Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Pacers Are Coming! The Pacers Are Coming! Hide the City's Checkbook

Over at Advance Indiana, Gary Welsh notes John Ketzenberger's column in the Indianapolis Start today suggesting that one of the purposes of cleaning up the image of the Pacers is so that they could seek to renegotiate the lease with the Capital Improvement Board. Dan Lee of the Star also writes about how the Pacers are using marketing to better their image.

Welsh nails the subject perfectly:

"To the general public, this talk of a sweeter lease deal could not do more than rub an already raw sore. The CIB is currently facing insolvency if a solution isn't figured out to a more than $20 million shortfall in operating revenues because of the additional costs of the Lucas Oil Stadium. A one-sided lease agreement is allowing billionaire Colts owner Jim Irsay to walk off with hundreds of millions in revenues from the stadium which rightfully should belong to the taxpaying public who paid to build the stadium. Average Joe taxpayers are in no mood to subsidize billionaire sports franchise owners more at a time they're losing their jobs and struggling to pay their mortgages. If the CIB thinks for one minute it's going to go against the public's will on this, then it better be prepared for a revolution in this town unlike the one it just witnessed last year when outsider Greg Ballard upset Bart Peterson with the help of those average Joe taxpayers."
Taxpayers have already paid dearly for the poor negotiating skills of city leaders when it came to the Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium lease. If the CIB tries to give away the store like the Board did with the Colts' lease, the CIB will spark another taxpayer revolt, this one while a Republican occupies the Mayor's Office.

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