Potential Bankers Life Fieldhouse renovations moved forward Tuesday, when the Indiana Senate approved a deal that funds upgrades and calls for a lease extension with the Indiana Pacers.
Indiana lawmakers are considering a proposal that calls for revenues generated within special taxing districts in downtown Indianapolis to be directed toward arena manager Capital Improvement Board to help fund facility upgrades–including Bankers Life Fieldhouse renovations. The plan would provide a funding source to help cover future renovations, while securing a longer commitment with the Pacers, whose lease for Bankers Life Fieldhouse expires in 2024.
That proposal cleared a key hurdle on Tuesday, when the Indiana Senate approved the legislation by a 48-1 margin. Some details on the scope of the renovations remain unknown, but the Pacers are expected to kick in about $63 million to fund future upgrades to the arena and related facilities. The legislation approved by the senate on Tuesday gives the Pacers and the CIB until April to discuss a lease extension of at least 25 years. More from the Indianapolis Star:
In asking for support for Senate Bill 7, Appropriations Chairman Ryan Mishler told the Senate the Pacers were kicking in $115 million for facility upgrades, a figure that had previously not been reported.
Former state Sen. Luke Kenley, who is lobbying on behalf of the Pacers, told IndyStar that about $63 million of that amount would be new money for improvements to the stadium and related facilities, such as the parking garage. He said roughly $52 million of the $115 million is cash the team has already spent on its practice facility….
The Senate voted 48-1 on the bill, which would allow the Marion County Capital Improvement Board to raise money from special taxing districts Downtown.
The bill would give the Pacers and the CIB until April to negotiate a long-term lease extension, which would include cash for upgrades and operations at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Kenley has said the Pacers and CIB have been discussing a 25-year deal, which also is the minimum amount allowable under Mishler’s bill.
Located in downtown Indianapolis, Bankers Life Fieldhouse has been the home of the Pacers since it opened in 1999.