Susie Sieger
President/Owner | Crossroads Consulting Services

When Susan Sieger started as a facility development consultant in the late 1980s, there were no women in her field. Thirty-five years later, no other woman heads a practice such as Crossroads Consulting, the independent firm owned by Sieger, providing feasibility studies and market research for public assembly venues.

“I was fortunate; I never felt a glass ceiling,” Sieger said. “My bosses told me, ‘We will teach you whatever you want. You ask the question, we’ll answer it.’ If you’re willing to work hard and believe in yourself, then you can do it in today’s world.”

Those bosses included Tony Tavares and Mich Sauers, both leaders in the business of private management at the old SMG. She also learned from Ron Barton at KPMG; sports architects Earl Santee and Ron Labinski; food service consultant Chris Bigelow; and two women who served as mentors, Peggy Daidakis and Robyn Williams, two longtime managers of convention centers.

Sieger went to work at SMG after a recommendation from Jill Jacob, a classmate at Ohio University’s sports management graduate program.

Sieger fell in love and flourished in her niche role, which led to accepting a position a few years later at KPMG. The major accounting firm did many studies to build arenas, stadiums and convention centers before that piece of the biz became a specialty on its own for consultants such as Crossroads, CSL International and Johnson Consulting.

“I caught the bug; I loved the travel,” she said. “I had no idea what I was doing at first and was sincerely blessed to learn from the best people in the industry.”

Sieger worked 15 years at KPMG before branching out on her own in 2007 to form Crossroads Consulting. She brought some clients over from KPMG and, over the years, diversified her portfolio to include small event centers and fairgrounds complexes in secondary markets.

The Maryland Stadium Authority, currently in the process of managing nine-figure renovations for publicly owned M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards, has worked with Sieger since 2005. Crossroads has done some studies for DC United to build a new facility for its MLS Next Pro affiliate in Baltimore.

Pimlico Race Course and Belmont Park, two horse racing tracks that make up two-thirds of the sport’s Triple Crown, are also using Crossroads to help map out improvements to their properties.

Sieger, whose firm is a small shop with about a half-dozen employees, has 22 projects across sports and entertainment. Several are tied to the development of amateur sports complexes extending to mixed-use components, two of which in the Florida Panhandle.

Due to escalation in construction costs, it’s more critical than ever to provide credible economic analyses, regardless of the building type, Sieger said.

“The client that can show value and have the analytics to back it up can build a new project or expand and upgrade,” she said. “People want live entertainment and they’re willing to pay for it.”


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