Two Indiana sports complexes have set grand opening events. The 350-acre Grand Park in Westfield will officially open this weekend and a July grand opening is set for the first phase of the multi-million dollar Hoosier Athletic Center in Brownsburg.

June 18, 2014

News Release

Westfield, Ind. — Grand Park will hold its official opening celebration beginning Friday, June 20 through Sunday, June 22. Called “Indiana's Grandest Weekend,” the event will feature live music, food offerings, a beer garden, fireworks and a 50-foot Ferris wheel.

“While designed to attract sports visitors from across the country, Grand Park was always intended to be a gathering place for our community to enjoy,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. “We're so excited to welcome Westfield residents to celebrate the opening of their Grand Park.”

The event weekend kicks off Friday evening at 6 p.m. with a concert featuring Dave & Rae.

Saturday’s activities include a grand ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. with Governor Mike Pence, Mayor Cook, Indy Eleven Head Coach Juergen Sommer and other officials, followed by outdoor concerts featuring Circle City Royals from 3:30-6:30 p.m. and The Wright Brothers Band from 7-10 p.m. The night ends with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. visible throughout the park. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs to enjoy the concerts and festivities.

Visitors to the park will also be able to watch games of the Hoosier Lacrosse Tournament, Perfect Game Super 25 Baseball Tournament and American Softball Association State Championships taking place that weekend.

The Grand Opening event continues on Sunday at 8 a.m. with “A Grand Run” 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk presented by Wellbrooke of Westfield. The 5K course tours through the extensive trail system at the park with views of the 26 baseball fields and 31 multipurpose fields. Online registration is available at www.getmeregistered.com.

More details about the event weekend can be found online at www.grandpark.org.

Food will include favorites such as funnel cakes, elephant ears, soft serve ice cream, corn dogs, tenderloins and kettle corn. The beer tent will feature Coors Lite, Upland Wheat, Blue Moon, Triton Rail Splitter IPA, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and two beers from Grand Junction Brewery.

There will also be a Kid’s Zone, complete with football long toss, a foot golf course, race to home base and guess your pitch.

Attendees of the Grand Opening celebration are encouraged to bring any new or gently used sports equipment items to donate to the Geared for Health program. Geared for Health: Sports Equipment for Kids is a program that distributes donated sports equipment FREE to not-for-profit, youth-serving organizations.

Indiana Sports Corporation, WTHR 13, Jay’s Moving Company, LIDS and Finish Line support this program to help keep kids active and fit plus make sports more accessible to underserved youth. Since 2009, over 227 organizations and 210,000 kids across the state of Indiana have been served with donated gear. The need is significant and currently not all requests for gear can be fulfilled.

Source: City of Westfield

June 18, 2014

News Release

Brownsburg, Ind. — The first phase of a multi-million dollar facility that will bring thousands of visitors to Hendricks County is completed and a July 12 grand opening has been set.

The first phase of the Hoosier Athletic Center includes four lighted softball diamonds and a two-story clubhouse and concession stand along U.S. 136 on the eastern edge of Hendricks County across from Lucas Oil Raceway. Adult men’s, women’s and co-ed slowpitch softball leagues and tournaments begin this month with some youth and adult fastpitch softball tournaments mixed in this year.

But that is just the beginning, as owner Harrison Epperly and the park's general manager, Merri Taylor, have even bigger plans for the park including two more phases over the next 5-10 years that would bring indoor facilities and more outdoor fields onto the nearly 100 acres of land at 10508 E. U.S. 136 between Brownsburg and Clermont.

Epperly estimates a $10 million-$15 million total investment when all three phases are complete. A Jackson Research and Consulting study completed for Epperly in May 2011 estimates an annual gross revenue once all three phases are operational ranging from $853,600 to more than $1.2 million.

“We eventually are hoping to host college softball tournaments and even go after national tournaments when we expand to more fields,” said Taylor, who has more than 25 years of experience running sports facilities including a 10-year stint with Indy Parks.

Phase 2, which could begin as early as next spring and be completed sometime in 2016, will include a 250,000-square-foot indoor facility for basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball as well as housing a workout facility, Epperly said. The facility also will include 300 parking spaces initially with room to grow to more than 450 spots upon completion of all three phases.

“The opening of this first-class facility is just a part of what is happening with sports tourism here in Hendricks County,” said Jaime Bohler Smith, executive director of Visit Hendricks County. “We've all recognized at the county and town level the economic impact sporting events can have in the area – from large spectator events at Lucas Oil Raceway to tournaments that will be hosted at not only this new facility but places like the Al & Jan Barker Sports Complex and Capitol Sports Center – and it’s time to capitalize on the great services and venues we have to offer.”

Taylor already has a number of tournaments lined up this year at Hoosier Sports Center including an ASA-sanctioned Fastpitch Softball event June 20-22, a couple of Men’s state tournaments in July and August and a Hall of Fame Youth National Qualifier in September.

She said future plans may include looking at opportunities to host youth baseball and softball events.

Adult summer softball leagues at the park are set to begin June 22 with an official grand opening July 12 that will be open to the public and include activities and refreshments.

“I am just so excited that we’ve reached this point,” Epperly said. “I've had a lot of sleepless nights working to make this a reality.”

The Hendricks County Tourism Commission d/b/a Visit Hendricks County attracts visitors to the county by promoting and developing tourism, which stimulates economic growth and enhances quality of life. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitHendricksCounty and become a fan for updates and reminders, contest info and much more. You can also follow us on Twitter @HendricksCounty or get updates by following or subscribing to our tourism blog at TourHendricksCounty.com/blog. For more information, visit our website at TourHendricksCounty.com or call (317) 718-8750.

Source: Hendricks County Tourism Commission

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