Ferris wheel, beer garden (and youth sports) on tap for Westfield grand opening

June 18, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Nearly 350,000 visitors have lined the fields at Westfield’s Grand Park Sports Campus since competition kicked off this spring, and now the city is hosting a three-day grand-opening celebration that promises to live up to the description.

The party starts Friday, with a 6 p.m. parking lot concert by local favorites Dave & Rae, a festival-like food court complete with beer garden (yes, some local brews will be on tap) and free rides on a 50-foot Ferris wheel offering a view of the whole 400-acre park.

Saturday’s festivities include the expected ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m.—with a grand twist. The ribbon Mayor Andy Cook, Gov. Mike Pence and others will snip from the stage stretches 1,000 feet from end to end. (A thousand=a grand, get it?)  

Then comes a pair of concerts (Circle City Royals at 3:30 and Wright Brothers Band at 7) leading up to a 10 p.m. fireworks show.

The celebration wraps up early Sunday with a 5K race and shorter fun run through the complex, starting at 8 a.m. (Find the full schedule here.)

Oh, and don’t forget the main attraction: youth sports.

This weekend’s schedule includes a lacrosse tournament (fields F2-F8), baseball tournament (diamonds D1-D8) and championship softball (D21-D26).

Grand Park is the largest such complex in the United States, with 26 baseball diamonds and 31 multi-use fields. The $45 million park is an economic development play for Westfield, which hopes to draw businesses interested in the youth-sports market.

Nationwide, more than one-third of all tourism spending is tied to youth sports, according to the Michigan-based Travel and Tourism Research Association. Parents were expected to spend $8.1 billion last year on travel alone.

Cook expects commercial development to take off now that the park is open and crowds are exceeding expectations. Organizers projected opening-year attendance of 500,000—a mark the park likely will surpass well before season’s end.

“Those people want to see the numbers, and we’re producing the numbers,” he said.

___

Click here for more of IBJ's coverage of Grand Park.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  2. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  3. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  4. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

  5. I live downtown Indy and had to be in downtown Chicago for a meeting. In other words, I am the target demographic for this train. It leaves at 6:00-- early but doable. Then I saw it takes 5+ hours. No way. I drove. I'm sure I paid 3 to 5 times as much once you factor in gas, parking, and tolls, but it was reimbursed so not a factor for me. Any business traveler is going to take the option that gets there quickly and reliably... and leisure travelers are going to take the option that has a good schedule and promotional prices (i.e., Megabus). Indy to Chicago is the right distance (too short to fly but takes several hours to drive) that this train could be extremely successful even without subsidies, if they could figure out how to have several frequencies (at least 3x/day) and make the trip in a reasonable amount of time. For those who have never lived on the east coast-- Amtrak is the #1 choice for NY-DC and NY-Boston. They have the Acela service, it runs almost every hour, and it takes you from downtown to downtown. It beats driving and flying hands down. It is too bad that we cannot build something like this in the midwest, at least to connect the bigger cities.

ADVERTISEMENT