WALKER, Mich. — The DeltaPlex Arena and Conference Center announced that it is closing after 70 years.
Originally built in 1952 under the name Stadium Arena, The DeltaPlex was Grand Rapids' main indoor entertainment facility until the opening of Van Andel Arena in 1996.
The DeltaPlex has previously been host to the NAHL Grand Rapids Rockets and later IHL Grand Rapids Owls. It was home to the NBA G League Grand Rapids Gold who are now moving to Van Andel Arena for its 2022-23 season. The DeltaPlex currently hosts the Major Arena Soccer League 3 Grand Rapids Wanderers.
The building also had a department store and a drive-in theater during the 1960s and 1970s.
The current President of The DeltaPlex, Joel Langlois, released a statement on Wednesday confirming the longtime entertainment venue's closing.
"It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that the DeltaPlex will be closing and ceasing business as of July 31, 2022.
We have been impacted by many circumstances which were out of our control. The effect of the Covid virus on our community was devastating, and the mandated shut down of our business for over 16 months created an extraordinary hardship. During that time, many of our expenses did not stop while we saw little to no income. The few events and facility use over that time were, for the most part, done without any expectation of rent and was done as part of our civic obligation to give back to our community during a difficult time.
Even though the past few years have been challenging, the decision to close has been difficult. Over the past 25 years, Lee Anne and I have been honored to come to know many wonderful people, many of which we now refer to as family. Our team of hard working and loyal staff, many great clients, City of Walker and the West Michigan community have all worked along-side of us to build this business.
With that all being said, we are at a point in life where we feel it is time to move on to the next chapter. We have been humbled by the dedication of the many people around us and will be working with them to provide future opportunities."
The DeltaPlex was sold on December 23, 2021 for $5.5 million to DEG Development Company, aka Visser Brothers.
The City of Walker's Planning Director, Tricia Anderson, has not received an application from Visser Brothers regarding their intentions for the property/building.
13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out to Steve Jbara, Owner of the Grand Rapids Gold, to see what lies ahead for the team now that their home court is closing for good.
"We're very thankful for the seasons we played at the DeltaPlex Arena. We enjoyed some truly special moments there with our players, our staff, and our fans, and we're grateful Joel Langlois for seven years of excitement in that space. Gratefully, knowing this announcement was coming, we are well on our way to finding a new home in Grand Rapids, one that further solidifies our efforts to elevate all aspects of our fan experience."
July 31 is the last day the DeltaPlex will be open in its current state.
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