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Bankers Life Fieldhouse Agreement Receives Local Approvals

An agreement that includes Bankers Life Fieldhouse renovations and an Indiana Pacers lease extension has cleared a hurdle, earning approvals from the Indianapolis City-County Council.

In April, the Pacers and the Marion County Capital Improvement Board revealed the terms of a 25-year lease extension that includes arena renovations. Under the terms of that agreement, the Pacers will commit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse through at least the 2043-44 NBA season while participating in a $360 million renovation project funded through a public-private partnership. Of that sum, $270 million will be allocated by the CIB, with $65 million coming from Pacers ownership, and $25 million from the city for public infrastructure.

On Monday, the Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved two measures relating to the agreement. While additional layers of approval are needed, the actions taken by the council help move the plans forward. More from the Indianapolis Business Journal:

The council approved a measure allowing the CIB to issue up to $320 million in bonds, which includes a $50 million cushion for capitalized interest and debt reserve funds.

The CIB also plans to refinance its existing debt for the fieldhouse through a separate $140 million bond. Andy Mallon, the CIB’s executive director, has previously told IBJ refinancing the old fieldhouse debt could avoid problems when the board takes the new bonds to market.

Council also authorized the CIB to move $29 million to its operating fund from a reserve fund flush with cash—about $133.6 million in unrestricted cash reserves in 2017.

About $20 million of that amount will be used for items tied to the fieldhouse project that must be paid before bonds are issued. The other $9 million will be used to pay back the state of Indiana for a loan it gave the CIB in 2009 to help it out of a financial crisis.

Renovations will result in several upgrades to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, including a new outdoor public plaza, new interior gathering spaces, renovated suites, and more. Construction is expected to take place over three phases beginning in 2020, before concluding in the fall of 2022.

Rendering courtesy Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

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