When future generations of baseball lovers step into the West Michigan Sports Commission’s $7.8 million baseball-softball complex, they will read the name of not only the stadium, but of the man looking to leave his philanthropic mark in West Michigan.


With a commitment of $1.8 million to the complex, Art Van Elslander, owner of Art Van Furniture, recently won the naming rights to the future complex site at 10 Mile Road and U.S. 131 in Plainfield Township.


By John Gregory | Rockford Squire


The West Michigan Sports Commission received another boost in their fund raising efforts to build a twelve-field sports complex in Plainfield Township. The Consumer’s Energy Foundation announced a $125,000 grant on Wednesday October 10th that is part of $1.25 million the foundation is granting to ten community projects around Michigan as part of their 125th Anniversary.


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The campaign to build a 12-field sports complex in Plainfield Township received a boost of $125,000 from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The foundation Wednesday awarded the grant to the West Michigan Sports Commission – which oversees the complex campaign – as part of a $1.25 million in matching grants offered to 10 community projects throughout Michigan as part of Consumers Energy’s 125th anniversary celebration.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consumers Energy Foundation announced today that it has awarded a $125,000 grant to support the restoration of the historic State Theatre in downtown Traverse City.


The grant was presented to the Traverse City Film Festival, led by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, during a ceremony at the theater.


Peter J. Wallner | pwallner@mlive.com


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A campaign to build a $7.8 million sports complex in Plainfield Township received a major boost today that organizers said will allow groundbreaking as soon as next month.


Warren-based Art Van Furniture secured the naming rights for the multi-field baseball-softball complex with a $1.8 million commitment, West Michigan Sports Commission Executive Director Mike Guswiler said Thursday ahead of its annual luncheon at JW Marriott.


GRAND RAPIDS -- Michigan State is bidding to host the NCAA men's Division I basketball tournament's First Four in 2014 or 2015 at Van Andel Arena, athletic director Mark Hollis said Thursday.


Grand Rapids is scheduled to host NCAA championships director Ron English on Friday to evaluate the arena and the city’s amenities -- something Grand Rapids businessman and philanthropist Peter Secchia said wasn't done when it was proposed the city host NCAA tournament games in either 2011, 2012 or 2013.




The West Michigan Sports Commission plans to have their new baseball and softball complex – now officially named the Art Van Sports Complex – completed sometime in 2014.


It’s a project that means a lot for youth sports in West Michigan, but it also brings a great opportunity for businesses in Rockford.


"We're excited about it,” Pizza Hut Regional GM Chris Goostrey says. He has a store sitting just off the town’s U.S. 131 exit.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A group from the NCAA toured Van Andel Arena and the rest of the city Friday to check out Grand Rapids as a possible host for NCAA basketball tournament games.


The West Michigan Sports Commission is working with Michigan State University to try to land the "First Four" in either 2014 or 2015.


This is the second time Grand Rapids has tried to land those games. The last time was for a 2011, 2012 or 2013 tournament, and the city paired that time with Western Michigan University.