WESTFIELD, Ind. (Dec. 5, 2016) – With nearly 30 events under its belt and more than 20,000 visitors since it opened in July, Grand Park Events Center is celebrating a successful inaugural year, with more growth on the horizon for 2017.
The Grand Park Events Center, which opened in summer 2016, is the centerpiece of the 400-acre Grand Park Sports Campus, one of the largest sporting complexes in the world. The massive 370,000 square-foot Grand Park Events Center features three full-sized professional turf fields, a full-service restaurant and a full-service sports bar operated by Jonathan Byrd’s, a spectator lounge, retail space, locker facilities, office and meeting space, and administrative offices. It also includes multi-use space for trade shows, live entertainment, conventions and special event programming.
The Events Center has hosted 27 events since July 2016 with more than 21,000 visitors. In addition, three Central Indiana sports clubs – Max Lax, Indiana Fire Juniors and 1st and 10 Passing Academy – selected the state-of-the-art Events Center as the home for their fall and winter indoor programs. The Grand Park sports campus welcomed more than 655,500 visitors from January to October 2016, with more than 52,000 hotel room nights booked and 12,500 teams visiting the Park.
“The addition of the Events Center is a key component of Grand Park as an economic driver for Westfield,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. “Its large-scale indoor fields and event spaces will continue to bring additional visitors for year-round sporting activity and other non-sport events.”
Before the official grand opening celebration, the Events Center held its inaugural event in early July – a presidential campaign rally for President-elect Donald Trump – attended by more than 6,500 people. Staff worked with the Secret Service and local law enforcement officials to activate a safe, organized event.
In late July 2016, the Grand Park Events Center hosted its official grand opening during a special three-day event filled with food, carnival games, inflatables, movie nights and a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony. Approximately 500 people also attended the fifth annual Westfield Mayor’s Yellow Tie Ball at the Grand Park Events Center during the grand-opening weekend. The event raised around $20,000 for the Hamilton County Youth Assistance Program (YAP).
Other community events throughout the year included church group meetings, City of Westfield Police Department training, Hamilton County Chamber meetings, the Westfield City Market Farmers’ Market and local high school marching band practices. In November, Carmel High School’s marching band won first place at the 2016 Bands of America National Championship. Prior to this national competition, the students practiced inside the Events Center.
“It’s important for the public to know that we host community events, as well,” said Juergen Sommer, executive director of field sports at LST Marketing. “Grand Park is a community initiative, and we’re proud to host local teams and events, in addition to the hundreds of other out-of-state teams.”
Two state championship-winning football teams, both from Hamilton County, practiced inside the Events Center the week leading up to the 2016 IHSAA Football State Tournament Presented by the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Carmel High School won its eighth state championship in the Class 6A bracket and Westfield High School made history by winning its first state championship in the Class 5A bracket.
The Events Center also is focusing on corporate engagement. Enterprise Rent-A-Car hosted its corporate team-building event – “E-lympics” – in early October, with more than 600 employees enjoying the benefits of the Events Center.
Whale of a Sale, a massive upscale children’s consignment event featuring toys, furniture and brand name clothing, signed a multi-year deal to host the sale inside the Grand Park Events Center. Whale of a Sale will host five-day, biannual sales in the Events Center in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The date of the first event will be May 9-13, 2017, with an event to follow in September.
This major event is expected to bring more than 5,000 people into the Events Center per sale, with the Events Center working to host more large-scale trade shows and events in 2017, in addition to sporting events.
Other events to look forward to in 2017 include trade shows, volleyball tournaments and more.
“Multiple major collegiate athletic programs have shown interest in practicing inside this state-of-the-art facility,” said William Knox, director of Grand Park. “It has everything these large teams need – a realistic, large-field game experience and training environment, locker rooms and even a full-service bar and restaurant.”
Grand Park Sports Campus
Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana, is a destination like no other. The thoughtfully designed 400-acre Grand Park Sports Campus features 26 baseball and softball diamonds, 31 multipurpose fields for soccer, football, and lacrosse. The Grand Park Events Center is now open, featuring three full-sized indoor soccer fields, a restaurant and administrative offices. The Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse indoor basketball/volleyball facility opened in January 2016. Grand Park also features an abundance of green space and more than 10 miles of pedestrian/bicycle trails, including the largest trailhead on the Monon Corridor.
More than 1.5 million sports visitors are expected to participate in or attend tournaments and events at the Grand Park Sports Campus on an annual basis, making the surrounding area a prime location for economic development. The master plan outlines approximately 1,400 acres of land available for residential and commercial development, including hospitality (hotel, restaurant and retail), mixed-use, life science and corporate office uses.