Grand Park had $150M economic impact in 2015, study says

Grand Park Sports Campus topped 1 million visitors last year, which helped to more than double visitor spending in the region and push the economic impact to more than $150 million, a new study finds.

The 360-acre sports park in Westfield, which officials have describe as an economic development tool, includes 31 soccer fields, 26 baseball and softball diamonds and the recently opened Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse featuring eight basketball and volleyball courts.

According to the study by Phoenix-based Applied Economics and commissioned by the city of Westfield, the park had 1.3 million visitors in 2015—up from 906,796 in 2014—representing a 53 percent increase.

And most visitors came from outside of Westfield. Nearly 80 percent of the baseball and softball visitors were from other cities and 64 percent of soccer visitors were not locals. Most of the visits represented overnight trips.

The increase in visitors also brought a jump in spending, the study says. In 2014, visitors spent $43.9 million and that increased to $97.2 million in 2015. It is expected to increase another 8 percent this year.

The average visitor spent $86.14 in 2014, and that increased to $97.39 in 2015. Most of the spending continues to go toward food and nearly all of it is done off site.

The report used information from a Rockport Analytics study conducted for the Indiana Office of Tourism Development that assumes the average overnight guest spends $143 per day on food, lodging, transportation, entertainment and retail purchases. An average day trip visitor spends $45 per day.

Applied Economics conducted a similar study of Grand Park for the city after the 2014 season and estimated the park would attract 1 million visitors and have an economic impact of $100 million in 2015.

According to the updated report, the park had an economic impact of $150.9 million in 2015.

In 2016, the park is expected to see 1.5 million visitors and have an economic impact of $162.6 million.

This year is already off to a good start for the park. The indoor basketball and volleyball fieldhouse officially opened Jan. 5, and the indoor soccer arena should open this summer. A hotel is also expected to open next to the soccer arena by the end of July.

The study also included information on how much tax revenue the park has generated. In 2015, visitors and workers paid $4.6 million in local taxes and $7.7 million in state taxes. Both figures represent an increase in 2014 and are estimated to increase again in 2016.

The city paid $5,400 for the study.

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