Construction Begins on Indiana Convention Center Expansion and New Convention Hotel
After more than nine years of planning, including a three-year feasibility period demonstrating significant demand from convention clients, the city of Indianapolis is about to get a larger convention center and a new 800-room headquarter hotel.
On Aug. 1, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Visit Indy President and CEO Leonard Hoops were joined by community leaders, project representatives and some of the city’s largest convention clients for a groundbreaking celebration of the sixth expansion of the Indiana Convention Center (ICC) and construction of a new Hilton convention hotel.
Key convention customers in attendance included leadership from the American Society of Association Executives, Performance Racing Industry, Indiana Black Expo, the NFL Scouting Combine, National FFA, Percussive Arts Society, American College of Sports Medicine and Gen Con.
While foundational work to redevelop the former Pan Am Plaza – the site where the new 143,500-square-foot expansion and hotel are being built – took place last year, the event marked the official start of the project’s construction phase.
“Over the past decades, the Indiana Convention Center has hosted some of the most iconic large events in Indiana and America while generating billions of dollars in economic impact and supporting a hospitality and service sector with over 80,000 jobs,” said Mayor Hogsett. “This latest expansion and hotel addition will keep Indianapolis at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to the perfect host venue — and city.”
With completion expected for in summer 2026, the ICC expansion will house a 50,000 sq. ft. ballroom – the largest in the state of Indiana and one of the U.S.’s top 10 largest – as well as a junior ballroom, myriad meeting rooms and pre-function space, enabling the ICC to host two citywide conventions at one time, according to Visit Indy officials.
A skywalk over Capitol Avenue will connect the expansion to the existing convention center, which currently offers 566,600 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space in 11 halls; 71 meeting rooms; three ballrooms ranging from 10,202 to 33,335 sq. ft.; and 49 loading docks.
Alongside the new convention space, a 40-story Signia by Hilton will transform the southwest Indianapolis skyline as the city’s tallest hotel. The convention-focused property will bring the total number of hotel rooms in Indianapolis connected via climate-controlled skywalks to more than 5,500, more than any other U.S. city, according to Visit Indy officials.
“At Hilton, we’re always looking to meet our ever-evolving guest needs with the right hotel in the right destination at the right time,” said Teddy Berlin, brand leader, Signia by Hilton. “Indianapolis is an ascending and dynamic city for sophisticated business, leisure and group travelers.”
He added, “With Hilton’s pipeline of 15 hotels in the market, we’re excited to see the progress of this incredible project and to continue playing an integral role in the city’s hospitality growth and success.”
According to Hoops, the hotel’s 800 rooms will provide the additional hotel room inventory that several of Indianapolis’s key conventions need to keep their growing events in the city.
“This expansion and new headquarter hotel not only enhance our city’s skyline but also help us keep our largest annual customers, allow us to more effectively host multiple major events simultaneously, draw new four-and five-star event business and drive more Hilton-loyal groups to the city,” Hoops explained.
The ICC’s last expansion was completed in 2011, built in conjunction with the 1,005-room JW Marriott convention headquarters hotel.
Photo caption: From left to right: Leonard Hoops (Visit Indy); Andy Mallon (Capital Improvement Board); Jeff Foster (National Football Scouting Combine); Alice Watson (Indiana Black Expo); Mandy Hazlett (National FFA); Gene Hare (Hilton); Dan Acheson (Drum Corps International); David Hoppe (Gen Con); Michelle Mason (ASAE); Kristin Belleson (American College of Sports Medicine); Dan Kessler (JAMfest); Dr. Jeremy Earnhart (Music for All); Joshua Simonds (Percussive Arts Society); Scott McQueen (Capitol Sports Volleyball); Karin Davidson (Performance Racing Industry); Vop Osili (Indianapolis City-County Council President); and Mayor Joe Hogsett.