Games kicking off at Westfield's Grand Park

March 11, 2014
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Competition at Westfield’s massive Grand Park Sports Campus kicks off this weekend—literally.

Westfield Youth Soccer Association is hosting a pair of so-called college showcases featuring the top travel teams from Westfield Select Soccer Club. The boys take the field(s) March 14-16, starting with a 6:30 p.m. Friday matchup between the U18 Premier teams from Carmel United and Westside United. Girls’ teams compete March 21-23.

College coaches from across the country are expected to attend.

In the works since 2010, the 400-acre park is an economic development play for Westfield. The city is looking to increase commercial investment and diversify its tax base. Officials hope businesses are drawn to the million-plus visitors expected to flock to the facilities each year.

Youth soccer teams began practicing under the lights at Grand Park this week, Mayor Andy Cook said Monday.

“It’s happening,” he told the Westfield City Council.

Billed as the largest youth-sports complex in the country, Grand Park will have 26 diamonds for baseball and softball and 31 multipurpose fields for soccer, lacrosse, football, rugby and field hockey. Two indoor facilities also are planned.

Although the harsh winter has slowed construction at the park, the games must go on. (A baseball game also is scheduled for Friday night.)

City Council members on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance regulating food vendors in Westfield. The measure allows food trucks to roll into town on an invitation-only basis for special events, neighborhood parties and to serve large employers.

Grand Park is largely off-limits, but a “clean zone” around the park included in an early version of the ordinance has been eliminated.

Westfield isn’t charging mobile vendors a fee, but it imposed a fine of $100-$300 per violation for rogue food trucks. That could add up, given its definition of an offense: Each unauthorized transaction counts as a violation.

  • Facts
    Actually the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN., is the largest sports complex in the country, approx. 600 acres. NSC is the world's largest soccer complex, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. How are the attendance numbers keep getting hyped up for Grand Park? Click on the first link and an older article says 400,000 estimated for first year, but GP's website says 1.5 million? C'mon.
  • More facts
    Waldo, the Blaine complex does have more soccer fields than Westfield's, with 52, but it has no baseball fields and it just nixed plans to add some. It does have an indoor baseball training facility.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.