Improved Gainbridge Fieldhouse awaits fans for Pacers opener


New this year, Hoosier artwork lines the hallways, non-traditional dishes fill the menus and, in just a few months, fans will be able to enjoy an all-new outdoor plaza.

INDIANAPOLIS — As part of the second-largest renovation in NBA history, Gainbridge Fieldhouse is ready to welcome guests for the Indiana Pacers’ season opener on Wednesday night.

New this year, Hoosier artwork lines the hallways, non-traditional dining options fill menus throughout the grounds and, in just a few months, fans will be able to enjoy an all-new outdoor plaza.

The “art” of the game

Thanks to a partnership with the Indy Arts Council and the Capitol Improvement Board, Gainbridge Fieldhouse is now lined with more than 60 artworks and murals by Indiana artists.

Daniel Lopez, vice president of external affairs and corporate communications for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said more than 20 Hoosier artists contributed to the project.

“It’s diverse artists from all over the state,” Lopez said.

According to Lopez, the artwork captures the highlights of sports and entertainment in Indiana, particularly inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

“It’s a place where a lot of memories have been made and a lot of really cool things have happened,” Lopez said, “but it’s also a place for the community. It’s a way to showcase these artists incredible.”

With millions of people passing through the fieldhouse each year, Gainbridge Fieldhouse is much more than a basketball arena, according to Lopez.

“A lot of gathering spaces, a lot more bar spaces,” Lopez said, “but a component of that has to be visual arts because when people come here, they don’t just come for a basketball game. or for a concert – they come for an experience. They come for memories that are created. This work of art, and of course the artists who created it, are an essential part of it.

Some of these experiences include LEDs and interactive artwork.

“We could think of this place as just a basketball arena,” Lopez said. “We are much more than basketball.”

Bicentennial Unity Square

Just north of Gainbridge Fieldhouse is the future home of the Bicentennial Unity Square.

With construction well underway, Lopez expects the outdoor space to be completed in the spring of 2023 and will be available seven days a week for the Hoosiers to enjoy.

“People who just want to grab a sandwich and come downtown or who work downtown and want a place to sit, that will be open,” Lopez said. “We really try to create an open and welcoming environment in the north of the complex.”

Another draw to complete the draft in 2023 is the next NBA All-Star Game in 2024, to be held in Indianapolis.

“This will be the most inclusive and community-focused NBA All-Star weekend ever,” Lopez said. “That’s our goal. We’re really going to make an effort to use those assets to bring people downtown and make them feel part of everything that’s going on.”

A taste of Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Pacers fans can expect a starting lineup of new food options this season.

You’ll still be able to grab your typical arena classics like hot dogs and popcorn, but what about collard greens and fried cauliflower? These are just a few of the fan favorite Taste of Innova Wings + Greens options.

The local restaurant was new to Gainbridge Fieldhouse last year, joining as part of its guest chef program which showcases local restaurants and chefs. A handful of local restaurants had rotating appearances on match days, most of them minority owned.

“We sold for every game we had,” co-owner Monique Hawkins said, “and the funds went to a great cause. The proceeds went to Gleaners, and that grew our business 25 percent.”

Taste of Innova Wings + Greens will now be at Gainbridge Fieldhouse all season, thanks to their popularity last season.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can check out another new addition, The Shake Bar. It’s owned by Steak ‘n Shake, but you won’t find any burgers there, just decadent, over-the-top milkshakes.

Maybe the chicken wings and milkshakes didn’t catch your eye? You can stroll through the lobby and take your pick from options like Chicken Adobo Nachos, Birria Ramen Bowls, Bourbon Bacon Grilled Cheese, or a Crunchy Cinnamon Wheel with Nutella and powdered sugar on top. – all of which come highly recommended by Gainbridge Fieldhouse Executive Chef Chris. Albino.

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