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Andy Card brings sport parks to Indiana

By: Samuel Lin

Andy Card, a former driver for his family trucking business, has leapt into another industry: youth sports. After quitting trucking, he has built some of the most massive sports facilities in Indiana.

Card had watched his sons play basketball in poor-quality, shabby gyms. He decided to do something about it, and created new, better, youth sports parks. The youth sports industry is known to be risky, but Card dove straight into it.

“We’re going to stay very focused on athletic facilities,” he said. “This is the second chapter of my business career.”

Card helped build Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana, which opened after two years of construction on June 21, 2014. Today, it a massive 400-acre complex with 31 multi-use grass fields for soccer, football, and lacrosse, 26 baseball or softball diamonds, and three indoor facilities. This summer season, the Indianapolis Colts, an NFL football team, will hold its training camp at Grand Park.

Card plans to open a new sports complex, the Lebanon Fieldhouse, which will cost $40 million to build. It was built on a lot between Ind. 29 and Interstate 65, which had been vacant for years.

“Lebanon has been trying to find the right fit for nearly a decade,” said Lebanon, Indiana, Mayor Matt Gentry about the empty lot. “I can’t even tell you how many offers we got to try to buy the property from us over the years. Various groups suggested everything from a truck stop to an ATV power sports dealership.”

But a sports complex was deemed to be the best option. The massive fieldhouse has an area of 6.2 acres, and contains two soccer or football fields, as well as eight indoor hardwood basketball courts. The Lebanon Fieldhouse will host around 60,000 visitors every month.

“It will be a national presence, but will also be serving the local kids and local community,” Card said of the complex.

The youth sports industry is a big one, because many kids play sports. According to the National Council of Youth Sports, roughly 60 million kids participate in organized sports every year. In the U.S., the industry is worth around $19.2 billion. The NFL is worth only $15 billion. It is estimated that the worldwide youth sports industry will be worth $77.6 billion by 2026!


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