The Indiana State Fair has deemed this year as the “Year of the Coliseum.” Due to needing updates, the Pepsi Coliseum closed in October 2012. After 18 months of renovations, the Coliseum reopened yesterday. The public was invited to come out to the free grand opening and cutting of the ribbon.
There has been a lot of excitement over the new coliseum, and I think that’s because of the personal tie many people have to the historic building. Whether it was taking the first step onto the freshly dragged dirt or walking in the ring for the Grand Drive at the State Fair, many youth and their families have meaningful memories from under that roof.
For me, the Coliseum takes me back to when I was thirteen. One of my best memories in that infamous ring was when my horse and I took our first steps in there together. I had butterflies like crazy as I entered that huge arena, but I remember being so proud of the two of us working as a team when we walked out with a ribbon.
He might be an old man now, but some of my favorite memories of the Coliseum are shared with my horse, Zip:
It may be renovated, but I have no doubt that the Coliseum will forever be a historic Indiana landmark and place of lifelong memories for Hoosiers.
*The Pepsi Coliseum first opened in 1939 as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.
*The only Beetle’s concert ever held in Indiana was at the Coliseum in 1964
*From 1967-1974 the Coliseum was home to the Indiana Pacers, and during that period the team won three American Basketball Association Championships.
*Past presidents have given speeches in the Coliseum, including John F. Kennedy in 1959 and George W. Bush in 2003.
*From October 2012 to April 2014 the Coliseum went through a $63 million renovation.
*The new minor league hockey team, Indy Fuel, will have a brand new locker room.
*An LED video scoreboard will hang overhead.
*New seating will accommodate 8,200 people, which is 200 more than before
*A new concourse bar allows you to enjoy a drink and food while still watching what’s going on in the arena.
* Outside brick and limestone and the metal superstructure are still being used.
*One section will hold original seats from 1939.
To see pictures of the Coliseum undergoing renovation, click here.