Legislators in Indiana have approved $89.5 million in state funds as part its biennial budget to build a midsize arena on campus at Indiana University.
According to Inside Indiana Business, the funding was not a result of IU's lobbying but rather that of mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration, a Pacers Sports & Entertainment executive, the Indiana Sports Corp. and other high-profile organizations who pushed for the arena — with the goal of bringing more NCAA championships, esports competitions and other activities to the city.
The new 5,000-seat venue would be home to a number of IU athletics programs, but it legislators stipulated that the arena would have at least one other long-tenant before construction begins.
The arena is expected to sit on a portion of a 7-acre space at the northwest corner of Blackford and Wabash streets, between the Herron School of Art and Design, the NCAA and National Federation of State High School Associations headquarters complex, and Military Park.
“This is about building a community asset—a venue that will continue to enhance the [school’s] athletic program and … is great for the city’s sport strategy overall,” said Patrick Talty, president of the Indiana Sports Corp.
Talty said he hopes the project is completed in time to host practices for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in 2026. But he confirmed the city isn’t relying on the arena to accommodate teams.