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Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Bankers Life Fieldhouse

  Venue Resources  
Address 125 South Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone (317) 917-2500
Official Website
Seating Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
Pacers Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Indianapolis

  The Facility  
Opened November 6, 1999
Ownership
(Management)
City of Indianapolis/Marion County
(Pacers Sports & Entertainment)
Cost of Construction $183 million
Arena Financing Multiple Public and Private.
Naming Rights Conseco financial services paid $2 million until 2019.
Arena Architects Ellerbe Becket
General
Contractors /
Construction Managers
Huber, Hunt & Nichols
Joint Venture with The Sherman R. Smoot Company
  Other Facts  
Tenants Indiana Pacers
(NBA) (1999-Present)
Indiana Fever
(WNBA) (2000-Present)
Former Tenants Indianapolis Ice
(IHL)
Indianapolis Twisters
(CISL)
Indiana Firebirds
(AFL) (2001-2004)
Population Base 1,500,000
On Site Parking Unknown
Nearest Airport Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
Retired Numbers #30 George McGinnis
#31 Reggie Miller
#34 Mel Daniels
#35 Roger Brown
#529 Bobby Leonard

  Seating  
Capacity 18,345
Average Ticket $45.79
(2005-2006)
$42.39
(2007-2008)
Fan Cost Index (FCI) $264.18
(2005-2006)
$250.57
(2007-2008)
The Team Marketing Report FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
Luxury Suites 66 Suites
Club Seats 2,500
Hockey 14,400
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1992-93 530,891 78% 2.6%
1993-94 543,815 80% 2.4%
1994-95 655,028 97% 20.5%
1995-96 673,967 99% 2.9%
1996-97 636,735 94% -5.5%
1997-98 645,302 95% 1.4%
1998-99 404,536 98% -37.3%
1999-00 752,145 100% 85.9%
2000-01 733,4444 97.5% -2.5%

2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
686,537 670,461 683,125 696,764

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
663,368 629,750 501,092 581,472

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
582,295 555,077 467,561 626,069

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
717,542

1992-1999 - Attendance for the Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana.
1998-1999 - Attendance for 25 games due to NBA lockout.
2011-2012 - Attendance for 33 games due to NBA lockout.

Sources: Mediaventures

Located just a short walk from the RCA Dome and Circle Centre, in the city’s historic warehouse district on Pennsylvania and Georgia Streets, the Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formerly the Conseco Fieldhouse) will serve as the east anchor to downtown’s entertainment corridor.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse Facts:

* World's largest crane had to be brought in to install tresses on top of building. Crane was so large it was disassembled before brought in to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and reassembled on the ground level inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
* Roof is 15 stories high
* 1200 workers to build Bankers Life Fieldhouse
* Occupy 750,000 square feet between Delaware and Penn. Street
* Facts about basketball hanging in Home Court Team Store
   * 18 feet across
   * each section is 18’x 9’x 6’.
   * ball weighs 3,860 lbs.
   * it took 820 man hours to construct
   * 6,870 dimples which were hand carved and painted by one man
   * makes one revolution per minute and rotates at a 22 degree incline
    and is powered by a 1/4 HP motor
   * constructed out of steel and wrapped with fiberglass
* Bankers Life Fieldhouse is the first retro-styled facility in the NBA
* More than 100 points of sale for concessions (only 58 in MSA)
* There are 33 disabled accessible drinking fountains
* All restrooms are fully accessible
* Bankers Life Fieldhouse has 4 loading docks
* Home Court Team Store has 3 times as large as the one in MSA
* Founder’s Suite Level is 16 rows from Courtside seating
* Main concourse width ranges from 24 to 60 feet at its widest (compared with the average of 14 at MSA)
* 69 Luxury suites sold and two hospitality suites available for rental
* Over 500 restroom fixtures
* Eight elevators
* 36 payphones
* 3 ATM machines
* TDD Telephones located on all levels
* Seat size – 20 inches in lower/balcony levels, 21 inches in Club Level, 22 in Suites (most seats in MSA were 19 inches)
* 3 first aid offices strategically placed throughout Bankers Life Fieldhouse
* Box office has 18 ticket windows in entry pavilion
* Entry into Bankers Life Fieldhouse is from street level through main concourse
* Assisted listening devices available for events as well as sign language interpreters
* Has concierge on staff at all events to assist with guest needs
* $183 million to build
* Basketball floor runs north south with a four-sided video scoreboard suspended above center court
* Has a seating section of retractable bleachers
* Practice facility separate from main floor, pedestrians on Delaware can look down and see players practicing
* Heating ducts under plazas to melt ice in cold weather for safety of guests
* Enclosed walkway from Virginia Street parking garage
* Escalator from parking garage bridge to entry pavilion
* Size and Material (numbers are approximate)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse

