The Grand Park Events Center has played host to several noteworthy guests, including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2016 and the Indianapolis Colts during summer training camp. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb joined the list Dec. 11 when he chaired a joint public meeting of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. board of directors and the Indiana Economic Development Foundation Inc.
Mayor Andy Cook welcomed the governor prior to the meeting by highlighting Westfield achievements and the role Grand Park plays in the city.
Cook said Grand Park has brought nearly $700 million of commercial tax base to the city that wouldn’t be possible without the sports complex.
“We were able to do this for several reasons – our position in the country, excellent. I know some people criticize, ‘Oh, you’re taking up this valuable agriculture land,’ and I like to say, ‘Well, instead of growing corn, now we’re growing kids,’” Cook said. “That goes over well with our local people, but it has produced exactly what we intended it to do. We are still learning what all this facility can do.”
Cook said it’s been beneficial to Westfield to work with the state on projects.
“What’s happening out here, it’s been a pleasure to cooperate with the state of Indiana, believe me,” he said. “For example, (Grand Park) would not be here if it weren’t for the gift of U.S. 31. The freeway totally has opened this up. That gives us a huge advantage.”
Cook said the culture of sports is one of Indiana’s intangible assets and explained how Westfield is capitalizing on it.
“Indiana is known throughout the world for its sports culture, so we are building on that,” Cook said. “Right now, we are working on the business of sports and advanced manufacturing. We are feeling a lot of potential, a lot of exciting things going on.”
Cook then thanked Holcomb and the IEDC Board of Directors, specifically, for their work in economic development.