Ready for the next act

Alex Doty • Jun 16, 2018 at 11:00 AM

A new generation of waterfront entertainment in Grand Haven begins in less than a week when the curtain is lifted on the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium.

A ribbon cutting for the new space will take place at noon Thursday, June 21.

“From that point forward, it will be an open facility to the public,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

The new stadium has been under construction since the end of September 2017 when the old wood and metal bleachers were demolished and the old train depot building at 1 N. Harbor Ave. was expanded.

The new space includes tiered grass seating, a permanent band shell, space for dancing and volleyball, and an expanded depot building with ticketing, concessions and restrooms. McGinnis noted the new stadium has room for up to 2,000 spectators, depending how the stadium is set up for each event.

“We have a blank canvas for users to come in and make the best use of,” he added.


Discussions about the new stadium began about six years ago.

Stakeholder and community meetings took place for people to provide input on what they wanted to see in a new stadium, and eventually a preliminary concept was developed. In 2014, the concepts received City Council buy-in, with unanimous approval to move forward with the design.

The new stadium is named for Lynne Sherwood, a local philanthropist who died in 2016. Her estate gifted $3 million for the improvement project. 

Funding has been augmented by a grant agreement with the state to receive $280,000 from the Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund. As part of the agreement, the city agreed to a $674,900 local match.

There were also community and corporate donations to support the development of the new stadium.

The 411 on new stadium rules and regulations

Can I bring outside food and drinks? Attendees can bring a picnic basket or small cooler to enjoy at the stadium, and are asked to dispose of any trash.

What are the rules for seating? Lawn seating is designed for blankets and low-back chairs, while temporary bleacher seating provides full-height seating. Attendees are asked to be courteous to others at high-capacity events and use low-profile chairs on the lawn, and be considerate when using large umbrellas.

Is the stadium pet-friendly? Pets are welcome, but people are asked to keep animals from defecating within the stadium area or digging up and damaging the green space. If accidents occur, users are asked to pick up after their pet.

Is the stadium ADA accessible? The stadium is an accessible facility and complies with ADA regulations. Guests with medical or mobility issues are encouraged to use the barrier-free seating areas located at the front left and right sides of the stadium, as well at the back-center on either side of the stairs.

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