Aerial view of the baseball diamond complex at Grand Park in Westfield
PHOTO: WISH-TV

Grand Park, Other Sports Complexes Planning for Return of Youth Sports

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Some youth sports leagues are practicing again, which is allowed now during the third stage of Indiana’s five-stage plan to re-open during the coronavirus pandemic.

So what needs to happen for you to feel safe at your child’s sporting event?

That was one of the questions asked in a national survey conducted by Grand Park in Westfield and the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute. The study asked more than 10,000 parents, coaches, players and administrators to give their thoughts on the changes that need to be made at facilities in order to feel safe.

So what were some of the top results?

“Increased sanitization practices by the venues,” Dr. David Pierce, the director of the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute, told Inside Indiana Business. “That includes lobbies, common areas, high-touch areas.”

He said another popular response was seeing social distancing practices at the venues.

Grand Park Director William Knox says sanitizing venues will cost a lot of money for every sports complex around the state.

“For some facilities, it may not be as much,” Knox said. “But, for us, we’re a 400-acre campus with a multitude of fields, so that amplifies that from our standpoint.”

He said they’ll do it though, hoping that will bring people back. Most youth sports will be allowed to resume competitive games in the fourth stage of Governor Eric Holcomb’s Back On Track plan, which is set to begin later this month. The goal at Grand Park, Knox said, is to eventually host large tournaments in numerous sports once again.

Knox added that 90% of the respondents in the survey were parents, and the majority of them were strongly against the idea of no fans allowed at games.

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