Bankers Life Fieldhouse celebrated its 20th year in operation with the announcement that it will undergo extensive interior and exterior renovations. Among the changes include an outdoor plaza that will transform into an ice-skating rink during the winter months, renovated visiting team and Indiana Fever locker rooms, practice court and suites, and expanded standing room for guests. As a venue of more than 500 entertainment events and meetings per year, it will not just be the sports community that benefits from these improvements. Shiel Sexton’s project executive Nate Moore explains his experience with the project as it begins to ramp up.
What are you most excited about with this project? Getting started. Phase 1 construction is planned to begin in February 2020 with the full renovation of the lower two levels tipping off in May 2020. We have been preparing for over six months, so we are excited to START.
Why was the decision made to renovate and make improvements? Bankers Life Fieldhouse repeatedly ranks among the top four best NBA arenas. The facility has great bones and has been well cared for but it needs to evolve with what today’s fans and guests want. The sports entertainment industry is undergoing a change in design philosophy – more open and flexible spaces with a view of the game are successful in other new and recently renovated arenas. Bankers Life does not have many of these spaces, and significant changes are required to make them possible. The Project Team is striving to make changes that update the facility but maintain the charm and feel that has kept the Fieldhouse one of the highest-rated sports and entertainment venues for the last 20 years.
What will be the lasting community impact of this project? The expanded Pavilion and new outdoor Plaza, part of Phases 2 and 3, will present a new “front door.” The outdoor public space will impact the community 365 days per year, not just game days and concert nights. Imagine being among the thousands of people watching Pacers playoff games outside in the spring and early summer – the new Plaza provides a place for the community to gather, celebrate, and have a good time.
The project’s next steps include bidding Phase 1 in December, January and February. The team will continue working with the Capital Improvement Board to issue prime contracts and to begin procurement to ensure material is ready to start construction after the Pacers 2019-2020 season has ended.
A majority of Phase 1’s work will need to be completed in four months from mid-May to mid-September – that will require over 120 days of 24/7 shift work. Since the Fieldhouse will close for an extended period, you can expect a full schedule of events, concerts, and games in the fall of 2020!
The SCOOP | December 2019 | More from this issue