Indiana State Fair Coliseum reopens Thursday

(WISH Photo/Brett Bensley)
(WISH Photo/Brett Bensley)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – After major renovations, the Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds reopens Thursday.

The Coliseum originally opened 1939, so at 75-years-old, the State Fair Commission determined it needed some major work.

The $63 million renovations started in October 2012.

Included was work to the Coliseum itself:

  • The lobby is now larger, with five ticket windows, two 72 inch video screens and two elevators.
  • The main concourse now offers natural light and open views into the arena.
  • The arena itself has a new overhead LED scoreboard and a new 9 foot livestock wall around floor.

Other additions include a new team store, sound system and concession stands, as well as 70 new flat screen monitors throughout.

The $10 million Youth Arena that was added opened in August 2013, allowing skaters and hockey players use during the winter months. The 30,000 square foot investment adjoins the Coliseum.

The State Fair Commission said renovations were finished mindful of the site’s historical significance:

  • Twelve original ticket windows were refurbished.
  • Crews restored 96 original wooden seats.
  • Windows were replaced.
  • A new lobby floor was laid to match the original.
  • Posters of historical events were hung in the lobby.

The Commission said up to 80 percent of the materials removed were recycled, including concrete that is now used in the fairground’s parking lots.

Thursday’s grand reopening begins with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. with fair executives, Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. The Indiana State Fair concert series lineup will also be announced. This event is not open to the public.

Then, Thursday afternoon from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., the public is invited to an open house. Staff will be on hand with information about the construction and the Coliseum’s new features.

Click here for more information on the Coliseum’s grand reopening.

Click here for more information on the Indiana State Fair.

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