Scaffolding, dust, and debris litter the inside of the coliseum, but State Fair executive Director Cindy Hoye says construction is on schedule, “Most of the concrete pieces have been brought in, and the signature livestock wall was one of the first things installed.” But with construction not set to be completed until 2014, the livestock shows for the 2013 fair will undergo some major changes. Hoye told HAT most of the livestock shows formerly held in the Coliseum will be held in what was formerly the outdoor arena, “That building is now under cover, air conditioned, and renamed the Youth Arena.”
All of the champion drives will be held in their respective barns. The draft horse competition will be held in the outdoor arena, but with no public viewing because there is not a protective barrier to keep an audience safe from the large hitches. Hoye said the public will be able to view the draft horse hitches practicing outside of the arena and that the competition will be broadcast on a large video screen outside the building.
Hoye realizes these changes may cause some inconvenience, but she said it is necessary to produce a final result that will benefit agriculture, “You have to give up a little to get what you ultimately want: a premier location for livestock shows and other events.” Originally built in 1937, the Coliseum renovations will turn the historic building into a modern state of the art facility with expanded seating and modern facilities. A total redesign of the interior of the building will provide improved visibility for all events. It was announced on Thursday that IUPUI will begin playing Class 1 NCAA basketball in the Coliseum in the 2014 season.