INDIANAPOLIS — It has been 23 years to the day since Market Square Arena, former home of the Indiana Pacers in downtown Indianapolis, shuttered its doors.
The prominent Indy landmark and event venue, which originally opened in 1974, officially closed down on Oct. 24, 1999. Renovated just 4 years earlier in 1995, the site was eventually destroyed via implosion on July 8, 2001.
Throughout its 25 years of operation, multiple notable events occurred in the arena, including:
Michael Jordan’s return
When NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan returned from a brief 2-year retirement just before the 1995 playoffs, his first game back was in Market Square Arena against conference rival the Pacers.
The Bulls shooting guard had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in an overtime loss to the Reggie Miller-led Pacers. The game marked the end of 17-month basketball hiatus for MJ and was reportedly the most-watched NBA regular season game since 1975.
Elvis’ last concert
Just 7 weeks before his death, Elvis Presley came to Indianapolis to perform to a sold-out crowd of 18,000 people. The June 26, 1977 concert at Market Square Arena turned out to be the King’s final live performance.
Mötley Crüe music video
Mötley Crüe chose the Indianapolis venue as the location for their 1987 music video for “Wild Side”. Filmed on July 18, 1987, the video featured drummer Tommy Lee’s famous spinning drum cage.
Hulk Hogan defeated
In 1988, Andre The Giant won the WWF Heavyweight Championship, beating reigning champion Hulk Hogan for the first time. The match was televised live on NBC’s “The Main Event I” on Feb. 5, 1988.
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