The seemingly endless yellow brick road to Oz, or what residents of central Indiana have come to accept as privately owned professional sports franchises seeking financial sustenance to build and upgrade, is nearing a tipping point of practical expenditures.
Given the fan following for the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks in central Indiana, the agreement stands to be a significant boost for the Fuel, who begin play in October at the renovated Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum.
State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy said the new venue will keep youth hockey games and horse shows going while the Coliseum hosts concerts and other events.
The Indiana State Fairgrounds generated $124 million in visitor spending in 2011 and has an annual impact on the local economy similar to a factory employing 500 people, according to a study released Wednesday.
The Indiana State Fair Commission decided Thursday to permanently move its outdoor grandstand concerts indoors and authorized spending $3.8 million to help prepare their new home: The Pepsi Coliseum located nearby on the north side Indianapolis fairgrounds.