Leaders say more to come at 'Grand' sports facility in Westfield

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A brand new sports complex in central Indiana could provide an even greater economic boost than first thought.

This weekend marks the grand opening of Grand Park in Westfield.

The state-of-the-art facility is expected to draw millions of international visitors every year to its sprawling 400 acres of sports playing fields.

"It's beautiful, lots of space," said Linda Croner who came from Kansas City to watch her son play baseball at Grand Park this weekend.

Croner wasn't alone. Thousands joined her, from Wisconsin, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas and Michigan.

They brought their tournaments, their families and their money with them.

"It looks like they put the money into it and I'm sure they're going to be getting their money back out of it," said Lee Streeter from Michigan.

The 45 million dollar sports facility has more than 4 dozen baseball and other fields.

"I thought it was grand. I mean, I really did. I think it's huge. It's beautiful. There's one field after another," said Brighitte Snemis looking across Grand Park's playing fields.

What Snemis was admiring is just the beginning. A  $20-million indoor sports facility is also set to be built, housing three indoor soccer fields, making Grand Park a year round destination.

Plans for the indoor complex were announced Saturday.

"US Soccer will be here for three different events this year alone, with a total of about 7.5 million dollars of economic impact. That's real money being spent in the city of Westfield and Hamilton County," said Don Ross with Indiana Sports Properties.

Money has already poured in since the facility started hosting tournaments in March.

Four hundred thousand visitors from 48 states and Canada have already been to Grand Park, bringing with them 30 million dollars to spend on hotels and restaurants.

That number's only going to grow. Grand Park is booked solid for the rest of the playing season.

"It adds up. That's all part of the tournament experience, but when you have somewhere nice to be, then it's a good thing," said Snemis.

A good thing, that's only going to get better say Westfield's leaders who expect to announce soon a deal to build more hotels and restaurants to accommodate all the visitors expected to fill Grand Park's playing fields and stands.