(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Pacers’ Gainbridge Fieldhouse will be home to a pair of sculptures that the city hopes will become Indianapolis icons.
The sculptures will anchor Bicentennial Unity Plaza, the new event space to be built on the north side of the fieldhouse. A hollow 23-foot-9-inch sphere — same dimensions as the N-B-A three-point line — will feature video screens with downtown event listings and Indianapolis history. The sphere will sit under “Together,” a 30-foot-high arch stretching the length of the 110-foot-long plaza. The arch will be incomplete at the top, symbolizing the ongoing but unfinished effort to build a better community.
Pacers Sports and Entertainment president Mel Raines compares the sculptures to “Cloud Gate,” the 30-foot-high stainless steel sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park better known as “The Bean.” Like Chicago’s sculpture, she predicts the arch and sphere will become a must-see tourist photo opportunity downtown. And she says the sculptures and plaza will create a unified entertainment space for visitors, stretching from the fieldhouse across Georgia Street to the Convention Center.
An $8.2 million Lilly Endowment grant will fund the sculptures. Raines expects the plaza and the artworks by Brooklyn artist and sculptor Hermann Mejia to be complete in about a year. The Capital Improvement Board, which oversees the fieldhouse, gave final approval to the contract on Friday.