INDIANAPOLIS (May 6, 2014) — A Circle City landmark could change drastically. The Indiana Ice announced it would be leaving the Pan Am Plaza’s ice rink facility Sunday, leaving many wondering what’s next for the downtown facility.
Sources tell our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal developers plan to build two twin towers, for possibly two hotel brands, with upscale condominiums and retail space.
It may be the boost Indianapolis need to secure another Super Bowl bid. The lack of high-end hospitality was something NFL owners and sponsors complained about in 2012.
“As glowing as the remarks were of how we hosted the Super Bowl, one of the dings of the city was it didn’t have enough downtown hotel space, in particular high-end downtown hotel space,” said Anthony Schoettle, a sports business reporter at IBJ. “There’s an impetus with the Super Bowl coming with other big events, including the recent expansion of the Indiana Convention Center, it has really ratcheted up the need.”
Pan Am’s location may be prime. It’s a block away from Georgia Street and the Convention Center; just minutes away from Lucas Oil Stadium.
Fans believe it may be what will set Indianapolis apart from 2018’s Super Bowl bid finalists Minneapolis and New Orleans.
“It’d be nice to be known as Indianapolis and not little Chicago,” said Brad Scott, an Indianapolis sports fan. “Some nice bigger hotels would probably help that.”
Kite Realty Group Trust, who owns the building, told Fox 59 it has no time line of plans for Pan Am yet.
With the 2018 Super Bowl bid announcement just two weeks away, local developers say timing is crucial.
“They’re sitting here May 2014, trying to win a big for February 2018,” said Schoettle. “You can do the math and quickly realize they would be in a very tight time schedule to get this project done.”
The city’s 2018 Super Bowl committee declined to comment until May 7’s news conference — the day the final written bid is due to all 32 NFL owners.