[caption id="attachment_451" align="alignleft" width="150"]
It’s the “Year of the Coliseum” at the Indiana State Fair[/caption]
After seven years of celebrating Indiana homegrown products, the Indiana State Fair
is celebrating the “Year of the Coliseum” during the fair’s 17-day run Aug. 1 – 17
in a number of ways, including with a new 92-page digital flip book
that chronicles the building’s 75-year history. The 18-month, $63 million Coliseum Complex renovation that wrapped up in April is the largest project in the fairgrounds’ 123-year history, making it uniquely qualified to be honored with “Year of” status.
The State Fair Commission
studied a variety of renovation options over several years before beginning a complete overhaul of the building on October 29, 2012. In the end, much of the structure’s history was preserved by reinstalling 96 original seats; recreating the original terrazzo floor; and leaving original walls and steel support beams exposed. The renovation finished three months ahead of schedule and includes the adjoining Youth Arena, a 30,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose facility that opened last August.
The $63 million renovation, financed through bonds payable with commission revenues and funds raised by the Indiana State Fair Foundation
, makes the Coliseum complex the only modern, mid-sized multi-purpose facility in Central Indiana. It also makes agriculture a priority by keeping multiple animal entry/exit points to the arena floor and by rebuilding the 9 ft. wall that surrounds it.
The renovation did little to change the outside appearance of the Coliseum, but the inside has been completely transformed and now boasts several amenities that include:
- A spacious lobby with elevators to carry guests up to the main concourse
- More than 70 wall-mounted flat-screen TV monitors throughout the building
- Full ADA accessibility
- A double-tiered seating bowl with great sight lines from every seat
- An overhead LED video scoreboard and corresponding video ribbon board
- A state-of-the-art sound system
- Sound-absorbing walls and ceiling attachments for optimal acoustics
All these new features, and several others, will enhance the experience for all Coliseum guests. Visitors will also enjoy the freshly made, upscale concessions offered by The Savor Society
, a Carmel-based company that will offer a wide variety of made-to-order foods on customized menus.
State Fair headline concerts are returning to the Coliseum for the first time in 30 years, and there’s a wide variety of shows to check out. The 2014 Shane Co. Coliseum Concert Series includes:
Shane Co. Coliseum Concert Series tickets can be purchased at the Indiana State Fair Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com
or charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000
In between the concerts, the Coliseum will be alive with a lot of livestock shows, Draft horse shows and other special events, including:
- Grand Champion 4-H Drive – Aug. 4 at 6 p.m.
- Celebration of Champions – Aug. 9 at 1 p.m.
- Draft Horse shows – Aug. 10 – 16
- “Percheron Thunder” performances – Aug. 10 – 16
Some other special features for the “Year of the Coliseum” include:
- Free Digital History Book – Dozens of Coliseum photos and events have been catalogued and published in a free digital book that people can find at http://bit.ly/1o0a7Nv.
- Coliseum “Selfie Stations” – Fairgoers can take a picture with some of the famous celebrities and athletes that have been inside the Coliseum over the past 75 years at one of six different “Selfie Stations” located around the fairgrounds.
- Coliseum souvenirs – Visitors can purchase a special “Year of the Coliseum” collectable ornament, a set of coasters or many other items at the State Fair Gift Shop on Main Street near the Midway.
The State Fair has been featuring “Year of” celebrations since 2007. Previous items featured include pigs, tomatoes, trees (hardwoods), corn, Dairy cows, soybeans and popcorn.
About the Indiana State Fair
The Indiana State Fair is the state’s largest multi-day event celebrating Hoosiers’ spirit and agricultural heritage. Nationally recognized for offering great entertainment, showcasing youth, interactive agriculture education programs, premier facilities and a variety of unique, fun foods, the Indiana State Fair has been an annual tradition for generations of Hoosiers since 1852. For more information, please visit www.indianastatefair.com.