Norwalk's proposed new sports campus, the heart of the multimillion-dollar downtown area, officially has a name: Gregg Young Automotive Sports Campus at Norwalk Central.
When completed, the 70-acre Norwalk Center, located on the east side of Highway 28 between Beardsley Street and High Road, will include homes, shops, restaurants, outdoor walking paths, parks and an amphitheater. The focal point is the $30 million Gregg Young Auto Sports facility, which will offer grass fields and indoor facilities for a variety of sports that officials hope will attract youth sports tourism and recreation centers to the growing city.
Ryan Patrick, vice president of Great Plains Sponsorships, said Omaha-based Gregg Young Automotive Group was a perfect fit for Norwalk because of the group's "commitment to the community." The automaker has 13 locations in Iowa, including Gregg Young's Chevrolet Norwalk, which is located across the street from the proposed campus. This will be the company's first naming rights deal in Iowa.
Norwalk, Iowa City Hall is pleased to announce the name of Norwalk Central Sports College. Through the Great Plains partnership and Sportsplex West Sponsorship, the campus will be called the Gregg Young Chevrolet Automotive Sports Campus (Gregg Young Chevrolet Norwalk) in Norwalk Central. The state-of-the-art high-tech complex will include two 10-acre outdoor fields for a variety of sports, including football, soccer, baseball and softball. Hall Sports Center Excellence, which will have four basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts, common areas for programs and events, and concessions. There will be an indoor training center and programs for the development of athletes and players. The owner is contracted with a physiotherapy partner and is currently working with retailers and restaurants.
Published by City of Norwalk, Iowa City Hall on Friday January 13, 2023
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“Since we purchased this business in May 2014, we have always made a conscious effort to support any local business or need in Norwalk,” Gregg Young CEO Gary Burton said in a statement. "…All of us in Norwalk and our neighbors will benefit from this outstanding sports complex."
Officials did not say how much the company would contribute to the facility to secure the naming rights, only that it was an exclusive "multi-year" deal with the city. The campus also has seven to eight charter members, but they have yet to be identified.
When will the Norwalk Athletic Campus open?
The first phase of the campus, with two outdoor multi-sports courts, is expected to open in late April, Patrick said. Additional facilities are expected to open in late 2023 or early 2024, and more Norwalk Central developments will follow in the coming years.
"The Gregg Young Auto Sports campus in Norwalk Central will be a key landmark, attracting thousands of visitors from across the region," Hollie Zajicek, director of economic development for Norwalk, said in a statement. "We've all worked very hard to bring the whole concept together for over five years and are now seeing the development of many of the components that make Norwalk Central so unique."
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What will be held at the Norwalk Sports Campus?
Patrick said the Gregg Young Mobile Sports Campus will serve as the "gateway" to the $300 million Norwalk Central Campus.
Sports campus officials have estimated that the facility will welcome nearly 900,000 visitors in its first year. He already has 35 tournaments lined up for next weekend, Patrick said.
The "sophisticated, state-of-the-art" campus will feature two 4-acre outdoor fields for a variety of sports including football, soccer, baseball and softball. The facility will also include the City's Recreation Center of Excellence, which will have four landscaped basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts, common areas for programs and events, and concessions.
There will be an indoor training center and development programs for athletes and players. The owner is contracted with a physiotherapy partner and currently works with retailers and restaurants.
Virginia Barreda is a Des Moines city reporter for The Register. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @vbarreda2.
This article originally appeared on The Des Moines List: Gregg Young Chevrolet wins naming rights to Norwalk Sports Central campus