Photo of an Indiana Pacers game from the upper level of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

CNO Financial Group has owned the naming rights to the Indiana Pacers’ home arena since the venue first opened in 1999 as Conseco Fieldhouse. The arena’s name was then changed in 2011 to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. CNO Financial Group announced last year that they would not be renewing their naming rights agreement with the Indiana Pacers for Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which expires in June 2019. The Indiana Pacers’ ownership group, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, are currently pursuing a new naming rights partner with the help of Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) doesn’t appear to be in any hurry in finding a new partner. For the last several months, the organization has been reaching out to entities that the Indiana Pacers already have relationships with to gauge their interest in striking a deal. CNO Financial Group currently pays $2M annually for the naming rights to Bankers Life Fieldhouse; that number could command $4M annually under a new agreement. That estimate was determined by comparing Bankers Life Fieldhouse to the current naming rights agreements for other NBA arenas in small market cities.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse will also be receiving a facelift to the tune of $360M. Renovations will include a large glass window similar to the end zone windows at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. The arena will also be receiving a year-around public outdoor plaza and several additional gathering areas for fans. The fact that Bankers Life Fieldhouse is also hosting the 2021 NBA All-Star Game will also likely increase the value of the future agreement.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is technically owned by Indianapolis’ Capital Improvement Board (CIB) but Pacers Sports & Entertainment controls sponsorships and oversees daily operations. Several high-profile names have been speculated as potential naming rights partners including Salesforce, Inc. Salesforce recently put its name on the tallest skyscraper in downtown Indianapolis. OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc., a local life insurance company, has also been named as a potential naming rights partner. However, with the international popularity of the National Basketball Association, a new naming rights partner could come from virtually anywhere around the globe.

 

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