WESTFIELD, Ind. — Grand Park in Westfield has been in a peculiar financial state ever since it was completed a decade ago.
The city of Westfield owns and operates the park and is still paying off debt on the property. In the last few years, the city has been looking to find a new operator for the park in order to take some of the burden off the city.
While that process continues to play out, Westfield Mayor Andy Cook does not seem worried about the overall future of the park as it hosts the Indianapolis Colts for training camp leading up to the NFL regular season. He said the Colts being at Grand Park is big for the city.
“Probably our biggest return on Colts camp is the national recognition,” he told Inside Indiana Business. “I can document several cases where people, residents, and business people, their very first introduction to Grand Park was visiting or hearing about the Colts.”
The Colts pay the city of Westfield roughly $650,000 a year for the use of Grand Park for training camp. A recent report to the Westfield Redevelopment Commission suggests the city is losing money on that contract.
In 2022 the city is said to have made around $160,000 in revenue from training camp after having spent north of $700,000 Cook insists that you look past the debt, which he says is being paid thanks to commercial taxes on more businesses being attracted to Westfield.
“If you exclude the debt, the campus purely from an operational standpoint, including the Colts operation, it’s an $8 billion business in revenue,” Cook said. “Last year alone the city netted $2 million in operational profit that we put right back into the park. So does Grand Park make money? Yes, it does.”
As for finding a new operator for the park in the near future, Westfield city leaders have decided to hold off until next year to resume that search. The city has been looking since March of 2022 for someone to either buy the park or enter into a partnership to operate it.
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