Indiana Farmers Coliseum

Last updated
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
The Indiana Farmers Coliseum during the 2015 Indiana State Fair
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Former namesIndiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum (1939–91)
Pepsi Coliseum (1991–2012)
Fairgrounds Coliseum (Apr–Dec 2014)
Address1202 E. 38th St.
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
LocationIndiana State Fairgrounds
Coordinates 39°49′39″N86°8′6″W / 39.82750°N 86.13500°W / 39.82750; -86.13500 Coordinates: 39°49′39″N86°8′6″W / 39.82750°N 86.13500°W / 39.82750; -86.13500
OwnerState of Indiana
OperatorIndiana State Fair Commission
Capacity Basketball: 6,800
Hockey: 6,200 [1]
Broke ground1936
OpenedAugust 1939 (1939-08)
ClosedOctober 29, 2012 (2012-10-29) – April 23, 2014 (2014-04-23)
ReopenedApril 24, 2014 (2014-04-24)
Construction cost$63 million (renovation)
Architect Populous
Project manager Hunt Construction Group

Indiana Pacers (ABA) (1967–1974)
IUPUI Jaguars (NCAA) (2014–present)
Indiana Fever (WNBA) (2021)


Ice hockey

Indianapolis Capitals (AHL) (1939–1952)
Indianapolis Chiefs (IHL) (1955–1962)
Indianapolis Capitals (CPHL) (1963)
Indianapolis Checkers (CHL/IHL) (1979–1985)
Indianapolis Ice (IHL) (1988–1994, 1997–1999)
Indiana Ice (USHL) (2004–2012)
Indy Fuel (ECHL) (2014–present)

Naptown Roller Derby (WFTDA) (2010–present)
The interior of Fairgrounds Coliseum after the most recent renovation Fairgrounds Coliseum-Hockey.jpg
The interior of Fairgrounds Coliseum after the most recent renovation

The Indiana Farmers Coliseum (originally Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum and formerly Pepsi Coliseum [2] and Fairgrounds Coliseum) is a 6,500-seat indoor multi-use arena, located on the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The Indiana Farmers Coliseum is home to both the Indy Fuel of the ECHL and the IUPUI Jaguars of the NCAA.

Originally opened in 1939 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (part of the New Deal), the Coliseum has hosted numerous historical events, including the only performances ever held in Indiana by The Beatles, in 1964. [3]

After Market Square Arena opened in 1974, the coliseum continued on as an alternate venue to the larger arena for events requiring less seating or overall space. This continues today after the Conseco Fieldhouse opened in 1999, and the subsequent demolition of Market Square Arena in 2001.

On October 26, 2012, the Coliseum held a "Lights Out" ceremony and closed for renovations. [4] On April 24, 2014, after a 17-month, $53 million renovation, the Coliseum re-opened. [5]

In December 2014, the Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company entered into a ten-year agreement with the Indiana State Fair Commission to re-christen the arena as the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. [6]


1963 gas explosion

Plaque honoring explosion victims 2014 Fairgrounds Coliseum plaq.jpg
Plaque honoring explosion victims 2014

On October 31, 1963, during a Holiday on Ice show, a propane leak at a concession stand caused an explosion which killed 74 people [2] and injured around 400 others. [7] A memorial plaque was dedicated 40 years later in the building, but it has since been removed. Another plaque honoring the explosion victims currently hangs inside the building's lobby.

Indiana Pacers (1967–74)

The venue was home to the Indiana Pacers of the American Basketball Association (ABA) from 1967 to 1974. The Pacers were very successful in their tenure at the Coliseum, winning three ABA Championships. They captured the ABA titles in 1969–70, defeating the Los Angeles Stars in 6 games, in 1971–72, defeating the New York Nets in 6 games, and in the 1972–73 season, defeating the Kentucky Colonels in 7 games. The team moved to Market Square Arena in 1974. In 1976, the Pacers became a franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA) when the ABA merged with the NBA. [8]

The Pacers returned for a night when they played their first pre-season game of the 2008–09 season at the Pepsi Coliseum on October 8, 2008, hosting the then-New Orleans Hornets. [9] 7,439 people watched the Pacers lose to the Hornets 105–71. The Pacers wore uniforms based on the 1967 to 1971 uniform design. Former ABA Pacers George McGinnis, Darnell Hillman, Bob Netolicky, Don Buse, Jerry Harkness, Steve Green, Tom Thacker, Bill Newton, and Wayne Pack, attended the game and were recognized during a halftime ceremony. [10] During the game's first quarter, former Championship Pacers coach and current radio commentator Slick Leonard sat on the Pacers' bench as head coach, while then-head coach Jim O'Brien joined Mark Boyle for the radio broadcast. [11]

Ice hockey

The Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League played at the Coliseum from 1939 to 1952, winning the Calder Cup in 1942 and 1950. The Indianapolis Chiefs of the International Hockey League played at the Coliseum from 1955 to 1962, winning the Turner Cup in 1958. The Indianapolis Checkers of the Central Hockey League and International Hockey League played at the Coliseum from 1979 to 1985, winning back-to-back Adams Cup Championships in 1982 and 1983. The Indianapolis Ice of the International Hockey League played in the Coliseum from 1988 to 1994, and again from 1997 to 1999 when the Conseco Fieldhouse was under construction, winning the 1990 Turner Cup championship.

The Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League played at the Coliseum from 2004 to 2012, leaving due to the renovation. The Ice won the USHL's Clark Cup in 2009 while playing in the building. They did not return to the Coliseum upon the venue reopening, opting for withdrawal from competition or dormancy until another venue could be secured. [12] Since 2014 the Indy Fuel hockey team has played in the arena. The Fuel are an ECHL team affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Coliseum hosted the American Hockey League's Calder Cup Final in 1942, 1943 and 1950; the International Hockey League's Turner Cup Final in 1957, 1958 and 1990; the Central Hockey League's Adams Cup Final in 1982, 1983 and 1984; and the United States Hockey League's Clark Cup Final in 2009. Eight of Indianapolis' nine hockey championship teams called the Coliseum home. The other was the 2014 Indiana Ice, who split their schedule between Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Pan Am Pavilion.

Other sports teams and events

The finals of the 1942–43 – 1944–45 Indiana High School Boys Basketball Tournaments were held at the Coliseum.

On January 25, 2019, the Horizon League announced its Men's and Women's Basketball Championships would take place at the Coliseum, starting March 9–10, 2020. [13]

The Coliseum also hosts Budweiser Fight Night Boxing; the Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show; the Hoosier Horse Fair; high school and college commencement ceremonies; and many concerts featuring national acts. On April 27, 2016, Donald Trump held a rally for his presidential campaign in the Coliseum. [14]

During the winter months, public ice skating is offered at the Coliseum.

With the NCAA electing to hold the entirety of the 2021 Division I Men's Basketball Tournament within the state of Indiana to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Coliseum served as one of the sites hosting first and second round games. [15]

On April 13, 2021 the Indiana Fever announced that they will play the last 12 home games of the 2021 WNBA season at the Coliseum due to the renovations at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. [16]


List of performances

See also

Related Research Articles

Indiana Pacers National Basketball Association team in Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis. The Pacers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division. The Pacers were first established in 1967 as a member of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and became a member of the NBA in 1976 as a result of the ABA–NBA merger. They play their home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The team is named after the state of Indiana's history with the Indianapolis 500's pace cars and with the harness racing industry.

Nassau Coliseum Arena in New York, United States

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, also known as simply the Nassau Coliseum, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Uniondale, New York, east of New York City. The Long Island venue is approximately 7 miles (11 km) east of the eastern limits of the New York City Borough of Queens, and is also next to the Meadowbrook Parkway.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indoor arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is an indoor arena located in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. It opened in November 1999 to replace Market Square Arena. The arena is the home of the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association. The Fieldhouse also hosts college basketball games, indoor concerts, and ice hockey.

Oakland Arena Arena in California, United States

Oakland Arena is an indoor arena located in Oakland, California, United States. From its opening in 1966 until 1996, it was known as the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena. After a major renovation completed in 1997, the arena was renamed The Arena in Oakland until 2005 and Oracle Arena from 2006 to 2019. It is often referred to as the Oakland Coliseum Arena as it is located adjacent to RingCentral Coliseum. Oakland Arena seats 19,596 fans for basketball.

AT&T Center Arena in San Antonio, Texas, United States

The AT&T Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena on the east side of San Antonio, Texas, United States. It is the home of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association.

Cincinnati Gardens Former indoor arena located in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati Gardens was an indoor arena located in Cincinnati, Ohio, that opened in 1949. The 25,000 square foot brick and limestone building at 2250 Seymour Avenue in Bond Hill had a entrance that was decorated with six three-dimensional carved athletic figures. When it opened, its seating capacity of 11,000+ made it the seventh largest indoor arena in the United States.

Colisée de Québec

Colisée de Québec was a multi-purpose arena located in Quebec City, Quebec. It was the home of the Quebec Nordiques from 1972 to 1995, during their time in the World Hockey Association and National Hockey League. It was also the home of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 1999 until its closing in 2015. The Colisée hosted the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament annually in February until its closing in 2015, with almost 2,300 young hockey players from 16 countries participating annually.

Greensboro Coliseum Complex Arena in North Carolina, United States

The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is an entertainment and sports complex located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Opened in 1959, the arena is the largest indoor arena in the United States, with a seating capacity of over 23,500. The complex holds eight venues that includes an amphitheater, arena, aquatic center, banquet hall, convention center, museum, theatre, and an indoor pavilion. It is the home of the UNC Greensboro Spartans men's basketball team, the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League, the Carolina Cobras of the National Arena League, as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with their Men's and Women's basketball tournaments.

