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Gainbridge Fieldhouse

March 16, 2022

  • 125 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • (317) 917-2500
  • Website

I grew up during a pretty great time to be an NBA fan in Chicago.  Michael Jordan was leading the Bulls to championship after championship.  

The unfortunate results of all those championships was Bulls tickets were hard to get.  My dad got tickets with a group of friends for a game during the final year at Chicago Stadium but they were standing room only tickets and he was going with his buddies.  

A week after they got the tickets, Jordan retired.  Half the group didn’t want to go anymore so my dad asked if he could bring me and my brother.  The remaining guys didn’t care as long as he paid for the tickets.  

I tell this story just to show how hard tickets were to get during those days.  When the Bulls moved to the United Center, nothing really changed.  

A lot of people from Chicago that couldn’t get tickets for Bulls games in Chicago would get tickets for road games in Milwaukee and Indianapolis.  We always talked about doing the same but never pulled the trigger.  

The arena in Indianapolis in this days was Market Square Arena.  Like Chicago Stadium, Market Square Arena is long gone and replaced by a new, modern facility with all the luxury suites needed for basketball games nowadays.  

I was in Indianapolis last week during the Big Ten Tournament and spent quite a bit of time at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.  The home of the Indiana Pacers since 1999.

Gainbridge Fieldhouse is in downtown Indianapolis on Pennsylvania Street near Maryland Street in the Warehouse District.  The urban arena is surrounded buildings and parking ramps on all sides.  It’s a vibrant area with hotels and restaurants.  If you’re in town for a game, you can make a whole experience out of the area.  

There are plenty of parking options around the arena if you’re ok with parking ramps. The largest and maybe easiest option is the Virginia Avenue ramp behind the arena off Delaware Street. There is a skybridge connected to the ramp that will take you right in to the arena without ever having to go outside.

If you go in through one of the two street level entrances, you come inside a pretty large entryway. There are metal detectors right at the door then a large open space before getting to the ticket scanner entry points.

There are several seating areas on about four different levels. There are obviously suite levels but the concourse levels where most of us will be sitting offer quite a bit. The walkways are really wide. Even on busy nights, the concourse doesn’t feel cramped. There are a lot of concession options and beer stands throughout the seating bowls.

It’s really hard to have a bad seat in a newer arena like this. Once at your seat, Gainbridge Fieldhouse looks like pretty much any other basketball arena in the country.

Huge scoreboards are the trend right now and Gainbridge is no exception. There is even video monitors on the inside of the main video panels so people sitting in the courtside seats don’t have to strain their neck looking straight up. Banners dating back to the Pacers ABA days hang in the rafters alongside Championship banners from the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.

We never made that trip to Indianapolis when I was a kid to see Jordan (and Reggie Miller) play but I’ve been there a few times since for college basketball games. Gainbridge Fieldhouse is a pretty great arena. It’s in a great spot in downtown Indianapolis and fairly easy to get to and park.

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