WESTFIELD, Ind. – Youth sports are on hold, for now, at a time when thousands of athletes would be practicing and playing in tournaments.
The fields are closed, bleachers are empty and the few who are visiting Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield are there for COVID-19 testing.
“We’ve discovered a lot of uses over the last five years for this unique building behind us and a lot of non-sporting events,” said Mayor Andy Cook.
It’s a sight Cook never imagined and when it’s safe to do so he’s ready for games to resume.
“We’re ready, we just need to make sure we do it correctly,” Cook added.
He says it’s been a challenge financially, as the complex plays a huge role in the economy.
“Two, three hundred million dollars of normal spent throughout all of Central Indiana on food, lodging, entertainment, travel and that money day by day is not coming in,” said Cook.
“We’re still evaluating different plans for the campus and how we can return to play, safely,” William Knox added, the Director of Grand Park.
He’s taken the guidance from the Governor’s office to create a re-opening plan, along with talking with sport industry leaders across the country to answer many of the unknown.
“What does it look like for Indiana specifically, and how we can provide some additional guidance to the Governor if he so chooses to talk about sports tourism, particularly,” Knox added.
According to the three-step plan that Grand Park is following as of right now, May 24 practices will resume at the complex. 100 people per defined space per sport. Grand Park will re-open and be available as a local green space for the community and the park will be open for teams who would like a safe place to practice (one team per field), as long as they are adhering to government guidelines.
On June 14, step-two would begin by allowing modified tournaments. 250 people per defined space per sport. All events will follow social distancing guidelines and Grand Park is strongly recommending people who are able to, to wear a mask.
On July 4, all activity would resume to standard operations with revised guidelines to keep everyone safe.
“Hand washing and sanitizing stations, limiting congregating at the restroom and concession facilities,” said Knox, “We’re hopeful we can get to a point where we can get kids back outside, soon.”
It’s important to note that these dates could change depending on any updated guidance from the Governor’s office. Click here to read Grand Park’s three-step plan.