Market Square Arena Arena in Indiana, United States

Market Square Arena was an indoor arena in Indianapolis. Completed in 1974, at a cost of $23 million, it seated 16,530 for basketball and 15,993 for ice hockey. Seating capacity for concerts and other events was adjusted by the use of large curtains which sealed off the upper rows.

St. Louis Arena Indoor arena in St. Louis, MO 1929 - 1999

St. Louis Arena was an indoor arena in St. Louis, Missouri. The country's second-largest indoor entertainment venue when it opened in 1929, it was home to the St. Louis Blues and various other sports franchises. The Arena sat across I-64 from Forest Park's Aviation Field.

Indianapolis Ice

The Indianapolis Ice was the name of an ice hockey team in Indianapolis, Indiana, that played in the International Hockey League from 1988 to 1999 and in the Central Hockey League from 1999 to 2004. Their original home arena was Market Square Arena. After Market Square Arena closed, a few home games were played at Fairgrounds Coliseum at the Indiana State Fargrounds each season, with the majority played at the Conseco Fieldhouse in downtown. Their major rivals during the 1990s were the Fort Wayne Komets.

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, formerly named and still commonly referred to as Assembly Hall, is a 17,222-seat arena on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. It is the home of the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball and women's basketball teams. It opened in 1971, replacing the Gladstein Fieldhouse. The court is named after Branch McCracken, the men's basketball coach who led the school to its first two NCAA National Championships in 1940 and 1953.

Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum is a 14,870-seat multi-purpose indoor arena in Phoenix, Arizona, located at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. It hosted the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association from 1968 to 1992, as well as indoor soccer, roller derby and major and minor league ice hockey teams.

Mid-South Coliseum Arena in Tennessee, United States

Mid-South Coliseum is an indoor arena in Memphis, Tennessee. The facility was opened in 1963, and became known for its hosting of concerts and professional wrestling events. The Coliseum closed in 2006. In the late 2010s, efforts emerged to help preserve and refurbish the arena as part of a larger redevelopment of the surrounding area.

Denver Coliseum

Denver Coliseum is an indoor arena, owned by the City and County of Denver, operated by its Arts and Venues division and located in Denver, Colorado. The arena holds 10,200 people and was built from 1949 to 1951. The coliseum is located in Denver's Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. It sits where the Denver Pacific Railway broke ground on its Cheyenne line in 1868.

Hinkle Fieldhouse

Hinkle Fieldhouse is a basketball arena on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Completed in early 1928, it was the largest basketball arena in the United States until 1950. The facility was renamed Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1966 in honor of Butler's longtime coach and athletic director, Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle. It is the sixth-oldest college basketball arena still in use. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987, Hinkle Fieldhouse is sometimes referred to as "Indiana's Basketball Cathedral."

Indianapolis Capitals

The Indianapolis Capitals were an American Hockey League professional ice hockey team based in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1939 to 1952. The Capitals were a farm team for the Detroit Red Wings. Indianapolis won the Calder Cup in 1942 and 1950. They played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum.

IUPUI Jaguars mens basketball

The IUPUI Jaguars men's basketball team is the men's basketball team that represents Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The school's team currently competes in the Horizon League.

Indianapolis is the home to 11 professional sports teams. The city is also home to three National Collegiate Athletic Association collegiate teams. Two teams from the four major American leagues, the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers, are located in Indianapolis.


  1. "Fairgrounds Coliseum reopens after historic renovation" (PDF). Indiana State Fairgrounds. April 24, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  2. 1 2 "1963 Coliseum explosion killed 74". Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  3. "Indiana Farmers Coliseum" . Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  4. "Lights Out Ceremony". Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
  5. Rader, Kevin (April 25, 2014). "Open house shows off newly renovated State Fairgrounds Coliseum". WTHR . Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2014-12-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. Drabek, Thomas (May 18, 1995). "Disaster in Aisle 13 Revisited". Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  8. "Remember the ABA: Indiana Pacers". Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  9. "Pacers to play New Orleans in Pepsi Coliseum". Indianapolis Star . August 20, 2008. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  10. Brunner, Conrad (October 8, 2008). "A night to remember, a game to forget". National Basketball Association. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  11. "Former Pacers coach Leonard expected to coach". USA Today. October 8, 2008.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2014-10-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Horizon League Announces Indianapolis as Future Site for #HLMBB and #HLWBB Championships". Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  14. Associated Press (April 28, 2016). "Bob Knight to join Trump at rally in Indianapolis". Indianapolis Business Journal . Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  15. "NCAA tournament to be held entirely in Indiana". 2021-01-04. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  16. "Indiana Fever Announce 2021 Regular Season Schedule" (Press release). Indiana Fever. April 13, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2021.