Groundbreaking Set for the Fox Cities Champion Center
The Fox Cities will make a slam dunk today with the ceremonial groundbreaking of the 164,000 square foot Fox Cities Champion Center. The Town of Grand Chute Community Development Authority is building this premier indoor sports venue on Town-owned land near the corner of Greenville Drive and McCarthy Road.
Scheduled to open in Fall 2019, the Champion Center will be located less than two miles from I-41, the Fox River Mall, Fox Cities Stadium, hotels and dozens of restaurants. The Town of Grand Chute Community Development Authority issued municipal bonds for the construction and equipping of the Champion Center, and has hired Miron Construction Co., Inc. as Construction Manager for the project. The construction bonds will be repaid solely from room tax collected by 10 Fox Cities municipalities. Including the Town of Grand Chute, the other municipalities are the City of Appleton, Village of Fox Crossing, City of Kaukauna, Village of Kimberly, Village of Little Chute, City of Menasha, City of Neenah, Town of Neenah and the Village of Sherwood.
“Grand Chute is pleased to be home to the Fox Cities Champion Center,” Robert Buckingham, Grand Chute Community Development Director, said. “This facility is the perfect anchor project to attract additional businesses and services to this up-and-coming part of the community.”
With a ‘tourism first’ mission, the facility will focus on attracting sports teams from outside the Fox Cities, providing them with the opportunity to participate in tournaments and events. Local user groups will also have access to the space as the facility will complement other existing venues in the area to help fulfill unmet local needs.
“The Fox Cities Champion Center is a game-changer for our sports tourism market,” said Pam Seidl, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This facility is exactly what we need to continue driving growth in this segment of our tourism economy. It will be unique in Wisconsin and one of the best indoor facilities in the upper Midwest.”
The Fox Cities Champion Center will be a combination of ice and hard-court surfaces and will feature a year-round ice rink with seating for up to 1,000, a field-house with four basketball courts or eight volleyball courts, and a seasonal arena that can be an ice rink or four basketball or four volleyball courts. A study commissioned by the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau demonstrated that the facility will bring an estimated economic impact of up to $8.9 million in the first year.
The Fox Cities Champion Center will be operated by the not-for-profit Fox Cities Sports Development, Inc., a subsidiary of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. Sports Facilities Management (SFM) and Appleton Ice, Inc. will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility.
About the Bureau
The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau is an economic development organization that strengthens the Fox Cities by attracting visitors in the convention, sports and leisure markets through sales, marketing and destination development.
Visitor spending in the Fox Cities was more than $470 million in 2017. The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that this direct spending created jobs and $102 million in income for Fox Cities Residents.