The City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Division prepared a mini-master plan for the West Duluth Sports Corridor, which includes Wheeler Athletic Complex, Wade Stadium, and the Heritage Sports Center (a privately-owned and operated facility). The master planning process began in December 2014 and was completed in August 2015. The mini-master plan was approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission on September 9, 2015 and the City of Duluth Council on September 28, 2015. An Advisory Committee provided guidance and input throughout the process. The plan has identified improvements to establish this area as a premier athletic destination for northeast Minnesota. The completed mini-master plan:
- Recommends improvements to Wheeler Athletic complex and field house.
- Addresses improvements to the Wade Stadium complex. The mini-master plan addresses the baseball and softball fields south of the stadium, parking, and circulation. Stadium improvements are being addressed in a separate study.
- Identifies connectivity, signage, and identity improvements needed to create a cohesive corridor connecting Wheeler Athletic Complex, Wade Stadium Complex, and the Heritage Sports Center.
- Informs the preferred alignment for the Cross City Trail between the Heritage Sports Center and Wheeler Athletic Complex. The Cross City Trail is a paved trail connection between the Lakewalk and the Munger Trails.
Wheeler Athletic Complex is one of four qualifying parks for the Grand Avenue Parks Fund. The fund is part of the larger St. Louis River Corridor Project supported by the 1/2 and 1/2 tax fund. This specially designated funding will provide "destination-level" investments to qualifying parks. The Grand Avenue Parks Fund invests in community partnerships with user groups and residents to co-create and co-manage outdoor recreation experiences in the neighborhoods along the corridor. The Grand Avenue Parks Fund will provide 1:1 match grants up to $550,000 per park.