CHESTERTON | Paul Boardman believes Porter County would be the ideal location for a state-of-the-art arena to host sporting and entertainment events.
Boardman, the CEO of IG Company, founded Duneland Family Sports and Entertainment, a division of Duneland Sports Authority, a year ago. The nonprofit, Boardman said, has been looking at the feasibility of constructing and professionally operating a privately funded multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue.
"It goes back to my senior year in 1983 as a business major at Valparaiso University. I am passionate about economic development and I've actually been thinking about ways to help our economy," said the LaPorte native.
The demographics say Porter County is the perfect place for such a venue. There is no such arena serving the 800,000 residents of Northwest Indiana, Boardman said. The closest facilities are in Chicago and South Bend.
Boardman said he envisions a state-of-the-art facility that will be LEED platinum certified, not only generating its own power, but generating excess power giving a zero-plus effect on the environment. It would contract with local vendors and retain financial resources and revenue in the community.
While Boardman issued a press release Tuesday on the proposal, when contacted, he did not release specific details. He said the arena would be located in Porter County and a site plan is being developed. He would not give the names of any others working with him on the project or investing in the arena, nor would he estimate an exact time frame for the construction of the facility.
Boardman said that information would be "forthcoming." He said it would take 12 months to complete architectural drawings.
"I started spearheading this nine months ago," he said. "I am passionate about it. It will provide quality entertainment."
Boardman did estimate the project would be a $115 million investment in the region and would provide 250 immediate jobs and 1,500 long-term jobs.
Lorelei Weimer, executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism, said she has met with Boardman.
"To know there is a plan for a private arena that would be privately funded is exciting," she said.