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Grand Park will be overseen by new administrators with ambitious plans for the future

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Westfield, Indiana – Grand Park has officially transitioned to new management after an almost two-year process that is now complete.

Grand Park will become a hamlet instead of just the sports facility it is now, according to a plan unveiled Tuesday afternoon. The goal is to keep visitors who come to Westfield for sporting events local and encourage them to spend money there.

”There’s nothing more important in Westfield right now than the success of Grand Park,” said Scott Willis, the Mayor-Elect of Westfield.

Grand Park will now be run by a recently established organization named Grand Park Sports and Entertainment, according to an announcement made by outgoing Westfield Mayor Andy Cook on Tuesday afternoon.

Three distinct local groups comprise it. New Indy Eleven Park in downtown Indianapolis is also being developed by Indianapolis developer Keystone Group. The Indy Eleven’s management company, Indy Sports and Entertainment, will also be engaged. Bullpen Ventures, which now oversees all baseball-related activities at Grand Park, will be the third and last group.

The idea, according to Ersal Ozdemir, chairman and CEO of the Keystone Group and owner of the Indy Eleven, is to create Grand Park Village, a destination with amenities that would turn Grand Park into a year-round tourist destination.

”I don’t think anybody has done what we hope to accomplish here,” said Ozdemir. “There are pieces of it, there are sports complexes not as big of this, they have pieces of what we’re proposing to do.”

Indy Sports & Entertainment also intends to construct a brand-new, top-notch training center at Grand Park for the Indy Eleven and the upcoming women’s professional soccer club. Grand Park has long been the site of Indy Eleven practice sessions.

Grand Park has to step up, according to Willis and Cook, to draw tourists to Westfield.

”Westfield ranks pretty low on the list of destinations of where our visitors for Grand Park are going to have an evening, eating out and staying in hotels and that has to change,” Willis said.

Cook even related an incident in which he received a call regarding that exact idea from Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard.

”One evening I remember he called me, a Saturday evening, and said, ‘Andy, thank you for Grand Park, there are soccer jerseys all over my downtown,’” Cook said.

Cook continued, “Grand Park Village will carry on the great work that Grand Park has done for the entire Hamilton County community.”

Although there are many plans, nothing is finalized just yet. Willis stated that within the following two months, they will work through the private-public agreement before starting to develop a schedule for Grand Park’s growth.

Grand Park will continue to expand in the interim. An unprecedented pickleball competition is scheduled to begin the first week of January.

This is an extended collaboration. Grand Park will remain under Westfield’s ownership, but for the next ten years or more, Grand Park Sports and Entertainment will take charge of running the development and campus.

 

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