Mar 30, 2017
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, debuted November 6, 1999, as Conseco Fieldhouse. The 17,923 indoor arena replaced the 25 year-old Market Square Arena that was vastly outdated for the NBA at the turn of the century.
The home of the Pacers was designed to stand out among the other arenas in the league as it is meant to emulate the many high school basketball fieldhouses throughout the rich, basketball state. It is considered by many sports business journals and other media outlets as one of the best places to watch an NBA game, with some rating it among the best professional sports facilities.
It has taken a life of its own becoming the centerpiece for lodging, restaurants, bars, and nightlife-all within steps of its front doors. The surrounding area in the back of the building is currently going through major renovations that creates almost a little section of the city’s downtown quarter.
The fieldhouse is keeping up with the times of arena experiences with numerous renovations and improvements the last five years to ensure favorable fan experiences for the forthcoming seasons.
Recent renovations include a high-definition video screen scoreboard extended nearly foul line to foul line, numerous HD screens in the food-court area to promote upcoming events, improved concessions, screens that list waiting times for lines in the building, and a completely renovated restaurant and bar on the ground floor.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The fieldhouse offers a wide range of eatiers on both its main and balcony concourses providing patrons with easy access to their favorite grub that ranges from your typical hot dog and popcorn to your fancy walking tacos and craft beer.
On the main concourse are two main eating sections that are broken into food courts (Indiana Star and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pavilion) serving pizza, burgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, nachos, ice cream and pork tenderloin sandwiches. These prices range from anywhere from $5.25 for a hot dog to $11.25 for a burger from the Hardee's booth.
The best choices for your dollar are Union Smokehouse (Main 6, 14, and Balcony 215, 231) offering barbecue brisket, pork, chicken, and bbq nachos from $9-$11. Another great deal is the nacho and beer or soda for $9.50 and $13 (Main Section 7 and Balcony Section 213).
Beer prices for domestic drafts are $8.50, and micro crafts are $11. There are three specialized areas serving craft beers (Main section 8, and Lobby section 221 and 231), plus local Sun King Brewery offers 16-ounce cans for $10 at their two locations (Main section 16 and Balcony section 224).
The Walking Waffle cart near the main entrances serves homemade waffles for $6 or for just a dollar more with your choice of up to 3 toppings.
The Locker Room Restaurant is newly renovated and is designed to resemble a nightclub with private booths, TV screens, and full-service bar and menu. This area is open to ticket holders in the first 7 seats of the arena, but the place gets rather crowded during halftime.
The Pacers have done an amazing job of creating an energetic atmosphere that begins the minute you enter the main lobby. The main lobby mimics an old train station and here is where you witness the hustle and bustle of pregame activities that may include a barbershop quartet, a live band, or the drumline pounding away.
Fans are provided the chance to take in this musical environment as they purchase their tickets and walk up the stairs being greeted by staff and cheerleaders. The small ones can also enjoy face painting or balloon sculptures as they make their way further into the building.
Boomer, who is sometimes accompanied by Mini-Boomer, delights the crowd in the main concourse before the game as well. During halftime, he dazzles the audience with dunks and the usual mascot showmanship.
There is a sense of nostalgia with painted advertisements on the brick interior walls and plenty of vintage basketball memorabilia that could be in a museum located behind glass cases (much like many high school fieldhouses in the state). There are quite a few gems including old programs, jerseys, advertisements, and other paraphernalia from all eras of Indiana basketball.
The Pacers' gift shop has an array of team merchandise, but is a little cramped during busy nights at the arena. Fortunately, there are a couple of portable stands that offer personalized naming and numbers.
The fieldhouse is in the heart of downtown Indianapolis and close to retail and restaurants that are within a few feet of the building. The only problem is choosing which place to grab a drink or eat before or after the game.
A local favorite is Kilroy's Bar and Grill offering 40 flat screen televisions, shuffleboard, and video games and their famous pepperoni stuffed breadsticks. Scotty's Brewhouse, is a short walk and another popular destination before or after the game serving traditional pub food and craft beer from 3 Wise Men Brewery. A few more favorite spots after the game that are nearby the fieldhouse are the Coaches Tavern, The Pub Indianapolis, and Tin Roof.
If you have some time in town its is recommended visiting the neighborhoods of Mass Ave. and Fountain Square where one can enjoy live music, craft beer, fine dining and a little shopping at local retail shops. If on Mass Ave. frequent Union 50 or Bakersfield, or if in Fountain Square visit Bluebird or Kuma's Corner.
The fan base can be fickle at times when the team is not playing at playoff caliber, but that is common among fans who want a winner. With that being said, there are legions of dedicated fans who wear the blue and gold no matter what the team's record is at the moment. The fans are friendly towards visitors and make themselves heard through various cheering sections throughout the building. One thing is for certain, most people enjoy their time during a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The arena is easily accessible from the major interstates of 70, 65 and 465, and parking is abundant throughout the vicinity. After the game, exiting these facilities takes a little know-how of the one way streets of Indianapolis, but signs are posted that direct customers to their desired route back home.
Traffic moves smoothly during this time as well, as there are officers who are stationed to keep cars moving. The same can be said for moving around the building during the game. Bathrooms, entrances, and seating areas are well marked.
