Fishers, Indiana Wants To Use An Arena For Economic Development

The building will house a second tier hockey league.

The ECHL is a hockey league that is two levels below the National Hockey League but elected officials in Fishers, Indiana, an Indianapolis suburb with 93,000 people, think spending $170 million on an arena that would be the anchor of an arena village for an ECHL franchise will provide an economic stimulus to its municipality. The ECHL’s Indy Fuel franchise will be the anchor tenant in the facility that could be funded in part by a rise in the local restaurant tax by one percent. The arena will be part of a Fishers District expansion and is part of a $1.1 billion economic development and entertainment project. Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness thinks that the Indy Fuel business would use the building somewhere between 30 to 35 games a year. Fadness also believes that the event center would host about 125 events each year. There are 365 days in a year and 366 days in a leap year which means that the building would do no business 240 days a year or would be shut two-thirds of the year. The building would seat 6,500 people for hockey or basketball games and between 8,000 and 8,500 people for concerts. The hockey team has a presence in Fishers as it currently uses a local hockey and skating facility for practice time.

Fishers seem to be on the cusp of becoming a sports center. Andretti Autosport announced plans on August 22nd to build a $200 million global headquarters in the town. Andretti Autosport plans to move to the new Fishers headquarters in early 2025. Indy Fuel owner Jim Hallett probably will see more money because there will be more revenue sources coming his way. After all there will be restaurants, more concession and team store space and a possible ticket price hike because that is what a new arena provides.

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