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Boone County / Hamilton County / Regional News

Visits up at Grand Park in 2016

December 22, 2016

The number of visits to the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield exceeded last year's total as well as expectations for this year.

According to year-end data released by the city of Westfield, 750,725 visitors came to the nearly 400-acre park for more than 300 events this year.

Last year, the city said, it recorded 607,670 visitors. That is a significantly lower number than the city initially reported for 2015. In a press release dated Feb. 19, the city had said nearly 1 million people had visited the park.

On Thursday, city spokeswoman Michelle Krcmery said the city later clarified how it defined visitors and adjusted that number.

The city also said Thursday that the total number of visits, which is determined by the number of days visitors go to the park, also increased. In 2016, total visits reached 1.9 million. In comparison, the number was 1.5 million in 2015, according to data calculated by the city.

Total visits this year exceeded last year’s prediction from Applied Economics, which estimated the park would have 1.5 million total visits. Based on that number, Applied Economics suggested the park would have an economic impact of $162.6 million this year.

The data released Wednesday by the city also noted that more than 15,000 teams participated in events at the park and more than 60,000 hotel room nights were generated. The latter is less than last year, when Grand Park visitors accounted for 61,970 hotel room nights.

Krcmery said the area does not have enough hotel rooms to accommodate Grand Park activity and at least one organization canceled an event when it couldn’t find lodging.

The 2016 data was as of Dec. 13 and does not include activity at the privately owned and operated Jonathan Byrd's Fieldhouse that opened in January.

Overall it was a big year at Grand Park with two indoor facilities opening. In addition to the fieldhouse, the Grand Park Events Center opened in July.

Some of the major tournaments that used Grand Park this year include the Big 10 Men’s Soccer Tournament, U.S. Lacrosse Nationals and the Crossroads of America College Showcases. President-elect Donald Trump also used the Grand Park Events Center for a campaign rally before the venue even opened.

In addition to the indoor facilities, the park has 26 baseball and softball diamonds and 31 soccer fields. It recently submitted a bid to become the home of the Little League Central Region headquarters.

This story has been clarified from an earlier version. 

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