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The Fieldhouse celebrates 20 years in downtown Indy

The fieldhouse celebrates 20 years in downtown Indy

The fieldhouse celebrates 20 years in downtown Indy | News 8 at 5

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Fieldhouse is celebrating 20 years in downtown Indianapolis.

The iconic Indianapolis landmark first opened as Conseco Fieldhouse in 1999 and the name changed in 2010 to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

It took almost two and a half years to build the Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. On November 6, 1999, Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon and Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith cut the ribbon at the grand opening.

The Pacers won their first contest in the new building beating the Boston Celtics 115 to 108. Three nights later Bruce Springsteen played to a sold-out crowd of more than 18,000 fans. The building, then known as Conseco Fieldhouse, replaced an aging Market Square Arena.

Bill Benner was an Indianapolis Star sports columnist when the building first opened, but now he works for the Pacers. When the Fieldhouse was built, the southeast section of downtown was largely ignored, but the Fieldhouse helped turn the area around.

“Starting with Conseco now Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Anthem, State Farm the expansion of Lilly City Way, restaurants, the Cultural Trail linking Fletcher Place and Virginia Ave that has seen an incredible evolution,” said Benner.

The cost to build the Fieldhouse was $183 million and according to the most recent study from The Indiana University Public Policy Institute, events at the Fieldhouse generate $370 million a year and support 4,000 jobs and $152 million in wages.

In the 20 years, the Fieldhouse has given us front row seats to 3,777 ticketed events like concerts, Pacers games, including Reggie Miller’s last game in the NBA, The Fever, a short run with arena football, hundreds of NCAA and high school basketball games, swimming, dirt track racing, hockey games, rodeos and presidential speeches.

“There was a stretch in 2016 where we hosted 54 basketball games in 43 days and on three of the off days we had concerts,” said Benner. “It is the most widely used public facility in the state of Indiana.”

As the Fieldhouse turns 20, it is getting a $360 million face-lift, including an outdoor public plaza.

Improvements are expected to be finished by 2021.


2 Columbus police officers arrested, facing charges of misconduct, ghost employment

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Two Columbus police officers have been arrested on multiple charges including official misconduct and ghost employment.

According to Indiana State Police, Dan Meister and Ron May were arrested for allegedly working off-duty security jobs while also working on duty with the Columbus Police Department. An investigation into the officers began in November 2018 after a request was made by the Columbus Police Department.

Lt. Dan Meister and Sgt. Ron May allegedly worked overlapping shifts for both the police department and Columbus Regional Hospital between February 2015 and August 2018. The officers were paid by CPD and the hospital for the same hours worked on multiple occasions.

Meister had overlapped hours on 52 different occasions and May overlapped on 62 occasions, investigators say.

The investigation was turned over to a special prosecutor and arrest warrants were issued for the men on Friday. They were arrested Friday afternoon without incident and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, police say.

Both officers are facing charges of official misconduct, ghost employment and theft.

May and Meister are expected to face initial hearings soon.

Information about how long they have worked with CPD was not immediately available.