The City of Westfield plans to conduct interviews with seven entities who submitted bids for the Grand Park Sports Campus with the hopes of having someone identified by March of next year.
That information from Jeremy Lollar, chief of staff for the city of Westfield, was shared with the city’s Finance Committee during its Dec. 1 meeting at Westfield City Hall as part of a discussion about the next steps ahead for the complex. The latest news from Lollar marks the first time new information was shared publicly after the city released the names of seven firms that submitted proposals in mid-September.
City officials are looking to sell Grand Park or enter a public-private partnership to operate the complex, which is owned by the Westfield Redevelopment Commission. The 400-acre complex, which serves as the training camp for the Indianapolis Colts, has 31 soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds, two administration buildings, seven concession stands and a 378,000-square-foot multi-use event center.
Lollar told the Finance Committee, which consists of City Councilmen Troy Patton, Joe Edwards and Scott Frei, that the city plans to have an internal meeting involving Grand Park Director Matt Trnian, Client Services Manager Rachel Nelson and a panel of six individuals appointed to review proposals. According to Lollar, that meeting will provide insight into the operations and the needs from a capital perspective regarding Grand Park.
When that internal meeting takes place, it will be followed by interviews with all of the firms that submitted proposals, and then the field will be narrowed to the top three or four, Lollar said.
The panel of six individuals will eventually make a recommendation to the Westfield City Council and the city’s Redevelopment Commission regarding the proposals. Those six individuals who will serve on the committee are Brian Tomamichel, chief financial officer with Westfield Washington Schools; Troy Patton, Westfield City Council member; Larry Clarino, board member with the Westfield Public Works and Safety; Dan Moyer, a Westfield business owner; Chuck Lehman, a former Westfield City Council member; and Lollar.
The city received proposals from the following entities:
- Card & Associates Athletic Facilities, LLC
- A confidential client of Cushman & Wakefield
- Indy Sports & Entertainment, LLC and related entity
- Ambassador Enterprises
- REV Entertainment
- Sports Facilities Companies, LLC
- Anytown USA, Inc.
“And then we very likely may enter into additional conversations with those top candidates with the hope of having a group identified by March, which would then start our real conversation associated with negotiation prior to a recommendation to council and the RDC,” Lollar said.
Lollar told the Finance Committee that there are some “interesting proposals,” but said that was all he could say regarding the matter.
“Ultimately, you (the city council) get to decide,” Lollar said. “What this group is going to do is evaluate them and decide if any are worthy of recommendation, and we’ll make that recommendation for you all to decide on.”
Lollar also said that, in his opinion, some of the proposals are better than others, but noted that everyone who submitted bids must be given fair and equal treatment.
Still, Lollar cautioned that while it is unlikely that no viable recommendations will be made, that could remain a possibility. If that occurs, the city could continue to keep the complex and operate the way it has been, he added.
If Westfield were to sell Grand Park, city officials previously said they would use the proceeds to pay off park debt. The city still owes nearly $80 million for the complex.