Celebration continues upgrades to showgrounds
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration recently agreed to a naming rights deal with Cooper Steel, renaming the old Calsonic Arena to Cooper Steel Arena. The agreement will include a multi-million dollar renovation to the arena with work scheduled to begin in the coming days.
In addition to the renovations of Cooper Steel Arena, work is nearing completion on Mikey’s Motors new Shelbyville location which will be located on the showgrounds of The Celebration. The building entrance will be via the Evans Street side of the showgrounds but will also be accessible for all visitors and exhibitors utilizing The Celebration’s showgrounds.
As part of the new building for Mikey’s Motors and due to continued strong storms and damage to the old barns, The Celebration will once again be forced to remove at least one old barn. That will make five barns removed in the last 18 months. The Celebration has replaced three of those barns with new updated facilities but won’t be able to replace the newly torn down barns in time for this year’s Celebration.
The Celebration is also looking at plans to improve and upgrade the RV parks located in both the north and south ends of the property. A major attraction to The Celebration and Cooper Steel Arena is the number and accessibility of RV spaces on the showgrounds.
Due to the removal of those stalls and construction of a new business on the showgrounds, it won’t be possible to force the championship entries to stable on the showgrounds due to increased entries in recent years and a reduction in overall stall count. The Celebration is looking at construction of new barns or the addition of temporary stalls in the future to allow championship entries to return to the showgrounds.
“It is an exciting time at The Celebration right now. But with growth comes some growing pains. We will have times when our arena won’t be accessible from the front, times we can’t rent the arena and with our new construction it is unfortunate to have to temporarily suspend the policy of keeping our championship entries on the grounds. But we are excited to have Mikey’s Motors join our footprint as well as the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association moving their headquarters right into the center of our showgrounds,” said CEO Warren Wells.
“The board and all of the Celebration is committed to the growth plan laid out when I was hired. There has been tremendous progress and we are only getting started for what will be an exciting time for The Celebration. None of this progress would be possible without the great partners and sponsors that have kept The Celebration what it is today,” concluded Wells.