Bankers Life Fieldhouse
| 125 S. Pennsylvania Street|
|Broke ground||July 22, 1997|
|Opened||November 6, 1999|
|Owner||Capital Improvement Board|
|Operator||Capital Improvement Board|
| Indiana Pacers (NBA) (1999-present)|
Indiana Fever (WNBA) (2000-present)
Conseco Fieldhouse is an indoor basketball arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, it is home to the NBA's Indiana Pacers and WNBA's Indiana Fever. It opened November 6, 1999, when the Indiana Pacers hosted the Boston Celtics, is a step into the future while taking a walk back into history. It's big, yet comfortable. It has all the modern appliances, yet there's that favorite old picture on the wall. It is a building that is unique in today's sports society because the extra effort was made to make it that way. In other words, if you have a religion, you must build the appropriate cathedral.
In Indiana, basketball is our civic religion. Conseco Fieldhouse is the cathedral. That's what makes the home of the NBA's Indiana Pacers and WNBA's Indiana Fever unique.
"We wanted this building to have a kind of special feeling to it, that when people came into it they felt part of the tradition that the building is for," said former Pacers Sports & Entertainment CEO & President Donnie Walsh. "I think this is a pure basketball arena that reflects the game itself and the roots of the game."
Ground was broken on July 22, 1997, on the $183 million multi-purpose facility and while there were blueprints, a scale model and dreams, it was hard for anyone at the time to fathom what would evolve. But what has risen 14 stories into the Indianapolis skyline is a fit perfect for the city, the state, the game of basketball at any level and the various events a facility of this type would host.
"There are so many features that make it one-of-a-kind," said Tom Proebstle, Project Designer for Ellerbe Beckett, the Fieldhouse design firm. "The most obvious feature is the two huge glass curtain walls facing east and west that mark the beginning of an incredible architectural promenade as you are approaching downtown on the highway and see the lit-up glass set against the Indianapolis skyline. No other arena in the world can claim this. I'm sure it will be copied many times over."
That's the view from the outside. Inside, the unique look and feel of Conseco Fieldhouse fully takes over. The Entry Pavilion is a vast gathering place that funnels fans to the Grand Staircase. As patrons make their way up the staircase, their view takes them to their first look at the seating bowl (another unique feature) or to large, memorabilia cases on each side of the entrance to the Fieldhouse seating bowl.
From there, no matter which direction one takes, it's a nostalgic look. From the signage, to the concession stands, to the sponsor pavilions, to the bathrooms, to the practice facility, to the light fixtures, to the scoreboard, to the roll-out bleachers at the south end, Conseco Fieldhouse is unique, distinct and, as Pacers' guard Reggie Miller described, "Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. Far beyond my expectations."
With 750,000 square feet and 18,165 seats, this is a fairly new house that is, remarkably, an old home. Conseco Fieldhouse has suites (69), club seats (2,400) and state-of-the-art amenities. But it has a look and feel unlike any other indoor facility.
This unique feel has brought many comparisons and compliments to Conseco Fieldhouse. The USA Today calls the Fieldhouse "A Cathedral to Basketball" and Amusement Business Magazine refers to Conseco Fieldhouse as "The Camden Yards of Basketball." NBC's Bob Costas said Conseco Fieldhouse "is winning raves all around the league, many think it's the best building in the NBA."
Additionally, Conseco Fieldhouse has already been cited for its compliance and exceeding of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
In conjunction with the opening of the Fieldhouse, the Pacers announced a controversial listing of Indiana's Fifty Greatest Players, who are honored in the facility.
- Ground breaking was on July 22, 1997.
- Approximately 300,000 cubic yards of dirt were removed from the construction site.
- The world's largest crane was brought in to install tresses on top of building. The crane was so large it was disassembled before being brought into the structure and reassembled on the ground level once inside the structure.
- Was the first retro-styled facility in the NBA.
- Has a seating section of retractable bleachers.
- Main Concourse width ranges from 24 to 60 feet.
- 69 luxury suites available for sale and two hospitality suites available for rent.
- Founders' Level Suites are 16 rows from courtside seating.
- Approximately five trips around the Main Concourse equals a mile.
- Four main stairwells with approximately 1,014 steps.
- Heating ducts under plazas melt ice during cold weather
- Enclosed walkway from Virginia Street Parking Garage (escalator from garage walkway to Entry Pavilion)
- Assisted listening devices available for events as well as sign language interpreters
- Concierge on staff at all events to assist with guest needs
- The ice that is used for hockey games takes approximately eight hours to make. (pipes under the floor are filled with a substance that freezes the floor to approximately 12-15 degrees.)
