INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A $360 million deal will keep the Pacers in Indianapolis for the next 25 years.
This deal announced Friday comes with some big changes both inside and outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse which, in turn, are expected to have a big economic impact in the city. Plans include building a new, year-round outdoor plaza that will have a skating rink in the winter.
Renovations will start in 2020 and will periodically continue through 2022. They will completely change the game day experience, representatives with the city said.
The deal struck with the Capital Improvement Board focuses on year-round entertainment.
The Capital Improvement Board says the deal could generate $13 billion in economic development over the next 25 years, a figure they say they could not afford to lose.
Fran Nadzam is a Pacers fan. She said she is looking forward to the renovations. “It is good for the city and it brings a lot more than just basketball fans and a lot of good revenue for the city, too.”
Outside of Pacers and Fever games, representatives with Bankers Life Fieldhouse said they host more than 500 other events each year.
Hotels benefit, too. Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites employee Josh Gilliam said, “They are a key driver for hotel demand and activity in and around downtown. I mean they are huge. They are a huge resource for us. They are a huge resource for us in the hotel industry and really all downtown businesses for that matter.”
One of the biggest renovations that comes with the deal would add a publicly owned plaza outside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The public could rent it.
Pacers fan Danielle Bickford said, “Well, I might want to go a little early to a game to see what was going on over there.”
Not only do officials think this will add to game-day and event experiences but also will attract more downtown business.
At the hotel, Gilliam said, “Well, that is great, too, because that is going to bring people that may not otherwise attend the games, or perhaps bring them down here a little bit earlier and they can visit us, all the businesses and all of the restaurants, too, and make it a whole experience.”
The renovation does not require any additional taxes or fees from the public, officials said.
Of the $360 million in capital improvements:
- $270 million will come from the state and Capital Improvement Board.
- $65 million will come from the Indiana Pacers.
- $25 million will come from the city of Indianapolis.
The last step in this deal is approval by the City-County Council. No date is set yet for a vote; however, the CIB says it needs to happen before August.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett:
“I want to applaud the hard work of the Capital Improvement Board and Indiana Pacers that resulted in the 25-year agreement approved today. I’m also proud that the strength of our city’s decades-long sports strategy has allowed for a long-term deal that won’t require one penny in new taxes or fees for Indiana taxpayers. Over the coming weeks, it is my hope that the spirit of collaboration exhibited today will carry forward into bipartisan support for this agreement at the state and local level.”
Pacers owner Herb Simon:
“The Simon family has always desired for the Pacers to stay in Indiana for the long term. The new agreement ensures that the Pacers will be here and that the Fieldhouse will continue to be the best facility for generations of fans and guests.”