Inside INdiana Business

Grand Park touts COVID safety efforts

(IIB Photo/Alex Brown)

WESTFIELD, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Officials in Westfield say efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Grand Park Sports Campus after the reopening in mid-May have been successful. The city says more than 613,000 people visited the campus through Labor Day and no COVID-19 outbreaks were detected as a result.

The city did not specify how it came to the conclusion that no cases of COVID were traced back to Grand Park. 

“The data we collected from the summer shows that our protocols worked and that families were willing to travel and participate if it meant allowing their kids to safely play their sports,” said William Knox, director of Grand Park. “When we were developing and researching the Grand Park concept, we were told that youth sports was one of the first industries to rebound in a downturn. The information we are seeing proves that point.”

Grand Park initially closed on March 16 due to the pandemic, which led to more than 250 activities being canceled. The campus began a phased reopening on May 24 with guidelines put in place in conjunction with state and local health departments.

Knox says revenues at the facility in July increased 543% over the previous year. Additionally, Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association Chief Executive Officer Patrick Tamm says having the complex operational created a huge boon for the local hospitality industry.

“Hotels welcomed teams week after week with safe and enhanced protocols,” said Tamm. “Restaurants enjoyed safely serving thousands of guests brought to Indiana solely due to Grand Park. Grand Park and youth travel sports have been more than a lifeline during these challenging times for the hospitality industry. Without Grand Park thousands would be out of work today and many more hospitality businesses would have closed.” 

The city says Grand Park will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of youth athletes, parents and staff.