- There are 82 stereo amplifiers in the seating bowl
- There are 2 stereo amplifiers in each concourse (on each level).
- Building Partners: 7 (Emmis Communications, Bank One, Conseco, The Indianapolis Star, Pepsi, Miller Brewing, Marsh Supermarkets)
- Sponsor Pavilions: 6 (The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, The Finish Line, Pulte Homes)
Additional Facts, Figures and Firsts
- Owner: Capital Improvements Board, City of Indianapolis
- Construction Managers: Huber, Hunt & Nichols, Inc./Smoot in conjunction with J. Beard Management Associates
- Architect: Ellerbe Becket Architects & Engineers
- Operator: Capital Improvement Board
- Cost: $183 million
- Capacity: 18,165 (for basketball)
- Acres: 6.2
- Square Feet: 750,000
- Cubic Feet of Volume: 10,000,000
- Limestone: 1,800 pieces totaling 660 tons; 6,500 linear feet
- Bricks: 600,000
- Blocks: 550,000
- Glass: 58,000 square feet, 782 panes
- Cable: 38,000 miles
- Lights: 8,917
- Roof: 15 stories high (approximately 170') (2,600 tons of steel)
- Workers to build: 1,200 (approximately 1,461,359 man hours)
- Restrooms: 71 (570 fixtures)
- Drinking Fountains: 33
- Elevators: 7
- Pay Phones: 36; (TDD access on all levels)
- ATM Machines: 3
- First Aid offices: 3
- Box Office windows: 18
- Cat Walk: approximately 148' from Event Level
- Main Scoreboard: 30' high; 35' from the scoreboard's bottom to playing floor (65' from the scoreboard's top to the floor)
- Seat size: 20" on Lower/Balcony Levels; 21" on Club Level; 22 in Suites
- The basketball in Home Court: 18' across (each section is 18'x 9'x 6'); 3,860 lbs.; 820 man hours to construct; 6,870 dimples (hand carved and painted by one man); makes one revolution per minute and rotates at a 22 degree incline; is powered by a ¼ HP motor; constructed out of steel and wrapped with fiberglass
- First Public Event/Pacers' Game: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics, 11/6/99; Pacers won 115-108
- First Professional Women's Basketball game/Fever preseason: Fever vs. Sacramento, 5/18/00; Monarchs won 74-68
- First Professional Women's Basketball game/Fever regular season: Fever vs. Orlando, 5/3/00; Miracle won 88-82
- First NBA Jump ball: Dale Davis vs. Vitaly Potapenko
- First WNBA Jump ball: Kara Wolters vs. Cintia dos Santos
- First NBA FGM: Boston's Vitaly Potapenko
- First WNBA FGM: Orlando's Cintia dos Santos
- First Pacers' FGM: Rik Smits
- First Fever FGM: Alicia Thompson
- First NBA 3-pt FGM: Reggie Miller
- First WNBA 3-pt FGM: Orlando's Adrienne Johnson
- First Fever 3-pt FGM: Monica Maxwell
- First NBA Dunk: Boston's Eric Williams
- First NBA FT: Reggie Miller
- First WNBA FT: Kara Wolters
- First NBA Rebound: Boston's Paul Pierce
- First Pacers' Rebound: Rik Smits
- First Fever Rebound: Kara Wolters
- First NBA Assist: Boston's Paul Pierce
- First WNBA Assist: Orlando's Taj McWilliams
- First Pacers' Assist: Mark Jackson
- First Pacers' Turnover: Mark Jackson
- First Fever Turnover: Kara Wolters
- First NBA Foul: Reggie Miller
- First WNBA Foul: Orlando's Cintia dos Santos
- First NBA Technical Foul: Boston's coach Rick Pitino
- First WNBA Technical Foul: Alicia Thompson
|Founded in: 1967 • Based in Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Franchise||Franchise History • All-Time roster • Seasons|
|Administration||Herb Simon (Owner) • Larry Bird (President) • David Morway (General manager) • Frank Vogel (Head coach)|
|Arenas||Indiana State Fair Coliseum • Market Square Arena • Conseco Fieldhouse|
|Head coaches||Staverman • Leonard • McKinney • Irvine • Ramsay • Versace • Hill • Brown • Bird • Thomas • Carlisle • O'Brien • Vogel|
|D-League Affiliate||Fort Wayne Mad Ants|
|Retired No.(s)||30 • 31 • 34 • 35 • 529 (coach honor)|
|Championships||ABA: 3 (1970, 1971, 1972)|