New $110 million IU Indianapolis Athletic Center slated for 2026

“This is simply another line in the Sports District that will help attract great sporting events to Indianapolis and help us continue our role as the Sports Capital of the World.”

INDIANAPOLIS – When Grace Purichia first heard a few months ago that there was a plan for a new multi-purpose athletic center for IU Indianapolis’ basketball and volleyball programs, she didn’t believe it. She couldn’t imagine spending $110 million to create a 12,000-square-foot facility where her Jaguars volleyball team’s home games could be showcased.

When the ruling for the IU Indianapolis Athletics Center was officially set in motion by the Indiana University Board of Governors on June 17, her wildest beliefs moved one step closer to becoming a reality.

“I was just very lucky and grateful that I was able to be a part — and continue to be a part — of all these changes that are happening around IU (Indianapolis),” said Purichia, a rising sophomore setter. “It’s really cool how much we’ve accomplished already.”

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IU Indianapolis athletics director Luke Bosso said he was aware of the possibility of a new athletics facility coming to campus before he took his position in May 2023. Once he took over as the new department head, one of the first goals on his agenda was to keep the ball rolling on this project.

“I want to see the best for this city,” Bosso said. “This is simply another line in the Sports District that will help attract great sporting events to Indianapolis and help us continue our role as the Sports Capital of the World.”

This facility will not only host home games for IU Indianapolis men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, but it will also serve as the home base for the athletic department as a whole and the national headquarters of USA Track and Field.

Before construction can begin on the new facility, the proposal must go through the Indiana Department of Higher Education and the state budget office. Bosso said this process should be completed within the next two to three months, with groundbreaking scheduled for late summer/early fall, and a target completion date of fall 2026.

Just in time for Purichia’s senior season.

“It’s really cool that we have support from our school because some athletes aren’t as lucky as us when it comes to support,” she said. “It’s just very comforting to know that our school wants the best for us.”

The facility’s estimated capacity of approximately 4,500 fans will provide IU Indianapolis athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents to a much larger audience than The Jungle’s capacity of 1,215 people.

“All the little pieces that make a team great come together, and it starts with the facility,” Purichia said. “You bring people in, you bring in the energy, and then you feed off that energy, and that’s what helps the team the most…I think IU Indy Athletics will continue to bring in more and more spectators as the years go by. I hope we can fill it and put on a show for everyone.”

The rising sophomore knows how valuable fan experience can be to a program’s success, drawing on the community support she and her Providence High School teammates received during the 2022 IHSAA Class 3A state championships. But she also knows the effect state-of-the-art facilities can have on potential recruits.

Although Purichia may only call the IU Indianapolis Athletics Center her home for one season, the future of the Jaguars is not lost on her. It’s not lost on Bosso, either, who is just getting started in his quest to create community and success within IU athletics in Indianapolis.

“Producing great student-athletes and winning championships is what we are here to do,” Bosso said.

Contact Kyle Smedley with comments via email at [email protected] or at X @KyleSmedley_.