GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The $3.5 million upgrades to a decades-old West Michigan landmark will soon be unveiled.
The Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium reopens next week.
“In the ’60s, the bleachers and such were put in,” Steve Loftis, the chair of the stadium’s redevelopment, told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday. “They served a terrific purpose.”
But as time went on, it became apparent the space wasn’t living up to its potential.
“It was felt we could do better, and that’s what communities do: communities grind to find that ‘better’ and that’s what we did as a community,” Loftis said.
With the bleachers removed, the Waterfront Stadium boasts a new amphitheater with multilevel seating in an open, green space. There will also be less equipment blocking the view of Lake Michigan.
Though construction started in the fall of 2017, Loftis told 24 Hour News 8 that area leaders and community members began brainstorming ideas four years ago.
“It’s a special place, so we wanted to make sure we got it right,” he said.
The planning team wants people to enjoy picnics and the musical fountain as much as concerts and events, and hopes the openness of the area encourages that.
Physical changes aren’t the only upgrades. Loftis explained that community groups are hoping to also expand year-round programming possibilities.
“We’ve talked about a skating rink,” he said. “Interestingly, we have a little bit of a sports complex that can be used from time to time and volleyball courts and dancing.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for noon on June 21. It will feature free music and activities for the community.
>>App users: Photos of the renovated Waterfront Stadium