Westfield, IN – Today the City of Westfield and the Grand Park Sports Campus launched the new Grand Park Research & Development HUB. The HUB will serve as a center of innovation for entrepreneurs, businesses and universities that are developing new technologies, services and research projects related to facilities and activities within the sports tourism industry.
“Grand Park is the largest sports complex of its kind in the country,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. “There is no better place for ideas, technologies and research opportunities around sport to be originated, vetted and eventually launched into the marketplace.”
“Our goal is for the HUB to use our 400 acres for advancing every aspect of sport,” said Grand Park Director William Knox. “With the proliferation of competitive and recreational sports, there is opportunity to innovate in the areas of safety, technology, marketing, nutrition and understanding. Youth sports, specifically, is now a $19 billion industry. We can play a part in making it safer and more accessible.”
The HUB will accept business and research partners focused on the areas of professional, youth and recreational sports clubs and teams, accredited universities and educators, national governing bodies and local hospitality and sports tourism partners.
“The breadth of opportunity for partners is broad,” remarked Jessi Stas, Partner Coordinator for the Grand Park Research and Development HUB. “Whether focus groups are needed to vet an initial concept, a product is in its beta testing phase, qualitative and quantitative data needs to be aggregated or if there is an opportunity to take a product or service to the next level, the HUB will accommodate all iterations of research and development.”
The HUB has two key tracts, commercial innovation/development and institutional research. In the area of commercial innovation and development, the HUB is announcing its Phase 1 partners including Spotz, Sport Aware, RefReps and ZoneIn. Each company is housed or has deployed its products on campus.
“Our partnership with Grand Park and its new Research and Development HUB provides us with an opportunity to expand on a foundation of software that will change the way sports are consumed,” says Rob Corsi, Sport Aware Co-owner. “We are excited to work with Grand Park to test our newest features and deliver them to all who visit the campus.”
The HUB will also be a center for institutional research. The IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute is the first partner university working with the HUB. Along with research projects, the HUB will develop educational and internship opportunities at the high school, college and post-graduate levels. Additionally, Hamilton County Tourism, with its robust data analytics program, will contribute toward research as it relates to the growing sports tourism industry.
“Our goal is to set the industry standard for how universities partner with sports businesses to benefit students, communities and participants,” David Pierce, Ph.D, IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute Director.
“Hamilton County Tourism regularly uses geo location data, research panels, impact studies and other forms of intelligence to provide insights and number-driven data to help inform our decisions,” said Jordan Musall, Data Intelligence Manager for the organization. “Our goal is to work with the HUB to use this data to better understand the visitor profile and enhance the overall visitor experience at Grand Park and see how that can be applicable across the global sports hospitality landscape. We have been a strong tourism and business development partner of Grand Park’s since the beginning, and now are excited to dive into this new research avenue with them.”
For more information about the Grand Park Research and Development HUB and its partner organizations, visit grandpark.org/hub.
About Westfield and Grand Park: Westfield is located just north of Indianapolis, Indiana. It is home to almost 40,000 people and the Grand Park Sports Campus. Grand Park is a 400+ acre sports complex, with 31 outdoor fields, 26 baseball diamonds, the 370,000 sq. ft. Grand Park Events Center, the 88,000 sq. ft. Pacers Athletic Center for basketball and volleyball and the Pro-X Athlete Development Center. The campus boasts more than 2.5 million visits a year and has spurred more than $1 billion of economic development in Westfield since its inception. Westfield is located within one day’s drive of more than half of the United States population and within 40 minutes of the award-winning Indianapolis International Airport.