The chief executive officer of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis says the planned $35 million Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience will not only benefit visitors, but will also serve as a "wonderful amenity" to surrounding neighborhoods. Plans released Wednesday morning for the 7.5-acre development include collaborations with various Indiana sports teams and organizations, an "Avenue of Champions" and a sports climbing component. University of Michigan research suggests the sports experience will have a $130 million economic impact on central Indiana over five years.
The investment is the biggest by the World’s Largest Children’s Museum in 40 years. Officials say the project will create a "new national model." CEO Jeffrey Patchen says "our goal is to create an immersive outdoor and indoor family health, fitness, and sports experience that will inspire visitors to be active together in a non-competitive way while creating healthy habits that will stay with entire families for a lifetime."
Key partners and advisors include IU Health, Old National Bank, the Efroymson Family Fund, Pete & Alice Dye, Andrew Luck, the Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Lilly Endowment Inc., the Children’s Museum Guild, the USTA, Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Indy Fuel, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA Football and USA Gymnastics. The concept and plans for the development are a collaboration among the museum and Indianapolis-based Ratio Architects and Shiel Sexton.
The outdoor portion of the project will operate at least seven months out of the year and the indoor facilities will stay open year-round.