The second base plate on one of the Greenwood Sports Park’s diamonds is pictured Tuesday.

Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

What was once a farm field near an interstate interchange in Greenwood has become a hotbed of activity with the construction of a new sports complex.

As soon as this fall, the public can experience the park first-hand.

Years of work are nearing completion as the Greenwood Sports Park approaches its grand opening. Construction of the approximately $10 million sports park began in 2022 on 40 acres of land northwest of the Worthsville Road and Interstate 65 interchange.

The plans called for an expansive sports park to include eight baseball/softball diamonds and a multi-use playing field. It will also include the city’s second splash pad, and add to Greenwood’s inventory of inclusive playground equipment, according to designs for the project.

The park will also provide a place for traveling sports teams and their families too, officials said.

On Tuesday, the city’s vision for the park could be seen clearly. The eight diamonds have been installed, as were the fixtures for the playground, splash pad and more. The asphalt is set for the parking lot and multi-use trails.

Months ahead of the opening, some work is ongoing. The padding for the playground was still being installed, as were lighting fixtures both around the property and inside the viewing boxes that tower above the diamonds. Inside the viewing boxes and their concession area, work on wiring and the installation of fixtures was ongoing.

Right now, the concession stands have no equipment, but that’ll change as the opening gets closer. Concrete has been poured and set for the park’s planned batting cages, though they haven’t been installed yet. Work was also needed for the park’s planned multi-use playing field.

Contractors were all around the park Tuesday working on completing the multi-million project. While there were some issues with weather and supply backlogs, the park is in really good shape to open this fall, said Rob Taggart, parks and recreation executive director.

“We’re looking at and circling fall on our calendars to start activating this park,” Taggart said.

The expected age range for park users is 14 or younger, from both a tournament and a parks program standpoint, Taggart said.

A majority of the funds used for construction of the park come from a $9 million million tax increment financing, or TIF, bond approved by the city council in 2022. The bond will pull revenues received from the Worthsville Road TIF district, with the remaining $1 million being paid with park impact fees and operating funds. Park impact fees are collected from each new home built in the city to create and maintain park facilities.

From an economic development angle, the park is expected to boost the city’s restaurants, hotels and shops. With the traveling teams expected to come and utilize the park, Mayor Mark Myers expects there to be an increase in patronage of these businesses, he said.

For example, parents might drop their kids off at the sports park to play before going to the Greenwood Park Mall to shop, Myers said.

“It’ll just boost this entire area of the southside because this is one thing that we are lacking on the southside of Indianapolis,” he said.

The development is “really important” for the parks department because it meets a recreation deficiency for the southeast quadrant of the city. Before the sports park, the closest recreation amenity on this side of the city was University Park — about four miles away, he said.

Having a sports park also checks off other things for the city. It adds more recreation with the playground, multi-use trails and programs the department can offer too, along with the possibilities for weekend tournaments, he said.

The Greenwood Sports Park also fits into one of Myers’ pillars of the city — quality of life. The sports park is just one more thing that will get people out and active, while also appealing to the different types of residents who live in the community, he said.

“We want to get all of them involved,” Myers said.

Myers also highlighted the walking trail surrounding the perimeter of the park. It is designed to wrap around the area in such a way that parents can take a walk while keeping an eye on their children, he said.

It’s also a place that builds community, he said.

“It’ll be one more place to bring our residents out and allow them to get to know each other, get to understand each other better and build better relationships within our own community,” Myers said.

Once it is completed, Myers is most looking forward to seeing the park full of families and people having a good time, he said.

As for Taggart, he is most looking forward to seeing the completion of nearly three years of planning and work. Officials and the design team planned the Greenwood Sports Park holistically so that each part of the park works with each other as one unit. It’s interconnected, he said.

“It’s all one big showpiece,” Taggart said.

He’s also excited to see the various patrons of the park and hearing feedback from the public, he said.