Pacers to detail plan for $50 million practice facility

(WISH Photo/Brett Bensley)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers will give more details about a proposed $50 million practice facility Wednesday morning.

On Monday, Indianapolis’ Capital Improvement Board approved the plan to put the new facility at the Elevated Lot, a parking lot on Delaware Street just south of Virginia Avenue.

Officials could give a first look at the plans for the new practice space when they speak at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Pacers Sports and Entertainment will foot the $50 million bill to build the five-story building.

The Capital Improvement Board currently owns the land where the elevated lot sits. The Pacers would have a lease with the CIB for up to 50 years. At the end of that time, the CIB will own the building.

The Pacers told 24-Hour News 8 they want to build the new space to stay competitive in the NBA. Bill Benner, with the Pacers, said since Bankers Life Fieldhouse was built in 1999, 20 teams have built standalone practice facilities. Benner said this could help the team attract free agents. Plus, players coming out of college are often used to playing in state-of-the-art facilities.

The Portland Trailblazers recently renovated their practice facility to include a barber shop and high end theater room. The Oklahoma City Thunder have a car wash and hydrotherapy pools in the team’s practice facility.

Benner said a new facility will also deepen the ties the Pacers have with the city.

“The Pacers want to be here. They want to be Indy’s team forever, and they want to be the best of Indy’s teams they can possibly be. And this helps move toward that goal,” said Benner.

Benner said the team trains year around, and all the events happening in Bankers Life Fieldhouse make finding practice time for the Fever and Pacers difficult. Under the plan, the Fever would keep using the current practice space. Benner said freeing up space in Bankers Life Fieldhouse would present other opportunities.

“One of my learning points in my time I’ve been with the Pacers Sports and Entertainment is the incredible varied amount of activities that come in and out of that building [Bankers Life Fieldhouse], and many require spaces that would be the size of the practice court. And we just can’t provide it because we don’t have it,” said Benner.

St. Vincent and the Pacers said they will also make a joint announcement at 10:30 Wednesday morning at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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