   * 10,000,000 cubic feet of volume
   * 600,000 bricks
   * 550,000 blocks
   * 1,800 pieces of limestone
   * 6,500 linear feet of limestone
   * 660 tons of limestone
   * 58,000 square feet of glass
   * building is approx. 170 feet high
   * 7 elevators
* Ground breaking was on July 22, 1997
* Opening night was November 6, 1999 – First Pacers home game in 1999-2000 season.
* Sits on 5.93 acres located between Delaware St. and Penn. at Conseco Court
* Wheelchair seating available at different levels in numerous different price ranges
* Cat walk is approximately 148 feet from the event level (basketball floor).
* There are approximately 8917 lights at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
* By the completion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, approximately 1,461,359 man hours will have been spent on the project.
* Approximately 300,000 cubic yards of dirt were removed from the construction site.
* It would take a person approximately 5 trips walking around the main concourse to equal a mile.
* There are 4 main stairwells with approximately 1,014 steps.
* There are approx. 1200 steps in various other stairs throughout the building (not including bowl/seating stairs/steps and main stairwells).
* The ice that is used for hockey games takes approx. 8 hours to make. Pipes under the floor are filled with a substance that freezes the floor to approx. 12-15 degrees.
* The public passenger elevators have a 20-25 person capacity.
* The center scoreboard is 30 feet tall.
* When hanging, from the bottom of the center scoreboard to the playing floor is 35 feet (65 feet from the top of the scoreboard to the floor).
* There are 4 digital Mitsubishi screens on the scoreboard. These screens are the latest state-of-the-art technology, and only one other franchise has the same screens.
* The sound system in Bankers Life Fieldhouse is 1/3 larger than the one in MSA.
* There are 82 stereo amplifiers in the seating area of Bankers Life Fieldhouse (vs. 33 in MSA).
* There are 2 stereo amplifiers in each concourse (on each level).
* There will be a scoreboard on the north end and the south end of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse seating area where scores from other games being played will be displayed.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Conseco Fieldhouse Ranking by USRT
Architecture 10
Concessions 8
Scoreboard 7
Ushers 5
Fan Support 7
Location 9
Banners/History 70
Entertainment 7
Concourses/Fan Comfort 9
Bonus: Bleacher Seating 3
Bonus: USRT Red Carpet Treatment 4
Bonus: Practice Court 2
Total Score 78
November 4, 2000 & April 7, 2003 - "In 49 states it's just basketball... but this is Indiana". This mantra which begins the opening video on the scoreboard was enough to give us chills, and so aptly depicts this wonderful building and the terrific heritage that is truly Indiana basketball.

Conseco Fieldhouse opened just a year ago, and is the home to the NBA Indiana Pacers. It replaced another downtown venue, the Market Square Arena, which was built in the 70s and from what we were told was very cramped and drab.

The City of Indianapolis did not just build a mere arena... they built a fieldhouse, and one would have to say it is The Fieldhouse. It was modeled after Indiana's old high school and college fieldhouses, where SRO crowds are the norm on any given wintry night. The building is cutting edge and at the same time retro - it is state of the art yet nostalgic. In short, it is not only a building to visit, but also to experience.

The facility is located in the city's Wholesale District, which we covered in the Indianapolis Colts report, and has a distinct half-barrel type roof with a red brick and steel exterior. At the top of the building are huge skylights which bathe the arena bowl in natural light during the day and provide a dramatic view of the skyline at night from inside the bowl.

Conseco Fieldhouse
You walk into the main entry pavilion, and you are instantly mesmerized. There is an old fashioned box office with metal bars on the windows, and high above are b/w retro ad panels and also an old style message board similar to the type you would see at a train station. Just off the pavilion is a coffee shop, a huge (10,000 sf) team store, a bridge to the adjoining ramp, and the Pacers practice court. Yes - practice court. Visitors on practice days can walk into the pavilion and watch the team practice from a glassed in area overhead.... nice!

