'Unique' Sports Park Paying Off

Posted: Updated:

The executive director of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau says the organization and region are already reaping the benefits of an arrangement unlike any other in the state. Bob Warren says, since the $16.5 million Deaconess Sports Park opened in May, weekend hotel occupancy rates have reached 90 percent. The park is expected to draw up to 200,000 new visitors each year and have an annual economic impact of between $13 million and $16 million. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Warren says he has not come across another CVB that owns a facility like this in his nearly 30 years in the tourism industry.

As communities continue to compete for local and out-of-town dollars, many just within the last year turned to sports initiatives. One example is Grand Park in Westfield, which city officials say competitions this year will result in more than 500,000 unique park visits this year. Greenwood was moving along with a $22 million sports village and "athlete-minded hotel" before it was put on hold last year after the developer cut ties with funding partners. Construction began around a year ago on a more than $4 million domed athletic facility, The Sparta Sports Dome, in Crown Point. In February, a new sports commission in Fort Wayne called Sport Wayne Inc. was launched with the goal of attracting more sporting events to the community and supporting local programs.

Warren also addressed the planned $61 million downtown Evansville convention hotel. He says he expects final plans to come together by the end of next month. Warren and the rest of his team have been pitching the hotel to potential clients for a year and a half and he says "it's time for it to happen." The scale of the current project has been reduced since previous plans fell through when some private investment money was taken off the table. Warren expects the hotel construction to begin in September.

  • Perspectives

    • How to Find a New Audience After Hitting a Marketing Plateau

      It may sound like a marketer’s dream scenario: efforts have proven to be so successful it appears a company has completely saturated their target audience. While it may be a good problem to have, it still may be a problem. Hitting a marketing plateau is an opportunity for companies in any industry to reevaluate, re-energize and come to the table with new ideas for better understanding existing customers and engaging new audiences.

  • Most Popular Stories

    • (image courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Crews Start Demolition of Carson's in Hammond

      The face of downtown retail in Hammond is changing once again with the demolition of Carson’s department store, the one-time the anchor of Woodmar Mall. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report excavating crews have started to demolish the last vestige of the shopping center which stood since the 1950s. 

    • (image courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      U.S. Steel Cuts Jobs, Low Price Imports Partially to Blame

      Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel has announced it will idle its tin mill operations in East Chicago, affecting nearly 300 workers, half of which will lose their jobs. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report U.S. Steel blames the layoffs on the Del Monte food company which announced its own mass layoffs. 

    • Julie Bondy Roberts

      How Barry Manilow Can Help Tame Your LinkedIn Stage Fright

      My former co-work, Rita, loved Barry Manilow.  She often wore a T-shirt that said, “Never Underestimate the Power of a Barry Manilow Song.” She loved him so much that in one week, she saw him once in Indianapolis and the following weekend she drove up to Chicago to see him. She was our receptionist – and I guarantee you she ate Ramen noodles for a few days to make those two concerts happen. 

    • Eleven Fifty is headquartered at Launch Fishers.

      State to Launch 5G Hub in Downtown Indy

      The state of Indiana has announced plans for what it says is a first-of-its-kind 5G hub. Launching in October, the Indiana 5G Zone aims to "attract business, foster innovation and propel research and development in 5G-enabled advanced technologies." The hub will be located inside the new downtown Indianapolis headquarters of the nonprofit Eleven Fifty Academy. The Indiana 5G Zone will include a 3,000-square-foot research lab, which will be used to develop and test...

    • Gas City Startup Helping Hemp Farmers

      Last month, it became legal for Hoosier farmers to grow hemp and a Gas City-based startup is being aggressive in being among the first to take advantage of market opportunities. Heartland Harvest Processing is helping farmers connect the new agricultural commodity to consumer products, including CBD. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Moorman says the first hemp harvest under the new law is expected to begin next month. In an interview with Business of Health...