A Facility for the Future

Indiana Farmers Coliseum Renovation

  • Indianapolis
  • 2014

CHALLENGE. With more than 70 years of history, Indiana Farmers Coliseum Renovation (previously Pepsi Coliseum) is a landmark building in Indianapolis with a historic past and iconic architecture. In 2011, when Populous designers were asked to reimagine Indiana Farmers Coliseum, there was a clear challenge ahead. The team endeavored to develop the best solution to address the needs of an aging venue while maintaining its architectural significance and storied legacy.

Since opening in 1939, industry demands have changed dramatically.  Clubs, restaurants, suites, technology, concessions and adequate support spaces are now necessities in modern-day arenas, and all are components the existing Indiana Farmers Coliseum was lacking. A modernization was in order and the design team was required to take a holistic approach to the design with the goal of creating a space that wasn’t just about the event, but about the larger experience.

INNOVATION. The $52 million renovation is forward-looking, modern, and the result of a creative design solution. The iconic elements of the coliseum have been preserved and enhanced, including restoration of the articulate detail of the brick and limestone on the facility’s exterior. Natural lighting has been re-incorporated throughout with the restoration of the cathedral-like glass block windows that are expansive on the interior and historically significant on the exterior.

The interior has been completely replaced with new, elevated public concourses separating attendee and servicing functions and state-of-the art amenities. By elevating the public concourses, the space on the event level has been freed up substantially, allowing for smoother operations and immediate access for personnel, rodeo crews, concert staff and sports teams.  With the addition of the latest technology, spectators will be exposed to a state of the art immersive experience. High definition video boards, dramatic sound systems and engineered acoustical design will elevate the quality of this venue, giving Indiana Farmers Coliseum the ability to attract world class entertainers, sports teams, rodeo and livestock events, trade shows and productions.

IMPACT.  The renovation of Indiana Farmers Coliseum serves as a new beginning for a historic venue.  It was restored to maintain its architectural significance and upgraded to accommodate the evolving needs of fans, athletes, performers and exhibitors. After its reopening in 2014, it is once again a premier destination for the biggest attractions, providing a successful and viable venue that will draw people together for decades to come.