There should be a price point to make everyone happy at a Pacers game. The balcony section offers tickets ranging from $9, $11, and $13. These tickets can be snatched up quickly when higher profile teams are in town, but definitely a bargain for watching NBA at the fieldhouse.
If you want a closer view of the game or have the money to spend on tickets, the prices in the club level range from $41, $49, $54, and $70, and lower level and courtside seats range from $81 to $885.
Parking ranges from $10-$20 the closer you arrive near the fieldhouse. The best place to park is at the Circle City Centre Mall where the average price is $5 for five hours of parking.
One star for the vintage painted signs located against the brick walls in the upper and lower concourses. Current sponsorships are at times featured in retro logos to add even more old-time ambiance to the fieldhouse.
A second star for the collection of memorabilia showcasing the building as a basketball-first facility. There is an impressive array of items from former professional clubs from the city, local high schools, and the major universities and colleges in the state.
A third star to the Hickory Pacers collection inspired from the 1986 film Hoosiers. The movie is a rite of passage here in the state and it's not surprising that its collection of shirts, jerseys, and shorts have become widely popular among its supporters and fans.
A fourth star to the High Octane Drumline that adds a nice touch of organically produced noise to the game.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse offers everything one can expect from an NBA venue at a great price, plus an ambiance that won't be found in many other cities. The rich basketball culture of the Hoosier State is proudly displayed.
Located in the heart of Indianapolis, Conseco Fieldhouse is a prime example of what a great NBA arena can look like. Fan comfort, great sight lines, and a respect for team history are all major factors in making for an enjoyable basketball experience.
You got to love Conseco Fieldhouse. It may not be a household name but it's very fun. The fans are easily 5 out of 5 stars. Considering the fact that this is the basketball state, the fans are always into the game no matter what. With an improved squad ready to go this season, I expect the fans to be much better and the Fieldhouse.
Located in the heart of Indianapolis, Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a prime example of what a great NBA arena can look like. Fan comfort, great sight lines, and a respect for team history are all major factors in making for an enjoyable basketball experience.
Built in 1999, Bankers Life Fieldhouse has withstood the test of time and still remains one of the best places to watch a game in the NBA. Formerly known as Conseco Fieldhouse, the arena has won multiple architectural awards both for its roof design commemorating the Indiana high school fieldhouse design as well as for its layout, which makes guests feel like they are at a high school basketball game in Indiana.
Upon entering the arena, guests and patrons do not enter the facility in a traditional manner. Rather, they enter into a side pavilion where the ticket offices, team store, and grand entrance to the arena can be found. The arena serves as an anchor to the east side of Downtown Indianapolis and was instrumental in Downtown Indianapolis' 2012 Super Bowl celebration.
Although Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a fairly new facility, it has already been the site of the 2000 NBA Finals, the 2009 WNBA Finals, and the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008-2012. The facility is also a frequent site for the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament.
This is a great place to see a basketball game. It has the old school with modern architecture. The latest addition to this venue is the massive scoreboard that runs right above the court from free throw line to free throw line. It reminds me of the one they have in Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. The big difference is this one fits in better. It's not an eye sore like the one in Big D is. This addition along with the history of Indiana basketball in the concourse areas enhances the whole experience of seeing a Pacer game. In you happen to be in the area, go see for yourself. You won't be wasting your time.
Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, debuted November 6, 1999, as Conseco Fieldhouse. The 18,165-capacity indoor arena replaced the 25-year-old Market Square Arena that was vastly outdated for the NBA at the turn of the century. In Indiana, basketball is a way of life from the early ages, and high school gymnasiums are among the largest in the world. Bankers Life Fieldhouse fits the motif of a world-class arena in this basketball-rich state.
The food is great.The atmosphere makes you feel like you are at a basketball game and a nice one.the neighborhood is okay there is not that many restraunts around the stadium.Parking is great because you have numerous of parking garages that are not to expensive.The fans are great expecialy in the playoffs they are full of energy and are not annoying at all they have all the fans loud and i love area 55 and the g2 zone which makes every thing perfect.Price are not to expensive at all.I got tickets in the Fedex zone close to the court for only 30$.This stadium is definatly a fieldhouse.It is almost perfect!!!
Beautiful place, so much history on both concourses, friendly staff, and a team that is on the rise. Unfortunately, a couple of problems that have to be noted. First, it took about 20 minutes to enter the building, from lineup to ticket scan. When gates open only an hour before game time, that is not enough. There were huge bottlenecks at the security gate and nobody was organizing it. Simply the worst process I have encountered in a Big 4 organization.
The other problem is the food, I had a pork tenderloin sandwich at $7, it might have been loin but it wasn't tender.
Other than that though, really a great place to watch a game, aesthetically one of the most pleasing arenas in the league.
This is the best of the 18 current NBA venues that I've seen and counting. Indy is proud to call this place home. A big nod to the Hinkle Fieldhouse here.
The concourse areas are filled with Indiana basketball history. If you had to pick one and only one NBA venue to see, this would be it.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, debuted November 6, 1999, as Conseco Fieldhouse. The 18,165-capacity indoor arena replaced the 25-year-old Market Square Arena that was vastly outdated for the NBA at the turn of the century. The home of the Pacers was designed to stand out among the other arenas in the league as it is meant to emulate the copious high school basketball fieldhouses throughout the rich, basketball state.
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