You walk up the grand staircase, have your ticket checked and now you are in the concourse - wide, bright and spacious. All the concourses are adorned with showcases and many displays of not only Pacers ABA/NBA memorabilia, but also mementos of Indiana college and high school  greats. In short, this is a veritable museum to Indiana basketball! There were also huge displays highlighting the Pacers history, from their beginnings as an ABA team to their ABA titles to their merger to their recent successes, all shown through large headline displays recreated from the Indianapolis Star. Other similar displays showcased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indiana's health care. The walls are all done in red brick with wood accents, all the light fixtures are done in an old fashioned retro look, and all ad panels are HAND PAINTED on the brick facade.

As if that's not enough, there are also false storefronts of a 50's style Main Street, and there is a shoeshine stand (open for business!), a barber shop with a face painter, and an old time TV store, displaying the old RCA Victor console sets. Just incredible!

Of course, the food selection is amazing, with daiquiri bars, all the usual stuff, carved corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, a separate restaurant on the UPPER concourse offering a mid priced buffet, the Varsity Club on the club level with a great view of the pavilion. Points of sale for concessions and merchandise were EVERYWHERE...

Conseco Fieldhouse

The Bowl
The arena bowl is octagon shaped, broken into three levels, and of course, the skylights at the top of  the building look out into the skyline. There are no back lit ad boards - all ads are either front lit or neon... at the top of the bowl are hand operated NBA out of town scores. And one section in the clubs is called "the bleachers", and has authentic fieldhouse style bleacher seating - no backs, and numbers stenciled on the benches.

Retired Numbers/Banners
Gratefully, no silly banners. The Pacers just show their ABA titles and their NBA division/conference championships, as well as five Pacers greats. Since this was opening night, they unveiled their 99-00 conference championship banners in a short but very tasteful ceremony.

Summary
If this report sounds like we are gushing, it is because we are. This is our 13th NBA venue, and we seriously doubt that our NBA experience in the rest of the league will be able to top this one. Conseco Fieldhouse should serve as the blueprint for any professional or college team looking to build a new basketball facility. Not part of the grand plan, but we are already eyeballing the 2002 World Basketball Championship for a return visit (with a side trip to Victory Field for some Indians AAA baseball of course!)

PACERS CAN'T AFFORD ARENA MAINTENANCE COSTS
March 12, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - The Indiana Pacers are losing about $30 million this season and cannot continue to shoulder the millions of dollars it costs to operate Conseco Fieldhouse. That was the announcement to the Capital Improvement Board from CIB Vice President Pat Early, who has been in discussions with team officials about the financial problems both organizations face.

Operating Conseco Fieldhouse costs the Pacers roughly $15 million a year. If the team can't make those payments, it would fall to the CIB, which already is struggling with a budget shortfall of $20 million this year.

That potential $35 million shortfall is driving the CIB to look at a number of options. The board earlier agreed to cut $1.4 million in grants to arts groups and others. That's on top of $6 million in previous cuts.

Board President Bob Grand said he did not see Early's warning to the board as a capitulation to the Pacers but as a report from a board member who has been in contact with a key stakeholder. No action on what to do with the team was proposed or taken. Greg Schenkel, vice president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, said only that the team is working with the CIB to find solutions.

Early said the team has told him it has lost money in all but two of the 28 years the Simons have owned the team.

He said the team has not threatened to leave, but he said there is a good chance it will look to move or even shut down if the CIB does not assume the operating costs.

"If we are unable to do this, we're really jeopardizing the health of Downtown," Early said. "It's important that everyone understands the Pacers can't participate any more financially," he said. "We are going to have to find a solution."

The board discussed another option: the idea of raising the city's hotel and food and beverage taxes.

Board member Craig Huse, owner of St. Elmo Steak House, said the restaurant and hotel industry wasn't sure it could withstand another 1 percentage point increase, which could raise a combined $24 million for the CIB.

"Conseco or Lucas Oil going dark is not something anyone wants to see," Huse said. "But at some point, there has to be a pushback. There seems to be a consensus (in our industry) that we've reached that point."

The state legislature, expected to finish its session in late April, is expected to consider giving the city the authority to raise various taxes. The CIB also has asked the state to consider expanding a professional sports tax district that taxes the income of stadium employees, including athletes.

