Fairgrounds Coliseum project ahead of schedule

Indiana State Fair officials are expecting to open the renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum in April, three months ahead of schedule.

The 75-year-old arena has been shut down since October 2012 for a $63 million project that included gutting the interior in order to build two-level seating for 8,200 people and install a video scoreboard, and new lighting and sound systems.

Organizers plan on celebrating the project by dubbing this summer's state fair the "Year of the Coliseum."

“This is such a monumental occasion in the long history of the Indiana State Fairgrounds that we wanted to celebrate it in the most visible way we could,” State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye said in a prepared statement announcing the early completion. "Visitors will be overwhelmed when they see the transformation. We couldn’t be prouder to show Hoosiers their new Coliseum.”

Organizers said a number of events will take place at the Indiana State Fair, from Aug. 1-17, including horse competitions, livestock shows, award presentations, and a full lineup of concerts.

The venue will be the home for IUPUI's basketball teams and the new Indy Fuel minor league hockey team.

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