Pepsi signs on as Grand Park’s official thirst quencher

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PepsiCo will pay at least $2 million for a decade of exclusive “pouring rights” at Westfield’s sprawling Grand Park Sports Campus.

The deal announced Thursday establishes Pepsi as the official beverage provider at the 360-acre youth sports complex, slated to debut next year with 31 soccer fields and 26 baseball diamonds. The drink maker’s iconic brands—including on-field staple Gatorade—will be available at the park’s eight concession stands.

Westfield is set to receive a $500,000 down payment in September, Mayor Andy Cook said, and the balance in annual payments over the 10-year term of the agreement. The total could increase if sales exceed expectations.

The city will keep the proceeds of concession sales, sponsorships and naming right deals at the $45 million complex. It plans to use the money to maintain common areas at the sports park, which include about 10 miles of multiuse trails.

Day-to-day operations will be managed by youth-sports organizations: the Indiana Bulls will host baseball tournaments at the complex, and the Indiana Soccer Association will handle the other side.

They’ll keep all field-use fees in exchange for assuming the responsibility for (and expense of) maintaining the sports facilities, Cook said.

With this first deal done—and the sports park starting to take shape—the mayor expects to start aggressively marketing the park to potential partners. Near the top of his list: an “official” medical provider to treat sports injuries.

“This is the first of many,” he said. “We’ve really just begun marketing sponsorships and naming rights. Investors want to see grass on the ground.”

Cook hopes that’s not the only green that sprouts from Grand Park. At his urging, the city is making a $45 million bet that the sports complex will draw scores of visitors both on and off the fields—and the businesses that want a share of their discretionary dollar.

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