Indiana agree to relocate Pacers affiliate G League team to Noblesville and build a new 3,400 seat arena – Basketball Insiders


Pacers Sports & Entertainment have announced a long-term partnership with Noblesville that will relocate the team’s G League affiliate to their city. As part of the plan, a new 3,400 seat, 85,000-square-foot stadium will be built as the Mad Ants’ new home arena.

“We are excited to welcome Pacers Sports & Entertainment to Noblesville along with the players, coaches and staff of the G League team,” Mayor Chris Jensen said, after the team had been in Fort Wayne for 16 years.

“The Pacers are an iconic brand with deep roots in central Indiana,” Jensen added. “Partnering with such an impactful organization opens numerous opportunities for our community and drives forward our efforts for a larger sports and entertainment district with enhanced partnerships.”

It’s expected that the new stadium will open sometime during the 2024/25 campaign, as the squad will play at Ganbridge Fieldhouse in the meantime. The plan is to build the arena in the east of the city, especifically at Finch Creek Park, which is near a one-million-visit a year sport complex called Mojo Up.

The projection is to bring close to 65,000 fans annually to Noblesville just for G League contests, as it is already the second-most concurred area for sport fans in Hamilton County.

“We are working with the Pacers and other partners on programming options for the arena on days it is not used by the Pacers. The facility would be available for events like IHSAA tournaments and competitions, concerts, conferences, corporate events and graduations,” the Mayor explained.

“Further steps are being taken to finalize development and programming partners, which may also incorporate additional project features and recreational amenities.”

Noblesville Common Council President Aaron Smith welcomes the partnership as part of a strategic move to develop the east side of the city.

“We welcome the new partnership with the Pacers,” he said. “The administration and council have made proactive, smart investments to assist with the financing of this partnership. We are excited to continue the strategic growth on the east side of our city and provide a new attraction for our residents and guests.”

The Mad Ants will be no more, as a new mascot will be unveiled by the 2024/25 campaign

Another important change for the franchise will be the fact that they will unveil a new mascot prior to next year’s season, but will remain the Mad Ants throughout this 2023/24 tournament. The reason behind this is due to how their current mascot shares a special bond to Fort Wayne.

“The G League is world-class basketball, and PS&E is proud to bring that to Noblesville as we strengthen our basketball operations and enhance player development in one of the state’s most vibrant and growing communities,” said Rick Fuson, CEO Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

“We are excited about the way this partnership fits into the bold vision for economic development Mayor Jensen has laid out, and we can’t wait to continue growing our NBA and G League fan base right here in Hamilton County,” he finalized.

The association includes a strong tie to PS&E, as they are investing $5 million advanced in cash, and eventually another $5 million in naming rights for a ten-year deal. Alongside these economic efforts, the city is providing $36.5 million dedicated to the construction of the new arena.

The G League is the official affiliate NBA competition, which features 30 teams (only 2 of them do not possess a link with a NBA franchise), that offers professional basketball for the community.

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