Despite the old-school feel, the Fieldhouse still doesn't seem that old, does it?
Well, despite how enjoyable it is for those of us of a certain age, Bankers Life Fieldhouse no longer keeps up with the modern NBA needs. So after 15-some-odd-years, the Pacers are looking to expand and build a new practice facility across the street, between the railroad tracks and the Virginia St. parking garage.
The plan is to turn a current chunk of concrete used for parking by PS&E employees into five-story building which will house a fresh 24/7 practice facility for the Pacers along with office space for the team. The team will foot the approximate $50 million bill to build the new facility after cutting a deal with the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) to flip the parking lot into a multi-use building.
But don't the Pacers already have a separate practice court in BLF?
The short answer is yes. However, the practice court remains part of the Fieldhouse, also used by the Indiana Fever and for special events held at the facility. The good news is, there has been a heavy schedule of special events (concerts, gymnastics, other hoop games, Fever games, etc.) at BLF to keep the facility hopping when the Pacers aren't' in action.
The problem with all of that action is that is ties up the facility, and often includes the practice court. So...if Paul George is in town during the offseason, he can't necessarily rely on the current practice court to lean on for getting up shots whenever desired.
The Pacers sold that last point while working out a deal with the CIB for the parcel of land. Attracting NBA players with options these days, includes delivering a quality workout facility now common around the NBA, which many have grown accustomed to in college.
Soon, the Pacers will not just keep up with the NBA Joneses, but surely pass them when they unveil the new practice facility some time within the next two years.