Downtown hotel plans will force event center to relocate

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Plans to turn the last open space in the Mile Square into convention center expansion and two new hotels leave the future uncertain for businesses operating on Pan Am Plaza.

That expansion would mean two of the three buildings on Pan Am Plaza — including The Pavilion event center — would come down.

“The project is happening and when we are supposed to be out has caused a little, you know, our momentum to slow down a bit,” said Cebronica Luft, one of the three partners who operate the Pavilion.

According to Luft, the Pavilion is a multi-purpose event center hosting 80 events per year, ranging from concerts and galas to trade shows and festivals.

In 2016, Ted Cruz fired up his supporters in the Pavilion. The space has proven to be a catchall for convention center overflow. 

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“We have a private event with a few conventions coming to town: the NRA, the National Urban League. We have quite a few concerts coming up within the EDM and country music genres. We are hosting the annual white party for the Indiana Black Expo,” said Luft.

The Pavilion is also the largest concert venue in downtown Indianapolis not owned or operated by Live Nation, making it a staple for musicians that aren’t quite national headliners.

“We have given a lot of opportunity to local promoters to bring in artists here that otherwise the city would not see. Someone called us the people’s choice a couple of weeks ago. I think with the local music scene, particularly with millennials, I definitely know they will miss what we offer here. We host a lot of great festivals that we will have to find new homes for as well,” said Luft.

In all, 65 part-time staff and seven full-time staff keep the doors open and the music flowing at the Pavilion, but it’s not clear for how long.