INDIANAPOLIS – The Jaguars will soon settle in to a new home.
The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis basketball program will play home games at the Fairgrounds Coliseum (formerly Pepsi Coliseum) after the venue is finished. IUPUI and the Indiana State Fair Commission announced plans Thursday for a five-year partnership that starts in fall of 2014.
The Coliseum is undergoing an extensive 22-month, $63 million overhaul. Once finished, it’s expected to seat 6,841 fans. The facility will also include locker rooms, a state-of-the-art video board and other amenities for hosting sports and entertainment events. State Fair Commission officials said the venue will maintain a “historic feel” despite the upgrades.
The Coliseum originally opened in 1939 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. It has a rich history with basketball, hosting the 1942 Indiana All-Star/Kentucky All-Stars game and serving as home of the Indiana Pacers from 1967 to 1974 during the team’s glory years in the American Basketball Association. IUPUI called the facility home between 1975 and 1979.
IUPUI will return to the revamped Coliseum in 2014, which will host all men’s and selected women’s games. IUPUI and Summit League signs will go up and the venue will also have an IUPUI team store.
Since 1981, the Jags have played games at The Jungle, a 1,215-seat gym on the university’s campus. The Jags have played home games at several other venues over the years, including Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Chatard High School, Harry Wood Continuing Education Center, the Naval Armory and Market Square Arena.