As the 2021 edition of the Indiana State Fair begins, organizers are exploring ways to keep the Fairgrounds a year-round destination, and that could include amateur sports. The planned $50 million makeover of the nearly 100-year-old Swine Barn, which is being renamed Fall Creek Pavilion, is envisioned as a showcase for agriculture that could also serve as a competitive sports venue.
“We are developing our research, making sure that we have the business plan in place that all makes sense and we’re putting a shovel in the ground,” said Fair Commission Executive Director Cindy Hoye.
One idea is to install a portable track that would allow the facility to host track and field events and other activities.
Hoye talked about the future of the fairgrounds and the 2021 fair on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Hoye says the fairgrounds hosts more than 400 events and generates nearly $200 million in direct economic impact annually.
Sports are already a big part of the Fairgrounds’ event schedule.
Indiana Farmers Coliseum, which reopened in 2014 after a $53 million facelift, is home to the Indy Fuel minor league hockey franchise and the IUPUI basketball program.
In March, the Coliseum was the site of several games as Indianapolis and Indiana hosted the entire NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.