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Bicentennial Unity Plaza outside Gainbridge Fieldhouse officially opened in Indianapolis



Indianapolis, Indiana – The new basketball court in the outdoor fan plaza outside Gainbridge Fieldhouse finally opened.

The Bicentennial Unity Plaza officially opened on Thursday, and officials from the state and city claimed it symbolizes the city’s diverse population.

“Dance, basketball, rollerskating, ice skating. It’s a place of hope and fun,” said Rick Fuson, CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

The plaza has a basketball court that can be transformed into an ice skating rink, as well as interactive public art.

Leaders claim it celebrates the city’s 200-year heritage while offering a venue for entertainment, civic dialogue, and community initiatives.

A $28.7 million gift from Lilly Endowment made it all possible.

The Gainbridge Fieldhouse redevelopment project, which began more than three years ago, is currently in its last phase, which includes the plaza.

“It’s the world’s best venue for so many different kinds of events, and now to pair it with a venue like this, an outdoor venue like this that you can do so much in it is just incredibly exciting,” said Danny Lopez, vice president of External Relations in Corporate Communications.

This plaza, according to Governor Eric Holcomb, will boost the state’s economy.

“It’s a magnet, and as I alluded to inside a lot of my time is spent sharing the Indiana story and how our economy is growing and how our workforce is growing, but it’s the individual community. It’s really the heart and soul,” Holcomb said.

Community leaders express the hope that it will promote harmony.

“It gives a real connectivity from the near east side all the way through White River and Lucas Oil that didn’t exist before. We have a very walkable downtown, and one of the things I know the city talks about and we as a region talk about is how you get people from the neighborhood into the downtown and make it connect and make it feel accessible, and that’s what this is about,” Lopez said.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said, “This is a plaza that honors the past, but it also speaks to the future of a more engaged, vibrant downtown Indianapolis.”

Leaders of the city and state tell me they anticipate more people gathering there to enjoy the plaza for many years to come.

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