Imagine CanAm…a little differently!

We are just a few weeks away from the start of CanAm 2023!  For some of us in NAFA,  the planning started last year, during setup for CanAm 2022.  That was the first time we were able to tour the inside of the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion.  Donning spiffy safety vests and hard hats, we looked at a very, VERY  blank slate and started to imagine what 2023 would look like.   It took a lot of  creativity, and ingenuity and yes Imagination to start mapping out the future CanAm! 

Until I was on the Board of Directors, I never realized just how much time and energy goes into putting on this truly massive tournament.  In fact, it’s been done so smoothly for so many years, as a competitor, I certainly took for granted that it was an impressive feat.  Especially when you consider the how much of this is done by a volunteer workforce.  

An unsung hero, Karen Oleson is the amazing driving force behind it all.  You may only see her sitting in the Pit Boss area pushing some papers and doing data entry, but the amount of time and thought she puts into CanAm is unparalleled.  We have a blue print for how to set up and run CanAm.  We have timelines, spreadsheets, shared documents that make putting on this huge event just a little less monumental.   

All that documentation we rely on…well, we had to throw out a substantial chunk of it.  In the West Pavilion, we literally know exactly what landmark to use to lay down the very first mat.  We know exactly where to put crating, vendors, measuring locations and even where to put those sweet trophies.  We even know where we can hide stuff!  Like EJS boxes, empty pallets, all the swag bags of goodies.  Those of us involved in planning CanAm 2023 had our work cut out for us.  

That rough box we looked at in October 2022 was revisited in June of 2023.  We were finally able to get physically on the main level and start measuring out the exact ring placement & draw up new blue prints with exact measurements.  Then we had more questions, where are power drops, where will the heavy traffic flow be, where will the potty areas be, we think we have the answers.  However, I know that there is a likelihood the set up crew is going to run into some bumps once actually on the ground.  Expect to have to roll with a few hiccups, headaches and what the heck issues when we hit the ground in Indianapolis.  We will do our best to smooth everything out but even the best imaginations can’t predict everything!  

We did not predict that the NAFA flyball community would be so awesome.  You have entered, in force, with enough entries to warrant six rings of racing in the Fall Creek Pavilion with a seventh Championship ring in the Pepsi Coliseum.  Then vendors started rolling in …over 25 of them to find space for in the new venue.  Tweaks, twists, shifts, and a few shoves, we have been scrambling to make it all work in that big box of a building!    

Just orienting yourselves to the new building will be difficult.  It’s confusing, we totally get it.  We also know that flyballers like to plan ahead and be prepared.  So here are a few known unknowns.  

  • Potty areas
    • Natural grass across the parking lot to the South and East of the building and a small area to the south of the building
    • We are creating artificial turf areas close to the building but we aren’t exactly sure where..stay tuned
    • Lots of grass on the north side of building on the Mezzanine level – but be prepared to trek upstairs or take the elevator.
  • Access Points
    • Weird – there are no doors on the north or west side of the building from the main level. For that reason we shifted the primary crating areas to the South and East sides of the building where there are multiple access doors available.
  • Bleachers
    • We have access to  bleachers that we can pull out and push in when needed for captains meetings and awards
  • Power Access
    • We are working to ensure power is available in the crating area – but exactly where those drops will be is still being determined – so like usual please bring plenty of extension cords and make friends with your crating neighbours.

Here is a great video that can help you get a feel for the layout of the building.  Also you can learn things about swine, but ignore that and look at the building in the background!  Most of it shows a view from the North end of the building on the Mezzanine level. 

So will it be the same CanAm as you know it? In some ways yes, in others there will be changes. We can’t say thank you enough to the NAFA community for their support and their patience as we work to get all the kinks ironed out.  

We don’t just imagine, WE KNOW, all of you will make this a CanAm to remember.  We don’t just imagine, WE KNOW, that the NAFA leadership and a whole group of amazing volunteers will do everything possible to make this a world class event, imagined just a little differently this year! 

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