FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Remember when they literally raised the roof of the Memorial Coliseum?
It was 20 years ago – Aug. 2, 2002 – when the 1,200 ton roof was lifted nearly 42 feet to allow for a major expansion of the venue.
It was no small feat – at a rate of 3 inches per minute, it took 4 hours and 45 minutes to raise the enormous roof.
When it was in place, crews then fastened the roof structure to new supports.
Residents gathered that summer day to watch the work from the Coliseum parking lot, or from the hill off Johnny Appleseed Park.
With the new space, the Coliseum was able to add the suite level and the upper arena, as well as a lighting system. The project turned the Coliseum into a “major league arena,” as then-General Manager Randy Brown said, with nearly 13,000 seats and 24 luxury suites.