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Long-awaited Rooftop Makeover Starts for Gainbridge Fieldhouse

New aerial view of Gainbridge Fieldhouse, August 4, 2023. The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament kicks off at the fieldhouse on March 30, 2024. (WISH Photo, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One of the biggest advertising spaces in Indiana is finally filling in.

Workers have started applying the words “Gainbridge Fieldhouse” to the roof of the home of the Indiana Pacers and Fever.

We spotted it for the first time as we looked in from above during Daybreak Friday.

WISH-TV Studio monitors show ground-level and aerial views

The massive new wording marks the end of a nearly four-year wait.

The arena first opened in 1999 as “Conseco Fieldhouse”, through a naming rights deal with the Carmel-based financial services company.

In 2010, Conseco reorganized and renamed itself as CNO. At that time, the arena became “Bankers Life Fieldhouse”, after one of CNO’s largest subsidiaries.

In 2019, CNO declined to renew the naming rights. In 2021, Gainbridge stepped up to buy the rights, adding to a massive marketing push in Indianapolis that also includes the first-ever presenting sponsorship of the Indy 500.

Even after the CNO deal expired, the “Bankers Life” wording stayed on the arena roof for the first part of the four-year span between 2019 and this week. Workers eventually covered or removed the words, leaving the rooftop a patchwork of shades of white.

In one notable design change, you’ll be able to see the wording from the street level. Past names have been only viewable from a birds-eye view because they were centered along the top of the arched roof; the new wording is going in place along the north edge.

Officials with Pacers Sports and Entertainment tell us the work should be done over the coming weeks if the weather cooperates.

Photo by Reece Lindquist/WISH-TV

The giant letters are one of many changes at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The arena is at the finishing line of a massive, multi-year makeover that came with a price tag of more than $ 360 million. New features include an exterior entry plaza, an expanded entry pavilion, and renovations of the seating area.

The project also includes the construction of a food-and entertainment building across the street from the Fieldhouse.