2023 VenuesNow All-Star Renovation
Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Gainbridge Fieldhouse has seen a complete makeover through a $360 million transformation touching all parts of the building. The renovations come in time for the Indiana Pacers to host the 2024 NBA All-Star Game, which was originally set to take place in Indianapolis before the pandemic.
Pacers Sports & Entertainment CEO Rick Fuson has been with the team for 39 years and helped plan the first edition of the arena in the late 1990s. “Who knows what will happen next, but it’s a hell of a good building on the second go-around,” he told VenuesNow.
The strategy was to keep the spirit of the original fieldhouse design intact with its brick finishes, arched roofline and ads painted on the walls. At the same time, there was a need for modern touches in technology, resulting in a new center-hung videoboard, four Zippin self-checkout markets and Sloan touch-free restrooms.
Major structural changes at the downtown Indianapolis arena included tearing down a wall on the north end of the closed concourse to provide views to the event; removing eight rows at the top of the upper deck to develop a large standing-room space; adding more lower-level suites to meet demand; and reconfiguring the box office to free up more space in the entry pavilion.
At the event level, there are two new sideline lounges, while relocating the practice court one floor above event level freed up space to build the two new clubs.
The old Conseco Fieldhouse debuted with 71 suites. The renovations cut that total to 52 suites, reflecting market trends over the past 15 years for downsizing suites and creating hybrid products such as loge and theater boxes.
As part of the new mix of premium seats, the lower level, sponsored by KeyBank, increased in number from 28 to 38 suites, now forming a complete ring of suites in the seating bowl.
The entry pavilion is more spacious now after the old box office was reduced to an open-air format similar to a hotel lobby check-in area. It helps ease traffic flow as fans get their tickets scanned.
Then there’s the selfie wall in the entry pavilion, a large LED board installed at eye level to capture Instagrammable moments, much like the one for the revamped venue itself.