City's CIB votes for $360 million deal to keep Pacers, includes renovations closing the fieldhouse

This photo of an artist's rendering shows a proposed expansion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, publicly announced Friday morning, April 12, 2019, by the city's Capital Improvement Board. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The Indiana Pacers are one step closer to staying in Indianapolis for decades.

On Friday morning, the Capital Improvement Board voted in favor of a $360 million deal to keep the team in the state. The $360 million breaks down with the CIB paying $270 million, the Pacers paying $65 million and the city of Indianapolis coming up with $25 million.

The CIB will still share in operating costs and cover future technology needs capped at $113 million. The CIB will fund the expansion through existing downtown hospitality taxes which were set to expire, and the adding more hotels to a special downtown taxing district, both of reach need legislative approval. The City-County Council must also sign off.

Pending those approvals, CIB President Melina Kennedy said the deal is expected to generate $13 billion in economic impact over the length of the term.

"I want to applaud the hard work of the Capital Improvement Board and Indiana Pacers that resulted in the 25-year agreement approved today," Mayor Joe Hogsett, D-Indianapolis, said in a statement issued after the CIB vote. "I'm also proud that the strength of our city's decades-long sports strategy has allowed for a long-term deal that won't require one penny in new taxes or fees for Indiana taxpayers. Over the coming weeks, it is my hope that the spirit of collaboration exhibited today will carry forward into bipartisan support for this agreement at the state and local level."

Several fans said they were glad to hear of a long-term deal.

David Brown said, "I am happy about that, it's exciting news to have them here for another 25-plus years."

"It's good for the city and the Pacers," agreed Rayanne Folsom-Ross. "I mean where else can they go? This is a basketball city. Where else can they go?"

The current agreement runs 10 years, ending after the 2023-24 season. It requires the city to cover operating costs and several upgrades to the Fieldhouse.

New deal upgrades

The "amended" deal calls for "a Fieldhouse of the Future" expansion. It includes a year-round public outdoor plaza, gathering areas and changes to the Fieldhouse including a giant window similar to the feel of Lucas Oil Stadium. The project is said to be a legacy for team owner Herb Simon, who is 84 years old. The CIB signed off on moving forward with an architect and contractor for that expansion. Renovation would begin next summer should the state legislature and City-County Council approve.

The renovations will have no effect on the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. Interior renovations will run February to October of 2020. The building will be closed for events from the end of the Pacers 2019-2020 season through October 1, 2020.

Phase 2 includes an entry pavilion expansion and more interior and then exterior renovations. Those will happen after the 2021 NBA All-Star Game and go until December 31, 2021. The building will also be closed for events from the end of the Pacers 2020-2021 season through October 1, 2021.

Phase 3 construction will last from January 1 to October 1, 2022. That project will complete the entry pavilion expansion, exterior plaza and remaining interior renovations. It also means closing the building for 60 days during the Summer of 2022.

This photo of an artist's rendering shows a proposed expansion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, publicly announced Friday morning, April 12, 2019, by the city's Capital Improvement Board. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)
This photo of an artist's rendering shows a proposed expansion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, publicly announced Friday morning, April 12, 2019, by the city's Capital Improvement Board. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)
This photo of an artist's rendering shows a proposed expansion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, publicly announced Friday morning, April 12, 2019, by the city's Capital Improvement Board. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)
This photo of an artist's rendering shows a proposed expansion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, publicly announced Friday morning, April 12, 2019, by the city's Capital Improvement Board. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)
This photo of an artist's rendering shows a proposed expansion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, publicly announced Friday morning, April 12, 2019, by the city's Capital Improvement Board. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)
This photo of an artist's rendering shows a proposed expansion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, publicly announced Friday morning, April 12, 2019, by the city's Capital Improvement Board. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)