Pacers Rename Conseco Fieldhouse; Now Bankers Life Fieldhouse

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The Bulls and Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse last April. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Bulls and Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse last April. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Conseco Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis is losing that name more than a year after the namesake company dropped its use.

Executives of the Indiana Pacers and Carmel-based CNO Financial Group announced Thursday that the arena will now be known as Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The insurance company changed its name from Conseco Inc. in March 2010 and Bankers Life is one of its major product lines.

The Conseco name has been on the arena since it opened in 1999 under a $40 million, 20-year naming-rights deal with the Pacers.

Bankers Life is CNO Financial’s most important business, selling a mix of life insurance, annuities and health insurance as a supplement to Medicare. Bankers Life produced revenue in 2010 of $2.4 billion, or 58 percent of CNO’s total sales, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

“By aligning (the fieldhouse) with our core business and consumer-facing brands going forward, we’ll be promoting that name in ways that we didn’t before,” CNO Financial CEO Ed Bonach said. “Seven years is still a long time to have the Bankers Life Fieldhouse take hold.”

Signs with the new name were unveiled Thursday over the arena’s main entrance, and the Pacers said all the arena’s old signs will be replaced by early 2012.

Jim Morris, the president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said during Thursday’s announcement that CNO Financial will be responsible for all the costs of changing the name.

The insurance company began phasing out use of the Conseco name after it went into a $61 billion bankruptcy reorganization in 2002. That is still the seventh-largest bankruptcy filing by a public company in U.S. history, according to BankruptcyData.com.

Conseco’s financial troubles followed a yearslong tailspin as its aggressive acquisition strategy in the 1990s backfired and high-profile company founder Stephen Hilbert was ousted as chief executive in 2000.

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