One of Grand Rapids' most iconic venues is saying goodbye to the community after nearly 70 years of serving the Grand Rapids community.

The History of the DeltaPlex

Laura Hardy / TSM
Laura Hardy / TSM

The DeltaPlex opened its doors in 1952, and was the main venue for large events in the Grand Rapids area up until the Van Andel Arena opened its doors in 1996. While it has always housed events, there was a period in the 1960s and 1970s when it also housed a department store and a drive-in theatre.

Several teams have called The DeltaPlex home over the years including the Grand Rapids Rockets in the 1950s, The Grand Rapids Owls in the 1960s, and more recently they have been the home for the Grand Rapids Arena racing, as well as the current home for the Denver Nuggets recruiting team, The Grand Rapids Gold.

When is The DeltaPlex closing for good?

via the DeltaPlex
via the DeltaPlex

According to a statement from the current president Joel Langlois, the final day of operation for the current form of the DeltaPlex is going to be July 31st, 2022.

Here is his full statement:

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 shutdown 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 alongside 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.

What happens to any shows planned after this date?

As of right now, there is no officially released plan as to what happens to anything on the DeltaPlex's calendar after July 31st. You will want to check with the organizers of each event to see if it will be moved or cancelled.

Where will the Grand Rapids Gold play?

The team was already in the loop that this news was in the works according to a statement from Grand Rapids Gold president, Steve Jbara:

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 to 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.

Will someone else buy the property?

As of December 2021, the property was purchased by the Vessler Brothers, but as of now they have not submitted forms to say what they intend to do with the property going forward.

No word on what will happen, but it's heartbreaking to see a piece of West Michigan history going away for good. Here's hoping someone can bring it new life in the future.

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