Friday, September 12, 2008

Pony Up, Colts

The Indianapolis Star today reported that, according to a report in Forbes magazine, the Indianapolis Colts had the biggest jump in value of any NFL franchise. The Colts are now ranked 8th and the franchise is worth $1.076 billion. Just 10 years ago, Forbes had the Colts ranked dead last in franchise value.

City negotiators gave away the city, making Jim Irsay a rich man in the process. (Calling those city leaders "negotiators" is a charitable characterization.) Here was a team theatening to leave if they didn't have a new stadium, and then we paid them $48 million to break the lease on the old stadium? Hey, here's an idea, why not negotiate that the Colts have to waive that payment if we build the new stadium for the Colts so they can make more money?

Then they gave the Colts 1/2 of the non-football revenue. That should never have been on the table. The Colts are a tenant. Why should a tenant get paid when the owners (i.e. the taxpayers) use the building for other events?

This city has made Jim Irsay a rich man. It's time the Colts pony up and give some money back. A good place to start would be for the Colts to pay that $20 million annual operating cost for the statdium that those crack negotiators forgot to consider when cutting the deal with the Colts. One way to recover those millions is for the Colts to agree to amend the contract so the City gets all the revenue for the non-football events.

Any negotiation starts with understanding what leverage each party has. The Colts bluffed the City by threatening to leave. The City's negotiatiors took the bait, falling over themselves to give the Colts a sweetheart deal to stay. The Colts need the city though as much as the city wants the Colts. It's time the City (i.e. the Capital Improvement Board) starts making an effort to recover the ball the negotiators fumbled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Be nice if the taxpayers could sue the government and all those involved in this bum deal especially the non colts event revenue.