Early's report on talks with the Pacers overshadowed the board's vote to cut some of the grants it awards. The board cut 13 percent from cultural tourism, the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Indiana Black Expo.

Dave Lawrence, vice president of the Arts Council, said he appreciated the difficult situation facing the CIB but reminded the board that the arts also contribute to the city's vitality, including generating $52 million in taxes.

"As we're talking about the Pacers and how to save Downtown," he said, "we also have to talk about the arts." (Indianapolis Star)

PACERS COULD MOVE IF CITY WON'T SUPPORT OPERATING COSTS
April 15, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - The Indiana Pacers want to use a clause in their lease for Conseco Fieldhouse to win city funding for operating expenses at the arena and say they could move if the city does not agree.

Team officials stress that moving is a last resort, but it's not out of the question.

The Pacers signed their current 20-year lease with the city in 1999, but a clause in that contract allows the team to renegotiate its terms with the city's Capital Improvement Board after 10 years.

The Pacers, members of the CIB and Mayor Greg Ballard's administration have held behind-closed-doors negotiations on that lease, which have centered on the team's push to have the CIB pick up the $15 million operating tab.

Those negotiations now, however, have reached a critical stage.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris said this week that if a deal isn't in place by June 30, Simon would have to start searching for other solutions, and nothing would be off the table.

"We've been having conversations with the Ballard administration for two years," Morris said, "and we're now at the point where we need to wrap this up in the next 30, 40 days."

If that doesn't happen, he said, "Herb would have to look at all of his options."

As for moving, Morris said, "We have not had conversations with other cities. We do not want the team to move. In the event that we're not able to address the issues, you have to look at all your options, but Herb has never threatened to move the team, and it's not a matter of leverage; it's a matter of trying to find a way to make this work."

Morris said June 30 is a crucial deadline because that marks the end of the team's fiscal year and the beginning of the next.

CIB President Ann Lathrop did not offer a time line to reach a deal with the Pacers but said that discussions were ongoing and that "there's definitely been progress."

The CIB, which is responsible for running Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center, has its own financial woes.

In the last year, the CIB has cut its budget from $78 million to about $50 million after state lawmakers and the City-County Council approved an increase in the city's hotel tax and an expansion of its professional sports taxing district to help buoy the board's finances.

But Lathrop said that new money has just started to trickle in, and its tax revenues continue to be affected by a slumping economy. After the first two months of the year, the CIB's revenue already has fallen $1.3 million short of projections.

Under the current lease, the Pacers pay for the operating costs of Conseco, while the CIB is responsible for larger capital improvement projects. The team, in turn, keeps revenue from basketball games and other events at the fieldhouse.

While Morris and Lathrop declined to detail any snags in the negotiations, snags could hinge on more than operating costs.

For example, the Pacers are pressing the CIB to install a new scoreboard, floors, furniture, kitchen equipment, wireless Internet and other amenities. Morris said would cost "a good many millions of dollars" over the next several years.

INDIANAPOLIS MAY TAKE OVER ARENA OPERATIONS
April 22, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - Paul Okeson, former chief of staff for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, says the city is "seriously thinking about" taking over the operation of Conseco Fieldhouse from the Indiana Pacers. Okeson is handling the city's negotiations as a member of the Capital Improvement Board, which oversees the city's sports venues.

The statement comes as the Pacers say they need help in boosting revenues and, if other options fail, the team might be forced to move.

It's not entirely clear how the CIB, which has faced its own financial struggles and is funded primarily by tax dollars, would pay for operating costs. If the city took over, the money would likely come from tax dollars.

Negotiations between Indianapolis and the team have been ongoing for months. Although city leaders have said they want to keep the Pacers in town, they have been quiet about their specific intentions.

City officials emphasize they would not be writing the Pacers a check.

"If they leave, it's going to cost us roughly $15 million to run this place, and that doesn't include the losses that come along with them going," Okeson said. "In no way is it giving money to the team."

The Pacers' current 20-year contract provides a clause that allows the team to negotiate the lease's terms after 10 years but includes a termination fee - estimated in the tens of millions - if the team were to be sold and move.

Under the contract, the Pacers pay for the operating costs of Conseco, while the CIB is responsible for larger capital improvement projects. The team, in turn, keeps revenue from basketball games and other events at Conseco.

