Market Square Arena
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Market Square Arena was an indoor arena in Indianapolis. Completed in 1974, at a cost of $23 million, it seated 16,530 for basketball and 15,993 for ice hockey. Seating capacity for concerts and other events was adjusted by the use of large curtains which sealed off the upper rows.
Market Square Arena in 1982, with one of two parking garages on the middle left
|Location||300 East Market Street|
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
|Owner||City of Indianapolis|
|Operator||City of Indianapolis|
Ice hockey: 15,993
|Broke ground||October 20, 1971|
|Opened||September 15, 1974|
|Closed||October 24, 1999|
|Demolished||July 8, 2001|
|Construction cost||$23 million|
($119 million in 2019 dollars)
|Architect||Architects 4 (A Joint Venture):|
Kennedy, Brown & Associates
Fleck, Burkart, Shropshire, Boots, Reid & Associates
McGuire & Shook Corporation
|Structural engineer||J. Robert Carlton & Associates Inc.|
|General contractor||Huber, Hunt & Nichols|
|Indiana Pacers (ABA) (NBA) (1974–1999)|
Indianapolis Racers (WHA) (1974–1978)
Indiana Loves (WTT) (1978)
Indianapolis Checkers (IHL) (1985–1987)
Indianapolis Ice (IHL) (1994–1997)
Indiana Twisters (CISL) (1996–1997)
In the late 1960s, the city of Indianapolis studied several market areas of the city for future development and revitalization. Students from the fourth-year design studio class at Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning met with the City of Indianapolis to review and select 20–26 projects for consideration. Students Joseph Mynhier and Terry Pastorino selected downtown Indianapolis as their market and designed what would become Market Square Arena. The design envisioned by Mynhier and Pastorino was later selected and used as a promotional tool by the City of Indianapolis for construction of the stadium. The city selected four architectural firms to complete the arena design with two representatives from each of the four companies. Terry Pastorino, who had worked for the firm of Kennedy, Brown & Trueblood during the summer of 1970 on the project, later joined the firm working on the arena.
The original student design included a four-story office building covering two city blocks. As constructed, the arena consisted of a unique space frame design spanning Market Street. The playing floor was elevated over Market Street by twin 1400-space parking garages on each side of Market Street. Market Street, which already was physically terminated on the west by the Indiana Statehouse, was visually terminated on the east by the arena. The final design eventually took up one city block spanning Market Street.
The arena was built using a $16 million contribution from the city of Indianapolis.
Market Square Arena's original center-hung scoreboard was an American Sign and Indicator scoreboard with monochrome matrix screens, similar to those which would be installed at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Joe Louis Arena. Its replacement, a center-hung White Way Sign scoreboard with a color matrix screen on each side, was installed in time for the 1985 NBA All-Star Game and remained at the arena for the rest of its life, where it would later be complemented by front-projection video screens on each end of the arena (complete with RCA projectors).
The Pacers moved to the new Conseco Fieldhouse for the 1999–2000 NBA season, and Market Square Arena was demolished on July 8, 2001, in a multimillion-dollar implosion. It only took 12 seconds to demolish the arena completely.
The site of the former arena was a parking lot for over a decade. The parking lot held a memorial to Elvis Presley, who played his final concert at MSA on June 26, 1977. The memorial was designed and built by Alan Clough.
In January 2017, Cummins opened its Global Distribution Headquarters on the southern half of the site. A 28-story apartment building named 360 Market Square and containing a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) Whole Foods Market store opened in March 2018, with the Elvis memorial placed on the sidewalk adjacent to the building.
The first Pacers basketball game held in the arena was a preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks; attendance was 16,929. The first regular-season ABA game in the arena was held on October 18, 1974, against the San Antonio Spurs; the Pacers lost in double overtime, 129–121 in front of 7,473 fans. The first Pacers victory in Market Square Arena came on October 23 with a 122–107 win over the Spirits of St. Louis. The 1974–75 season ended for the Pacers with the ABA Finals played in Market Square Arena and Freedom Hall against their archrivals, the Kentucky Colonels. The Colonels defeated the Pacers in that championship series, winning the ABA title in five games (4 wins to 1). The 1975–76 Pacers won their final home ABA game in Market Square Arena with a 109–95 victory against the Colonels. (Kentucky won the next game by one point to win the series and advance, ending the Pacers' ABA tenure.) The Pacers played in Market Square Arena after they joined the NBA. Michael Jordan's return to the Chicago Bulls after his first retirement took place at Market Square Arena in a loss to the Pacers on March 19, 1995.
The arena also hosted the 1980 NCAA men's basketball Final Four, which was won by the University of Louisville. and the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now Horizon League) men's basketball conference tournament from 1986 to 1988 and again in 1993.
In 1987, Indianapolis hosted the Pan American Games, and the basketball event was held at Market Square. The gold-medal game pitted Brazil against the United States. The U.S. team of college players featured two All-Americans in David Robinson and Danny Manning, two Final Four MVPs in Pervis Ellison and Keith Smart, and several other future NBA players. The U.S. team led 68–54 at halftime, but Oscar Schmidt led Brazil to a stunning comeback, finishing with 46 points as Brazil won 120–115.
Market Square Arena was the primary concert venue for virtually all national and international musical acts visiting Indiana until its demolition in 2001. While many concerts moved to the Deer Creek Music Center amphitheater during summer months after that venue opened in 1989, Market Square remained the primary concert venue for large acts visiting the city of Indianapolis. Market Square hosted acts from Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, Kenny Rogers, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Grateful Dead, KISS, and several Black Expo performances.
Market Square Arena was also the home of the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA from 1974 to 1979. 17-year-old Wayne Gretzky starred for the Racers in his first professional action before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers after a handful of games.
Jimmy Swaggart held a crusade in the arena in July 1988. The arena was filled to capacity over the weekend of July 22–24 for each session.
Pat Benatar performed during her Precious Time tour on August 19, 1981.
Michael Jordan made his comeback from retirement at Market Square Arena on March 19, 1995. The Pacers defeated the Bulls in overtime in what was the most-watched NBA game on television in 20 years.
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