Community First Champion Center prepares for opening

The Community First Champion Center, an elite sports and events venue in Grand Chute, is set to open in mid November. The 164,000-square-foot indoor sports complex will feature a fieldhouse with four basketball courts which can be converted into eight volleyball courts, a year round ice rink and a seasonal ice rink that will convert into four basketball courts in the spring and summer. The complex will include locker rooms, pro shops, a lounge area, concessions and cafe areas. 

From hosting sports tournaments to team practices, the Champion Center aims to provide a state-of-the-art sports experience for a diverse community of athletes and families. Conveniently located in the heart of Grand Chute’s retail district, there are 60 restaurants and over 2,000 “team-friendly” hotel rooms within 10 minutes of the complex. 

“We’ve gone to great lengths to build a best-in-the-Midwest type facility in an easy to get to, prime location,” says Matt Ten Haken, sports marketing director for The Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Ten Haken says the Champion Center will drive large numbers of visitors to the area through sporting events hosted at the complex. At peak times the facility is expected to see up to 3,000 people. 

“The tourism dollars that will be coming in by those visiting families and teams coming to the area is really the goal,” Haken says. “Spurring the local economy by visitor spending, hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions is the number one goal.”

However, there will be plenty of opportunities for the public to visit the center with open gym times as well as court and ice rink rentals. 

The budget for the complex topped out at $31 million. It is funded by hotel and motel room tax, meaning no local taxpayer money is being used for its construction.

The opening of the Champion Center means there is a demand for employees to work at concession stands, as ticket takers, custodians and much more. 

“The last piece we need to really make a top notch facility is the staff,” Haken says. “All those visitors are going to need to be welcomed when they come to the facility so it’s really critical that we hire a lot of people to run a very large facility.” 

For more information on the Community First Champion Center, visit

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