Case Study

New Markets Tax Credit Allocation Case Study for Upward Star Center

calendar iconJuly 1, 2021


Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Today, approximately 500,000 players at more than 2,000 churches in 47 states participate in camps, clinics, and leagues through Upward Sports’ Recreation Division. Located off Interstate 85 in Spartanburg County, the 120,000 square foot Upward Star Center features six full-sized basketball courts 12 regulation indoor volleyball courts, four batting cages, a running track, strength and conditioning area with trainers, weights and cardio machines, a speed and agility area, team rooms, players’ lounge, meeting rooms, a café and a retail shop. Upward will occupy 114,400 square feet of the Star Center. An additional 5,600 square feet will be occupied by Spartanburg Regional Health Services (SRHS), which will offer strength training, rehabilitation and orthopedic services to the neighborhood. SRHS, a self-funded political subdivision of the state of South Carolina, is one of the state’s largest healthcare systems, serving Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties in South Carolina, and Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.

Community Outcomes

This important project supports health and wellness outcomes in Spartanburg, SC and youth development outcomes nationally. Upward’s goal is to reach over 16,000 youth through its programming in its first year of operation. In addition to its existing faith-based partnerships, Upward will provide support for low-income youth through participation in sports programs and leadership training. For example, Upward offers its facilities free of charge to the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate (Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties) and other non-profits for activities like field trips and after school programs. It also provides leadership training to Boys and Girls Club coaches and mentors.

Spartanburg Regional Health Services projects a patient volume of 3,800 in its first year at the Center with plans to increase to more than 4,000 upon stabilization.

In addition to its community services outcomes, the Upward Star Center will create 149 direct jobs (32 permanent, 117 construction) with permanent jobs paying an average wage 295% greater than the low-income community’s per capita income. Employment benefits include health insurance, dental and vision insurance, disability insurance and a 401k plan with company match.

“Upward Sports seeks to develop young athletes on and off the field. To accomplish this, we invest in the young athletes and those who invest in them. The Upward Star Center will provide a home base for Upward Sports to train and equip coaches and leaders, and serve as a testing facility for sports development and technique improvement.”

Caz McCaslin, Founder & President of Upward Sports

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January 2015



Upward Unlimited, Inc.



The Innovate Fund



SunTrust Community Capital, LLC



Upward Foundation



9768 Warren Abernathy Hwy. Spartanburg, SC






120,000 Square Feet
149 Direct Jobs
Capacity: 21,100



Unemployment Rate: 13.9% Unemployment Ratio: 1.75x State Enterprise Zone