Upcoming Bankers Life Fieldhouse renovations will force a temporary venue change for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, a move that will be made to accommodate summer construction.
As part of a plan that has been taking shape in recent months, the NBA’s Indiana Pacers are extending their Bankers Life Fieldhouse lease through the 2043-44 season and entering into a $360-million public-private partnership to fund arena renovations. Through the upcoming project, the arena will receive several upgrades, including a new outdoor public plaza, new interior gathering spaces, renovated suites, and more.
Renovations will take place over three phases, starting next February and concluding in October 2022. In order to avoid interfering with events during the NBA seasons, including the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, much of the construction work will take place over the summer.
As a result, the Fever will play home games elsewhere during the coming seasons, including 2020, 2021, and for part of 2022–when the arena is expected to close for about 60 days to accommodate construction. Just where the Fever will play during that stretch remains to be seen, as Pacers Sports & Entertainment is currently discussing its options. More from the Indianapolis Star:
Brent Rockwood, senior vice president of corporate, community and public relations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said there would be no “major events” hosted at the Fieldhouse during the summer months for the next two years. Rockwood also said that they’re “engaged in discussions to figure out where (the Fever) will play in a nearby facility.”
The renovations will not affect Pacers home games or have any effect on the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
“The Fieldhouse is a cornerstone of our city and state, so it’s serving as a widely used and versatile public gathering space and it helps to retain and attract people, businesses and events,” Rockwood said. “… It’s a great thing for our city and state overall in addition to keeping the Pacers and Fever here for the long term.
It has not been uncommon for WNBA teams to be temporarily displaced from shared WNBA-NBA arenas so that renovations can unfold over the summer months, thus avoiding major construction work during the NBA season. The most recent example was in Atlanta, where the Dream played the 2017 and 2018 seasons at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion while State Farm Arena (formerly Philips Arena) underwent a major renovation.
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