Jonathan Byrd’s secures Grand Park Fieldhouse naming rights

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The $8.1 million indoor basketball and volleyball facility at Grand Park will be known as the Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse.

The Greenwood-based food catering company, which also will have a presence in the indoor soccer facility at Grand Park, agreed to a 10-year deal with fieldhouse developers for naming rights, concession stand management and space for a food court near the front of the building.

GP Fieldhouse rendering

Entrepreneur Andy Card, who is leading the investment group behind the fieldhouse, said it had been actively searching for a naming rights sponsor, mostly focusing on health care providers, before the deal came together with  Jonathan Byrd’s.

“They are just absolutely wonderful people, and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner,” Card said.

He would not specify the cost of the naming rights.

The 87,000-square-foot basketball and volleyball arena will include eight courts that can be converted for multiple sporting events.

Rod Sinn, president of operations for the fieldhouse, said the venue wanted to bring healthier food choices to the athletes and spectators instead of the typical nachos and hot dogs. A smoothie bar and build-your-own sandwich and wrap station will be available in the food court-style cafe.

Jonathan Byrd’s will offer a rotating menu so that visitors will have different options throughout the week, Sinn said.

Card's investment group is offering other local and national sponsorships for clocks, courts, goals and screens. He said he's negotiating with “two of the major” soft drink suppliers for sponsorships of the scoreboards, but didn’t reveal the companies. 

Carmel-based Indy Juniors Inc. also will move its headquarters to the fieldhouse and lease about 5,000 square feet under a five-year deal.

The fieldhouse, which is under construction, has been nicknamed “The Nest." Card said he expects tournaments to play off the name (think "battle at The Nest”) and shirts and decals to display the nickname.

Card said the facility is on schedule for a soft opening in December. The first camp, with more than 2,000 athletes, is scheduled for Jan. 16. The fieldhouse has booked tournaments sponsored by Nike, Under Armour and adidas.

In anticipation of needing more space, Card said an expansion is already planned that would add eight indoor courts plus several indoor and outdoor sand volleyball courts in 2017. He estimated the cost would be at least $8 million.

“Now we’re starting to think about our five-year, 10-year plan, and it’s clear that expansion is in the horizon for 2017,” Card said. “We’re going to have to grow the facility.”

It’s not the first time the project has grown. When it was announced in September 2014, the facility was expected to be 56,000 square feet and have six courts, and the cost was estimated at $6 million.

Card is also partnering with the indoor soccer facility that is expected to open in June 2016 for access to more indoor courts. He said it will help attract national tournaments that usually overlook Indianapolis because facilities are too spread out.

“This enables us to attract a whole different level of customer that Indianapolis couldn't attract before,” Card said.

The 371,000-square-foot indoor soccer facility is being developed by Holladay Properties under a $25 million loan the city of Westfield that's scheduled to be paid back over 25 years. With interest added, the  cost could be nearly $53 million.

"It’s not just a soccer facility,” Card said. “It was intended to do many other things and host many other events.”

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