It's possible, Okeson said, that even if the city assumed the operating costs at Conseco, the Pacers still might receive revenue from concerts and other events there.

Okeson said the CIB will remain open to other options while the board figures out ways it could pay the extra operating cost with its funds, which come from taxes on things such as hotels, food and beverages, cigarettes and auto rentals.

The CIB got state approval last year to expand a sports taxing district, increase the local hotel tax and get a state loan, but Indianapolis leaders complained that the money from those measures was not sufficient and warned that drastic budget cuts would have to be made to avert a deficit projected at $47 million.

Last year, the board made those cuts - totaling about $33.5 million - and ended up with $4 million in revenue.

Although the CIB can't sustain all of the reductions, members say they're looking for other efficiencies in areas such as energy costs and parking contracts to provide more savings.

CIB President Ann Lathrop said those savings, coupled with increased revenue from the state-approved measures last year, would help the board if it took on the expense of operating Conseco.

The board also hopes it could save on the cost of running the fieldhouse, as well as Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center, by combining their operations.

PACERS MOVE WOULD COST INDIANAPOLIS $55 MILLION
May 13, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - Indianapolis would lose $55 million a year in economic benefits and $17.8 million in tax revenue if the franchise left the city, according to a new economic impact report.

The Capital Improvement Board, which oversees Conseco Fieldhouse, and the Pacers have been engaged in negotiations for months, centering on the NBA franchise's insistence that it no longer can afford to pay the operating expenses for its home arena.

The study, aimed at assessing the Pacers' influence on the city's economy, came as those negotiations have reached a critical stage. Owner Herb Simon and the team's top brass are pressing for a deal by June 30 or could begin considering all options - including moving the team to a new city.

During the first 10 years of the Pacers' 20-year lease with the city, the team has paid for operating expenses at the fieldhouse, but the team now is utilizing a window halfway through the lease that allows it to renegotiate terms.

As a result, the Pacers have asked the city to pick up the tab for the fieldhouse, which repeatedly has been estimated at $15 million per year. But CIB President Ann Lathrop said that in negotiations, the team is placing the cost of running the fieldhouse "in excess of $18 million."

That number is almost identical to the amount the economic impact study estimated local government bodies in Indianapolis would lose should the Pacers leave.

The study, conducted by Chicago-based Hunden Strategic Partners, estimated the city would lose $17.8 million if the Pacers no longer played at Conseco.

Of that total, $12.2 million would come from a net operating loss should the city run the fieldhouse. While the city would gain revenue from non-basketball events there that the team now keeps, it would have to spend $21.1 million to operate the facility if the Pacers were not a tenant.

The study estimated the team's expense of operating the venue at $17.5 million but determined the city would spend more because of future improvements and a drop in revenue from sponsorship, naming rights and other revenue opportunities that would not generate as much without an NBA franchise playing in the building.

In addition to the $12.2 million the study estimated the city would lose in operating the building, it forecast a loss of about $5.6 million in local tax revenue, bringing the total projected loss for the city to $17.8 million.

"This confirmed what we knew with greater detail, which is that there is a significant return on investment from having a marquee tenant like the Pacers here," said Paul Okeson, who as the CIB's treasurer and former chief of staff to Mayor Greg Ballard has been a key negotiator with the Pacers.

The study also found the city had much more to lose than the cost of running the building and the loss of taxes.

It found that the city would lose $31.5 million in direct spending and $23.5 million in spinoff spending in the economy, such as local restaurants ordering more supplies or a waitress having more personal income to spend.

Hunden said the study accounted for some of that spending being redistributed to other entertainment options. However, he said, the fact remains that the money the Pacers spend on its employees, the employees, in turn, spend locally.

Plus, he said, 60 percent of those who attend Pacers games come from outside Marion County and likely would spend a lot more of their entertainment dollars closer to home should the team leave.

According to the study, the Pacers' presence directly affects the equivalent of 539 full-time jobs and an additional 370 supported by spinoff spending in the economy, for a total of 909 jobs. The Pacers have said they would like a decision by June 30, but the CIB may not choose to honor that deadline.

Revenue for the year has come in more than $1 million short of projections, and last year the board cut its budget from $78 million to less than $50 million. The CIB, however, has the benefit of new tax revenue that has begun to trickle in, thanks to approval of an increase in the city's hotel tax and an expansion of its professional sports taxing district by the state legislature and City-County Council.

