INDIANAPOLIS — Construction crews have been working feverishly for the past four months to complete the third and final phase of the Gainbridge Fieldhouse renovation project, and they've finished just in time for Sunday's Post Malone concert.
13News got a sneak peek of the completed renovations, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and you'll notice the differences immediately when you walk into the building.
"When people come into the Entry Pavilion, we've gone to all digital tickets, all mobile tickets, and so that old box office look that we had, that's all opened up," said Danny Lopez, the Pacers' Vice President for External Affairs and Corporate Communications. "With the pending completion of the Bicentennial Unity Plaza outside, we really wanted to create a glass exterior of the building and let in sunlight and open up not only to the plaza, but to [views of] the city."
BEFORE AND AFTER: Gainbridge Fieldhouse renovation project
All three phases of the Gainbridge Fieldhouse restoration project did not come cheap.
"It was a $360 million project start to finish," Lopez said. "It's the second largest renovation in the history of the NBA, so we're incredibly excited about getting this project done. People have been seeing pieces of it for the last three years, essentially. And everybody knows how iconic this building is and how great it is. And so now it's a chance to roll this thing out as a finished product."
Even when you're not sitting in your seat, you'll still be able to watch the action on the court or the singers on stage because of the new bars with views of the inner bowl of the arena. This is a feature that the next generation of fans demanded.
"What fans really want is to congregate, they want to socialize, they want to network," Lopez said. "They want to come to an event, and not just sit in a seat and watch a basketball game. [They want to] stand at a bar and catch other action from around the league or other sports."
And on the new balcony bar, located in the upper deck on the west side of Gainbridge Fieldhouse, fans will now be able to do just that.
"We're putting in a standing-room-only sky bar, essentially, that looks out into the city skyline, and you'll be able to look in on the bowl action, as well."
With the final touches just finishing up this week, the dust will barely be able to settle on this new look before a huge concert this weekend.
"We're going to open up on Sunday with Post Malone," said Lopez. "We've got Lizzo on Oct. 18. We've got Reba McEntire (Nov. 5). We've got Carrie Underwood (Oct. 17). We've got Kevin Hart (Oct. 23). And then, of course, Andrea Bocelli. His first visit to Indianapolis, which we're all really excited about on Dec. 7. So it's just a constant roll of events and performances, in addition to [the Pacers'] opening night on Oct. 19."
Free event Oct. 9
"We also have Fan Jam on Sunday, Oct. 9," said Lopez. "It's free, but tickets will be available on Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. People can come out totally free, bring their families, engage with the Pacers players, get autographs and just have a really nice time on Sunday, Oct. 9."
Lopez said that sky bar area inside the Fieldhouse will be finished in November or December, and then, that amazing outdoor plaza should be completed by April or May.
To see more photos of inside the new Gainbridge Fieldhouse, and the renderings of what they have planned outside in the plaza, check out our gallery.
SNEAK PEEK: Outdoor plaza at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
"People will absolutely notice a difference," Lopez said. "This is a facility that belongs to Indianapolis, and people should be very proud of it."