Indiana Farmers Coliseum

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.

Indiana Farmers Coliseum
The Indiana Farmers Coliseum during the 2015 Indiana State Fair
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
Coordinates39°49′39″N 86°8′6″W
OwnerState of Indiana
OperatorIndiana State Fair Commission
CapacityBasketball: 6,500
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)
Project managerHunt Construction Group

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

Ice hockey

Indianapolis Capitals (AHL) (1939–1952)
Indianapolis Chiefs (IHL) (1955–1962)
Indianapolis Capitols (CPHL) (1963)
Indianapolis Checkers (CHL) (1979–1985)
Indianapolis Ice (IHL) (1988–1994, 1998–1999)
Indiana Ice (USHL) (2004–2012)
Indy Fuel (ECHL) (2014–present)

Naptown Roller Derby (WFTDA) (2010–present)

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]

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

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 1981 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 1989 to 1994, and again in 1998-99, 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.


List of performances

See also


  1. "Fairgrounds Coliseum reopens after historic renovation" (PDF). Indiana State Fairgrounds. April 24, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  2. "1963 Coliseum explosion killed 74". Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on May 25, 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. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  6. Drabek, Thomas (May 18, 1995). "Disaster in Aisle 13 Revisited". Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  7. "Remember the ABA: Indiana Pacers". Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  8. "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.
  9. 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.
  10. "Former Pacers coach Leonard expected to coach". USA Today. October 8, 2008.
  12. "Horizon League Announces Indianapolis as Future Site for #HLMBB and #HLWBB Championships". Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  13. Associated Press (April 28, 2016). "Bob Knight to join Trump at rally in Indianapolis". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
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