Indiana Convention Center

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The Indiana Convention Center is a major convention center located in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. It presently contains over 1,300,000 square feet (120,000 m2) of space for convention/meeting uses including over 566,000 square feet (50,000 m2) of open exhibit space and almost 140,000 square feet (13,000 m2) of group meeting space. The original structure was completed in 1972 and initially covered two blocks on a site located south of Maryland Street and west of Capitol Avenue. It now stretches over the majority of six blocks, not including the connected facilities of Lucas Oil Stadium. In total, there are 71 meeting rooms and multiple food courts.[1]

History[edit]

Upon its 1972 opening, the Indiana Convention Center had three main exhibition halls (A thru C - since renamed/reconfigured) located on its western end. The eastern portion of the structure contained the large '500 Ballroom' as well as various meeting rooms and other support facilities.

The first major expansion to the ICC was finished in late 1983 concurrent with the Hoosier Dome (later named the RCA Dome), to which it was connected prior the Dome's deconstruction in 2008. The combined cost was around $82 million. Half of the funds were private and the other half were public (taxpayer). Exhibit halls D & E (since renamed/reconfigured) were added, along with other new and renovated facilities.

Later expansions created additional exhibit halls to the west of the original ones, along Maryland Street, created additional ballroom and flexible spaces, and gave a new, unified facade to the facility.

The most recent major expansion to the ICC was undertaken from 2006 to 2011. This was the fourth significant expansion of the convention center since it first opened in 1972.[2]

First, the Lucas Oil Stadium was constructed one block south of the convention center's old RCA Dome. It opened in August 2008. The stadium offers 183,000 sq ft (17,000 m2) of exhibition space, 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) of meeting rooms, and 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of pre-event space.[3]

Next, the old home of the Indianapolis Colts, the RCA Dome, was demolished and removed. The iconic air-lifted dome was deflated and the implosion of the stadium was completed in December 2008.[3] On this site, a new two-story convention center building was then constructed. This new addition offers 254,000 sq ft (23,600 m2) of exhibit space, 63,000 sq ft (5,900 m2) of meeting rooms, 103,000 sq ft (9,600 m2) of pre-exhibit space, and a 31,000 sq ft (2,900 m2) plaza.[3] An underground walkway along the west side of Capitol Avenue was also built to directly connect this new portion of the facility to Lucas Oil Stadium.

The expanded Indiana Convention Center now possesses over 1,300,000 square feet (120,000 m2) of space for convention/meeting uses.[3] Completed in January 2011,[2] Ratio Architects, Inc. was the lead architectural firm for the Convention Center Expansion, assisted by other Indiana companies, BSA LifeStructures, Blackburn Architects and Domain Architecture Inc. Indianapolis headquartered Shiel Sexton Co. Inc. was the lead construction manager, in association with Powers & Sons Construction Company Inc.

Notable Conventions[edit]

The Indiana Convention Center has been the host to a large variety of meetings and conventions. These include:

  • The 28th General Assembly & Conventions of Church of the Nazarene in June 2013.
  • The 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in July 2012.
  • Star Wars Celebration II and III - It brought over 30,000 loyal Star Wars fans to Indianapolis, including George Lucas, Hayden Christensen, Peter Mayhew, and many other members of the Star Wars cast and crew. Celebration III was April 21–24, 2005.
  • Gen Con - One of the largest and most prominent gaming conventions in North America. It moved to Indianapolis in 2003 and occurs in August. In 2012, Gen Con saw over 41,000 unique attendees. In 2013, Gen Con saw unique attendance of 49,058.[4]
  • National FFA convention - Has host the event from 2005-2012, alternative with Louisville from year to year after this. This convention attracts around 50,000 FFA members to the city.[5]
  • The Indiana Convention Center was also the site of the boxing competitions in the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis.
  • The Indiana Convention Center was the site of the 1980 General Conference of the United Methodist Church as well as the 1972 North Central Jursidictional Conference.
  • The Indiana Convention Center is the site of the Pokémon Trading Card Game US National Championships annually.

Artworks[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]