Fonner Park Master Planning Process
The Fonner Park Campus:
An Important Community Asset for the City of
The grounds are in use an average of 300+ days per year with annually approximately 500,000+ visitors, vendors, exhibitors and participants in the many events that take place on the Campus.
Hundreds of thousands flock to Grand Island each year to attend the Nebraska State Fair, Aksarben Livestock Show, Husker Harvest Days and Harvest of Harmony Parade. Additionally, Fonner Park opens their campus to thousands each Spring for live thoroughbred racing every weekend mid-February to May.
The 1868 Foundation engaged Populous, CSL, CMBA Architects, Olsson and Chief Construction, with its partners the Nebraska State Fair and Fonner Park to develop a Master Plan for the Fonner Park Campus. The design team provides the optimal combination of local knowledge and relationships with internationally recognized event campus and horse racing expertise. Populous is known as the world leader in the design of equestrian, livestock, fairground, event, exhibition and entertainment facilities.
The master plan’s process was thorough and collaborative, providing a holistic investigation and vision for the campus. Site and existing inventory analysis, combined with a diverse neighborhood and public engagement plan, laid the foundation for a data driven exploration of enhancements to ensure sustainable development of the site.
The conclusions of the master plan has the following results and recommendations: