Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


Fishers votes to ease liquor license rules around new arena district

Fishers Event Center Arena
Posted at 10:37 PM, Sep 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-20 23:19:04-04

FISHERS — The new home of the Indy Fuel hockey team is rising in Fishers. The city council approved a significant change this week to attract more restaurants to the new arena.

Fishers City Council established a "Riverfront District" at the future Fishers Event Center during their meeting Monday.

The ordinance removes the cap for liquor licenses in a designated entertainment district, which in this case spans the east side of Interstate 69, between 96th and 116th Streets.

"This will provide the density we want to see here and reduce the barrier of entry for small entrepreneurs," said Fishers Economic Director Megan Baumgartner. "The true market of value of liquor licenses is around $50,000, but because there's a finite amount, they can go for $300,000 or $400,000. Some groups will buy a liquor license without having a concept in mind yet."

The arena development complements The Yard at Fishers District just up IKEA Way. Fans of The Yard hope the Fishers Event Center can expand the concept even further.

"I like walking my dog around this area, we go around the shops and there's a lot of meeting people," said Fishers District visitor Kellie Deschaine. "This would be fantastic. Being from Seattle and having a lot available when it comes to arts and entertainment, this would be great."

The Fishers Event Center is expected to open in November 2024, and Baumgartner is hopeful the arena will not stand alone for long.

"In two years, I would expect this parking lot to be an area that has really cool developments, entertainment, and restaurant concepts," Baumgartner said.

One restaurant, Chicken N Pickle, has already signed up to be part of the new arena district, according to the city.