Seattle, WA | Client: Seattle City Council

David led a team of economists, architects, engineers, cost estimators, and planners on behalf of the Seattle City Council, to provide a comprehensive market and financial feasibility analysis of the future of the former KeyArena. The arena previously hosted the NBA’s SuperSonics and more recently was the home of the WNBA Storm, Seattle University, and the Rat City Rollergirls.

​In anticipation of a potential new NBA arena to be built in the city’s SoDo neighborhood, this study was prepared in order to reorient KeyArena to minimize competition with the SoDo arena. However, upon seeing that the SoDo development was unlikely within the MOU timeframe with a private developer, we also analyzed scenarios in which a new arena is not built. The analysis identified a number of future scenarios for the arena, including continuing operations as a civic arena, renovation as an NBA/NHL arena, reorientation into a smaller sports/entertainment venue, and non-sports reuse options (such as residential or cultural uses). For each option, we evaluated the market for uses, physical needs and associated costs, and demand/operating and financial implications based on forecasts of usage.

​The study (unlike previous studies on the facility) identified the physical ability of KeyArena to accommodate NBA and NHL tenants (based on league standards), and based on its results, the City solicited private development proposals and selected a team led by the Oak View Group as its redevelopment and operating partner.

​More recently, the City Council engaged Stone Planning to work as its independent financial consultant, as it successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the Oak View Group and its development team for an approximately $1-billion redevelopment of the arena. Following completion of the agreement, the NHL awarded an expansion franchise (the Seattle Kraken) that now plays in the redeveloped venue that opened in 2021