Westfield strikes 40-year, $300M deal for partnership to manage Grand Park Sports Campus

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The new Indy Eleven youth academies will be based at Grand Park in Westfield.

Westfield has selected a consortium of firms to manage and further develop the 400-acre Grand Park Sports Campus after a search that lasted nearly two years.

Four entities will form Grand Park Sports & Entertainment to take over the 9-year-old sports campus through a public-private partnership, Mayor Andy Cook announced Tuesday at a press conference.

Under the partnership, future plans for Grand Park include a mix of restaurants, hotels, public spaces, a mixed-use complex with residential, office and retail spaces, and a state-of-the-art sports facility, Cook said.

Grand Park Sports & Entertainment is a partnership of Indianapolis-based Keystone Group, Indy Sports & Entertainment, Indy Eleven and Westfield-based Bullpen Ventures.

Westfield will retain ownership of Grand Park. The city and Grand Park Sports & Entertainment have signed a memorandum of understanding for the group to manage and develop the sports campus for 40 years.

Under the terms of the deal, Grand Park Sports & Entertainment will pay the city $300 million over the 40-year term, according to Chief of Staff Jeremy Lollar. In turn, the group will reap revenues from operating and developing the campus.

The Westfield City Council will need to approve the deal next year.

“Like any thriving business, you know that a business that is not growing is going backwards, and Grand Park deserves to go forward,” Cook said. “We have a baseball partner, a soccer partner and we have a development partner. It’s going to be an absolutely perfect combination that will take Grand Park literally to the next level.”

Grand Park has 31 soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds, two administration buildings, seven concession stands and a 378,000-square-foot multi-use event center. The Indianapolis Colts moved their annual summer training camp to the park in 2018.

Initial additions to Grand Park are expected to include a new training facility for the Indy Eleven and the Eleven’s new USL Super League women’s professional team. Indy Eleven currently trains at Grand Park, and is planning a 20,000-seat stadium in downtown Indianapolis as part of its Eleven Park development.

Keystone Group would develop Grand Park Village, which would be a mixed-use entertainment development with restaurants, hotels, a food hall, offices and open public space.

“Today, we make a joint commitment with the goal of transforming this complex not only into the biggest sports complex in the country, but with a true live, work, play and stay village,” Keystone Group President Ersal Ozdemir said.

The Westfield Redevelopment Commission released a request for proposals in March 2022 seeking a new owner or operator of the sports campus and events center.

The city announced in September 2022 that seven proposals were under consideration. At that time, the city was trying to determine if it would sell Grand Park or operate it through a public-private partnership.

The city initially considered selling Grand Park. In its request for proposals last year, Westfield valued Grand Park at just less than $204 million. In March, Westfield announced the city would not sell the sports campus.

Westfield calculated that Grand Park attracted 3.2 million visitors last year.

“It just tells how Grand Park has so far exceeded our goals, our expectations, our performance, and as we look at it now, it’s time to literally take it to the next level,” Cook said.

The committee reviewing proposals for Grand Park consisted of Brian Tomamichel, Westfield Washington Schools chief financial officer; Troy Patton, Westfield City Council member; Larry Clarino, Westfield Public Works and Safety board member; Dan Moyer, Westfield business owner; and Chuck Lehman, former Westfield City Council member.

“They did a lot of heavy lifting to get it to this point,” Mayor-elect Scott Willis said. “Buckle up. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

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14 thoughts on “Westfield strikes 40-year, $300M deal for partnership to manage Grand Park Sports Campus

    1. The NPV is a function oif both the 40 year term as well as the discount rate that you apply to it.

    2. …and Westfield has spent close to $80 million on the park and facilities, if I’m adding up the dollars mentioned in the story. So it’s a face saving wash sale…

  1. Would have been nice to have a graduated deal that increased each 5 or 10 years. At least the city council rightfully backed off of their idea to sell it. NPV is a great perspective!

  2. I want to say that Keystone Group, Indy Sports & Entertainment, and Indy Eleven are the same ownership. Bullpen Ventures is a separate entity. 2 groups managing the property……

  3. Well at least Andy Cook unloaded his marquis turd before he left office…..Of course tax payers will have to pay if it doesnt meet a performance standard…

  4. Question how much of an economic impact that translates to for Westfield. The Westfield restaurant Red Haberino had a sign saying you must order food What was happening was these traveling sports team were taking up table space and ordering drinks but eating food that their moms had made for them. I think these traveling sports teams travel pretty economically.

    1. That’s just flat rude by the parents and the restaurant should have tossed them.

      You are correct – teams frequently travel with big coolers of their own food because it’s long days in facilities sometimes far away from food/drink options. You also might find yourself in a hotel in a downtown area on a weekend which lots of other options being closed by the time you get done playing at 10pm. And, yes, there’s the economic aspect.

      So if Westfield is going to collect taxes on this new Grand Park Village? Might turn out to be an OK deal. If they give Ozdemir a TIF, it’s a big mistake.

      From this very publication:

      No-holds-barred tactics lifted developer Ozdemir
      “He’s the master of public subsidy—getting public dollars into projects,” said a former high-ranking Keystone employee who spoke with IBJ on condition of anonymity. “But he wants everything to be completely closed book. His experience tells him you can do both.”

      https://www.ibj.com/articles/46528-no-holds-barred-tactics-lifted-developer-ozdemir

  5. Ozedmir has made millions off of deals with cities. He will not build anything without Tax Incentive Financing. In the real world without taxpayer subsidy Ozedmir went bankrupt. A 40 yr deal is ridiculous and no city council should approve something that long term. NPV proves this is not a good deal.

    1. Yes, unfortunately I will have to get involved in Westfield politics now and make sure we don’t do a deal with this charlatan.

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