Demolition on the former Maryland Street parking garage is under way, as the Indiana Pacers make way for a new plaza adjacent to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The teardown of the 770-space structure began in March and is expected to be completed sometime this summer, followed immediately by the start of construction on the new plaza space.
Cincinnati-based O’Rourke Wrecking Co., the project’s only bidder, is being paid $1.2 million to tear down the structure after a contract was approved for the work by the Capital Improvement Board in November.
A spokesman for Pacers Sports & Entertainment said in an email Wednesday that the organization expects the plaza will open in “late fall of 2022” following about 18 months of continuous construction.
“We will be in full construction mode through 2022 until we cut the ribbon on the plaza and interior fieldhouse renovations,” said Danny Lopez, vice president of external relations and corporate communications.
The 1.5-acre plaza development is expected to include green space, seating areas, a massive canopy and basketball courts that can be converted to an ice skating rink in the winter. The project is being paid for by the Pacers, although the city plans to kick in up to $25 million for infrastructure. Work is expected to be completed by fall 2022.
The plaza work will coincide with a variety of other work during the second and third phases of construction at the fieldhouse. They include work on the main concourse through the balcony levels of the building, along with changes to suites and gathering spaces on the Krieg DeVault level.
The plaza is one of several components to the $365 million Fieldhouse of the Future renovation announced in April 2019, as part of a 25-year deal to keep the Indiana Pacers in the city. The garage was acquired for about $29.9 million in August 2019.