The Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority (ISCBA) announced more details about the grand opening of the Indiana Convention Center expansion.
The opening will occur on Jan. 20, with a program that includes a “turning over the keys” ceremony and ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. It will be in the new three-story glass “cube” entrance on the west side of Capitol Avenue at the corner of Capitol and Georgia Street.
An open house, sponsored by Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both events are open to the public.
From 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., prior to the ribbon-cutting, an aerial arts performance company will entertain attendees inside the cube. The performers, named AirKISS, are trained at DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics in Fishers.
David R. Frick, chairman of the ISCBA, said, “The expansion will enhance the reputation of our state and city as a world-class leader for conventions, trade shows, meetings, and sporting and other special events.”
The convention center expansion adds 254,000 square feet of exhibit space, 63,000 square feet of meeting rooms and 103,000 square feet of pre-function space. By itself, the convention center now offers 566,600 square feet of exhibit space, plus 83 meeting and ballroom spaces (including the Sagamore Ballroom – at 33,335 square feet).
An indoor climate-controlled street level and underground connector links the convention center to Lucas Oil Stadium. Additionally, the convention center is connected by skywalks to 4,700 hotel rooms – said to be more than any other convention center in the nation.
Combined with Lucas Oil Stadium, the amount of space for conventions and meetings rises from 725,000 square feet before the expansion to now more than 1.2 million square feet. The combined 749,100 square feet of exhibit space (nearly doubling the convention center’s previous size) makes the linked structures one of the nation’s largest convention facilities.
The expansion moves the city from 33rd to 16th place among America’s major convention cities in exhibit space available, and now allows Indianapolis to compete with cities including Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla.
An independent study, conducted before the project started, indicated that the expansion of the convention center, along with Lucas Oil Stadium, would generate at least $2.25 billion in economic benefits to Central Indiana over its first 10 years of operations. It also would create 4,200 new permanent jobs and generate about $26 million in new tax revenues over the same period.