Plans for a long-term lease with the Indiana Pacers took a major step forward Tuesday, as the Indiana General Assembley approved legislation that creates Bankers Life Fieldhouse upgrades funding.
The Pacers have been locked into a lease for downtown Indianapolis’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse that runs through 2024. As part of an effort to secure a longer commitment from the team, state officials have been debating a plan that would creates funding for future renovations. Those renovations would come as part of a 25-year lease extension between the Pacers and the Marion County Capital Improvement Board.
On Tuesday, the Indiana Senate voted by a 44-4 margin to approve the legislation. It will now head to the desk of Indiana governor Eric Holcomb for his decision. More from the Indianapolis Star:
The bill creates funding for the previously announced 25-year deal between the Indiana Pacers and Marion County Capital Improvement Board, which commits roughly $800 million in public spending to keep the team in town.
Revenue will come from a mix of existing income, sales, innkeepers, admissions and auto rental taxes collected mostly from within tax districts located near the fieldhouse. None of them would go up, but without these districts, that money would otherwise flow to the state, city, townships, schools and city-county library.
The CIB, funded through that legislation, would provide $270 million toward upgrades of Bankers Life Fieldhouse over the course of the 25-year extension. The city will contribute $25 million for public infrastructure, contingent on the City-County Council’s approval, and the Pacers will spend $65 million.
For operating expenses, the CIB will provide $12.5 million per year in the first six years, $13 million annually for the following six years, then rising to $16 million a year for the remainder of the deal.
The lease would commit the Pacers to Bankers Life Fieldhouse through the 2043-44 NBA season, with options that could extend their agreement an additional three years. Upgrades would be made both inside and outside the arena, with an exterior public plaza and more gathering spaces on the interior among the current plans. Major renovations would take place over three phases beginning in 2020.
Renderings courtesy Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
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