That new revenue amounts to about $12 million per year. So would the CIB have enough to pay for a new deal for the Pacers? "Well, it's keeping our new (chief financial officer) up at night for sure. We're continuing to look at our budget. We have worked to continue to keep costs down, and that's how we'd continue to look at it," Lathrop said.

May 13, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Indianapolis' Conseco Arena is expected to undergo a name change. Shareholders approved a name change for the firm to CNO Financial Group. No decisions have been made about a new name or a timeline.

PACERS' DEADLINE EXPECTED TO PASS WITHOUT DEAL
July 1, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - A deadline set by the Indiana Pacers to a deal to cover the operating costs at Conseco Fieldhouse has passed without an agreement in place, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The team set the deadline last year when it said it could no longer cover the costs of operating the venue.

The Pacers, members of the Capital Improvement Board and Mayor Greg Ballard's administration have held behind-closed-doors negotiations on the lease, centering on the team's push to have the CIB pick up the $15 million operating tab, the newspaper said.

City leaders are open to striking a short-term deal as they wrangle with several variables, including the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, revenue tied to the convention center expansion and the unstable national economy.

"There has been a lot of thought and conversation about that," Paul Okeson, member of the board told the Star. "It seems a little challenging to strike a long-tern deal at this point because of all of those variables."

Greg Schenkel, vice president of corporate and public relations for the Pacers, told the newspaper, "We are hopeful and optimistic and are still working toward a positive resolution for everybody."

Team officials said they would consider all options - including leaving town - if an agreement is not reached.

The Pacers signed their current 20-year lease with the city in 1999, but a clause in that contract allows the team to renegotiate its terms with the city's Capital Improvement Board after 10 years.

"The June 30 deadline is not one imposed by the city," said Robert Vane, deputy chief of staff. "The mayor has said consistently that we will take our time in continuing to negotiate in good faith."

PACERS' AID TIED TO EXTENDED STAY
July 15, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - A plan to provide $33.5 million to the Indiana Pacers to keep the NBA team in Indianapolis is tied to a pledge to keep the team in town until at least 2019, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The idea of providing money to a sports franchise has incited criticism by some, but city leaders insisted they have been tough negotiators. They didn't agree to cover the full operating cost of Conseco Fieldhouse, estimated at $15 million to $18 million per year, or the roughly $25 million in capital improvements the Pacers said were needed at the fieldhouse. And they locked in what they called an important addition to the Downtown economy for three years, the newspaper said.

"The mayor has said we need to protect the taxpayer and we need to protect the tax base," Robert Vane, deputy chief of staff and communications director for Mayor Greg Ballard told the Star. "This agreement does both."

Under the terms, control of Conseco Fieldhouse - and revenues from all events there - will remain with the team, but unlike the current contract, the city will chip in $10 million per year for fieldhouse operations for the next three years. The city also will pay at least $3.5 million for capital improvements at the fieldhouse, an amount that has the potential to increase by up to $4.7 million, it was reported.

In exchange, the Pacers must stay in Indianapolis through the 2012-13 basketball season or pay back the entire $30 million. The team also would be on the hook for a portion of that $30 million if it left before its contract expired in 2019, the Star said.

If the Pacers stay through the end of their current contract, which ends in 2019, they would not have to pay any of the money back.

City leaders told the newspaper they are confident they can pay for the deal.

Last year, the state legislature passed an assistance package allowing the Capital Improvement Board to avert a projected $47 million deficit. The rescue increased the board's take of hotel, sales and income tax revenue. Those increases, along with the board's resolution of a complicated $25.4 million debt insurance issue, helped to steer the board away from insolvency.

Its leaders also began drastically cutting costs, the newspaper said, and those cuts have continued this year. So far in 2010, expenses that include debt payments and operating costs have come in $7.3 million lower than budgeted.

The board is also planning big-picture changes, such as joining the city's health insurance plan and exploring an IT consolidation, to look for long-term reductions.

The Star said the board also expects a boost in spending will help drive up CIB revenues. The CIB's money comes from taxes on things such as cigarettes, auto rentals, and food and beverages, but not property taxes. Getting those taxes depends heavily on whether people go out to eat, attend sporting events and travel - and whether the city can book conventions and events such as NCAA basketball tournaments.

