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Grand Action 2.0 reveals "Venue & Attraction Development for Grand Rapids" study recommendations

Grand Action 2.0, Co-chairs Tom Welch, Carol Van Andel and Dick DeVos photo
Grand Action 2.0

It’s been four years since Grand Action – now Grand Action 2.0 - commissioned a study examining what venues and attractions are needed for maintaining and expanding area as a visitor destination. Monday, an update at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids’ luncheon. 

Grand Action is the business-based nonprofit behind the construction of Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and the Downtown Market.

In 2016, Minneapolis-based Convention, Sports and Leisure, International determined DeVos Place Convention Center needs expansion. In particular developing an additional 10,000 to 15,000 square feet of meeting space over the next five years.

“And then as we get into year five and beyond, hopefully our hotel project is advanced substantially so that we can start coming out of the ground with it, 300 to 500 rooms.”

John Kaatz is Principal at CSL. He explains this builds on convention momentum pre-pandemic. Construction of a 7,000 seat multi-use soccer stadium is also recommended for the launch of a USL Champion’s League soccer team once an ownership group is identified.

Enticing riverfront properties for development are at Market and Fulton and the City of Grand Rapids’ property at 201 Market. An outdoor amphitheater fits both, and not to compete with Van Andel Arena.

“So, we’re looking at 25 concerts for the amphitheater. The symphony’s with their Picnic Pops is an opportunity there. Comedy shows. Other performances. YouTube performers, et cetera to populate the calendar of 40 events a year roughly, and 261,000 attendees.”

Kaatz says the amphitheater location would be designed as a 365-days a year community gathering space.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.