Many folks had the chance to be ‘wowed’ by the new $50 million, 197,000 square-foot facility during a recent ribbon cutting event last Thursday.
“That’s a reaction that people have without pigs in the pens, so I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when pigs are actually in the pens,” said Cindy Hoye, Executive Director of the Indiana State Fair Commission.
The pavilion retains the original brick façade on the north entrance of the old Swine Barn, which was built in 1923. However, the inside of the new facility is quite different.
“As you walk into the building, it drops in elevation by 10 feet, so you now have this bird’s-eye view over the whole expanse of the show floor. You can watch the livestock shows going on from the upper deck. You can also then walk down the steps and intersect with the exhibitors and the show animals. It gives you a really nice way to interact,” said Hoye.
The new pavilion’s show floor is 118,000 square feet.
Hoye says the new pavilion will be a year-round multipurpose facility—and will host the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championship in 2025.
“When we designed the new structure, it was purposely designed for indoor track-and-field,” according to Hoye. “The column width is wide enough that we can support an indoor track-and-field 200-meter elevated track surface that will go in between the columns. We also have the ability to put portable bleachers around the area, so we worked with USA Track and Field to make sure that we met their needs, just like when we worked with pork producers to make sure we met their needs.”
Randy Kron, President of Indiana Farm Bureau, says he’s proud that his organization is the title sponsor of the new pavilion.
“From the very beginning, Indiana Farm Bureau has been a supporter of the Indiana State Fair and this is a tradition that lives on,” says Kron. “Being able to support the State Fair and being able to support Indiana agriculture—I can’t say enough ‘wow’s’ about this when you walk in to this building. I think our members will say the same thing: unbelievable!”
Click below for C.J. Miller’s radio news report for Hoosier Ag Today.