Thousands of fans got one of the first looks at a three-year, $360 million renovation of Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis at Sunday’s Pacers FanJam. They checked out a makeover touching virtually every area of the Fieldhouse, from the Entry Pavillion to a third level standing-room-only sky bar with views of the Indy skyline. Team officials expect the project to spark a transformation on the eastern edge of downtown.
“We know that the city is working on everything from the City Market area, the jail site, the new Signia hotel, the redevelopment of the CXS building and the mall, we’re talking about billions of dollars just right here in the heart of downtown,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Mel Raines.
Raines talked about the project and its potential impact on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
One piece of the massive project that is still under construction is a major public plaza just north of the Fieldhouse. A 770-space parking garage was demolished to make way for Bicentennial Unity Plaza, which will include expansive art sculptures and a community basketball court that can be converted into a public ice-skating rink larger than the one at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
The plaza will also include a $20 million entertainment complex.
Inspired by developments like Chicago’s Wrigleyville, the three-story entertainment center will include a restaurant, speakeasy and event space.
Bicentennial Unity Plaza is expected to be finished next Spring.