fonner park

About Us

Nebraska's Springtime Tradition is for everyone.

Fonner Park, located just off Interstate 80 in Grand Island, in the center of Nebraska, is Central Nebraska’s entertainment destination. A year-round facility, Fonner Park is host to the springtime tradition of live horse racing, and year-round events including national livestock shows, the Hall County Fair, the Nebraska State Fair, wedding receptions, sporting events, concerts and much more.

The heart of Fonner Park is the live thoroughbred race meet which runs from mid-February through early May. During the live meet, many events such as craft shows, family activities, recreational shows, and giveaways along with special races highlight the season.

Community, it's what we are all about.

Centrally located in Nebraska at the heart of the 220 acres Fonner Park Complex, the Heartland Events Center is the hub for much of the activity that takes place at Fonner Park and Grand Island throughout each year. Concerts, entertainment, sports and athletic events, conventions, and trade shows are all annual events held in the Heartland Events Center’s Eihusen Arena. The Bosselman Conference Center, located adjacent to the Eihusen Arena provides premier facilities for meetings, wedding receptions, and organizational banquets of all types and sizes.

Fonner Park Board of Directors & Staff

Executive Staff

Chris Kotulak | Chief Executive Officer
Mark Landis | Operations Assistant & Financial Analyst
Tracy Bicknase | Administrative Assistant & Human Resources
Kelly Groetzinger | Administrative Assistant & Special Groups
Corinne Ketterling | Administrative Assistant & Bookkeeping
Kathy Foley | Administrative Assistant & Settlements

Executive Board of Directors

Russ Rerucha | President
Jeff Richardson | 1st Vice-President
Steve Hansen | 2nd Vice-President
Bill Oltean | 3rd Vice-President
Matt Maser | Secretary
Jayne Smith | Treasurer
Dan Fogland | Ex-Officio

Fonner Keno Executive Board

Corby Flagle | President
Tom Gdowski | Secretary
Chris Kotulak | Treasurer
Matt Maser | Board Member
Patrick Smith | Board Member

Fonner Keno Staff

Pat Smith | Keno Operations Manager
Dianne DeBolt | Assistant Operations Manager

Fonner Park Exposition & Events Center Board of Directors

Steve Dowding | President
Jim Cannon | Board Member
Roger Luebbe | Board Member
Steve Kunzman | Board Member
Cindy Johnson | Board Member
Chuck Haase | Board Member

Events Center Staff

Debra Sweley | Box Office Manager
Dianne Willey | Director of Sales & Marketing
Nicole Durning | Sales & Marketing Assistant

A Campus Filled With Possibilities

The Fonner Park campus is filled with endless opportunities for events, shows, programs, etc.  Learn more about the vast landscape that makes the Fonner Park campus.

A history of entertainment.

Fonner Park was originally built in 1953 as a permanent home for the Hall County fairgrounds. The site was purchased by the Hall County Livestock Improvement Association. The park was named after August L. “Gus” Fonner, who donated the land.  

The Old Reliable Hereford Show and Sale was held as its first livestock exhibition in September, before beginning its inaugural season of racing on April 29, 1954. In the years that followed, Fonner was expanded to include additional grandstand seating, expanded barn space, an indoor quarter-mile training track, and other amenities. 

Make Fonner the home
of your event.
And here's how.

We encourage you to make Fonner Park and our amazing facilities the home of your next event. Click on the link below for our complete rental policies and guidelines.

Let us help you find your way

Fonner Park is here and ready for you to enjoy everything we have to offer. Click here for directions.

Grand Island has it all.

To relax and leave behind the daily grind

  • Hike through a meadow | Prairie
  • Breathe fresh air under big skies
  • Enjoy incredible sunsets almost every day

To experience things you won’t want to leave behind

To attend great annual events

To explore Our Big Backyard