Friday, January 13, 2012

Coliseum Renovation Takes Big Step Forward!

Have you heard the news? The Pepsi Coliseum is getting a facelift!

That’s right, after 70 years of hockey, horses and hog shows – not to mention presidents, Pacers, boxing and Beatlemania – the Pepsi Coliseum is going to be brought up to modern standards. The details aren’t all set yet, but the plan is to close the grand old building this fall and cut the ribbon on the updated version in time for the 2014 State Fair now that the State Fair Commission has approved a resolution to move forward with design work.

How much will it cost? What will it look like? What about all the events that take place in there now?

Those are all good questions, and we don’t have all the answers. Not yet, anyway.

A financing package is still being put into place and we should get all those numbers squared away soon. Last fall, a Program & Scheduling committee was formed to examine the best way to reschedule all the State Fair events that normally take place in the Coliseum, so all the horse pulls, hitch competitions and other things will happen, but we can’t tell you where just yet.

As for the Coliseum’s new look, there won’t be one on the outside. The building’s “shell” will remain the same, just a little shinier … like when it was first erected in 1939. Inside, though, should be a spectacular improvement. Check these out…

What a glorious sight! Don’t get me wrong, though. The new building won’t have skyboxes with parquet floors and gold-lined drink holders. It will simply be a modern, comfortable, all-purpose arena with seating for 7,000-9,000 people depending on the type of event. That’s something that Indy doesn’t have right now, so we expect the new building to be even busier than the current one. It will also be the new site for all the fair’s headline entertainment – a much better use of resources than paying for a permanent roof over the stage in the grandstand.

Design plans are going forward and a construction manager will soon be selected. Stay tuned on the progress. This longtime dream is starting to become a reality, and it feels great!

Submitted by Andy Klotz

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