After double-digit dips in the board's revenue sources since 2007, CIB leaders project those monies will start to rebound gradually, starting with a climb of between 1 percent and 3 percent starting next year.

The CIB has brought in $3.8 million more than budgeted so far this year.

But whether those kinds of gains can be sustained, city and tourism officials acknowledge, remains unknown and depends upon an economy that's out of their control, the newspaper said.

Tourism officials are making efforts to offset the uncertainty. Part of the challenge will be booking enough conventions to generate money that will make up the added $5 million annual cost of operating the expanded convention center. The venue is expected to open in early 2011.

Don Welsh, president and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, told the Star that his group has set a goal of doubling its roughly 35 annual convention bookings and growing the number of hotel rooms occupied from 525,000 to 850,000 per year.

To do that, his group has received extra city money and private dollars to bulk up its advertising in hopes of drawing more leisure travelers to Indianapolis and has increased its sales staff who focus on convention bookings by five members, it was reported.

Even if cuts can't be sustained and revenues sag, city leaders say there are backup options to funding the Pacers. Through 2011, the board can receive an annual $9 million state loan that has to be paid back starting in 2019, the newspaper said.

And, as part of the assistance package the state legislature passed last year, the City-County Council would have the option to increase taxes on auto rentals and tickets if more help was needed.

BOARD APPROVES SUPPORT FOR PACERS
July 22, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - The Capital Improvement Board that oversees Conseco Fieldhouse has approved a plan to give $33.5 million in financial support to the Indiana Pacers, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The nine-member board reportedly voted 6-1 to provide the $10 million per year in funding, which begins this year and runs through 2013.

Under a deal presented by Mayor Greg Ballard and CIB leaders, the $30 million would help the Pacers, who have seen financial losses in recent years, offset the costs of operating Conseco Fieldhouse. The CIB also would pay $3.5 million for capital improvements that could include things such as a new scoreboard and updated telephone systems, the newspaper said.

In exchange, the Pacers must remain in Indianapolis the next three years. If the team were to leave after that, it would have to pay back part of the $30 million on a decreasing scale, on top of the city's estimated $20 million in termination fees in the existing contract.

The City-County Council does not have to approve this year's funding because it's in the CIB's existing budget, but the council can control whether the board makes future payments, the newspaper said.

December 23, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

The name on Conseco Fieldhouse will remain unchanged, even though the company that owns the name has changed, the Indianapolis Star reported. Company officials noted the cost of making a change and the need for continuity in the building's name. The Star said the company is in the 12th year of a $40 million, 20-year naming-rights deal.

December 22, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

The name of Conseco Fieldhouse is about to change, according to the Indianapolis Star. The newspaper notes Conseco's namesake, the Carmel-based insurer formerly called Conseco Inc., changed its name in March 2010 to CNO Financial Group. CNO executives started talks with the Pacers about renaming the arena but ultimately decided the time wasn't right. A formal announcement is expected later today (Thursday).

INDIANAPOLIS ARENA GETS NEW NAME
January 5, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Indianapolis, Ind. - The Indianapolis Star says Conseco Fieldhouse will be renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse, after a subsidiary of CNO Financial.

The fieldhouse was originally named for Carmel-based Conseco Inc., which is now known as CNO Financial Group.

CNO's CEO Edward J. Bonach told reporters the name change is "a new chapter in the same book." CNO is in the 13th year of its 20-year naming rights deal with the fieldhouse.

The company chose Bankers Life over CNO because Bankers Life is a name consumers know, Bonach said. Bankers is based in Chicago and has an Indianapolis office.

CNO and Bankers Life will pay for all the new signs, which should cost less than $1 million.

To celebrate the new name, Bankers president Scott Perry announced that Bankers will offer a special deal on tickets to the Pacers' first home game of 2012, which will be Jan. 7 against the Charlotte Bobcats. Pacers tickets will be offered for $1, $7 and $12 because the date is 1/7/12.

The facility opened in 1999 when the Pacers moved from Market Square Arena.

Indiana Pacers

Indiana State
Fair Coliseum

Indiana State Fair Coliseum

1967-1974
Market
Square Arena

Market Square Arena

1974-1999
Bankers Life
Fieldhouse

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

1999-Present


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