Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pacers Did Not Ask For $15 Million More From CIB - CIB Offered

Indianapolis Business Journal's Cory Schouten has an excellent take this morning on the city's giveaways to the Simons, which by his conservative estimate totals $400 million since 1995. See Simon Says, City Does.

For Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana's analysis of the Schouten's article and the impact of the giveaways see here.

My favorite part of the article though is the Pacers' respresentative who says the team did not ask the Capital Improvement Board to pick up $15 million in operating costs, but that the CIB simply did that on its own. (I might add without a public vote.) That was a mighty generous thing to do, especially when the CIB was already running a $32 million deficit.
Greg Schenkel, the team’s vice president of corporate relations, said discussions about additional funding for operation of the fieldhouse were initiated by CIB, not the team, and that the $15 million annual figure also did not originate with the Pacers.
Unfortunately, given the CIB's delight at giving away taxpayer money to professional sports franchises, I almost believe Schenkel. The Pacers seem to be well represented on the CIB.


I know said...

Gee, take the 2009 Budget the CIB has on line and take away the extra income to the Colts, keep the parking revenue, forego any new equipment and furniture and add the $15,000,000.00 that the Pacers apparently did not ask for and you shave off $25,000,000.00 of the grand scheme!

Easy math!

M Theory said...


Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, Schenkel's comment is disingenuous. The Simons put out the word they weren't happy about the deal the CIB inked with the Colts before construction had commenced on the new stadium. The CIB knew what the Pacers wanted and that was to pick up all of the operating and maintenance expenses on Conseco. They know how this game is played. The Simons didn't have to publicly ask for the additional $15 million. Hell, Bob Grand and his firm have been working for the Simons for years before he stepped in as head of the CIB. I said it at Thursday night's council meeting and I will say it again. The Pacers are well-represented at the table by Grand. He can bobble and weave all he wants over whether he personally handles their legal work, but the fact remains that his firm represents both the Pacers and Simon Property Group and he's the managing partner of the Indianapolis office. He knows all about his firm's representation of their interests.

Downtown Indy said...

Gary, any chance that there'd be documents recorded with the county clerk, or found in the Westlaw archives where we could sniff a trail of legal work with Grand's name on it?

Or does the lawyers' names even appear in such documents?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, I should add that during Pat Early's testimony Thursday night, he said the CIB concluded the Pacers needed the money based upon financial information the team has shared with him over the past two years allegedly showing big losses. Early stated that the Pacers would have to show economic losses in order to exercise the termination of the lease. Early made no mention of the potentially large penalties the team faces if it terminates the lease.

Paul K. Ogden said...

AI, I agree Schenkel was being disingenous. But that kind of thing leaves an opening for elected officials to say "no."

I get tired of these teams cpublicly laiming not to be asking for money but then doing everything behind closed doors to make sure they get it.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gary, it would be nice to find that Pacers' lease on line. I didn't realize there was a cancellation clause in there that pretty much takes away the ease the Pacers have to get out of the contract without penalty. There goes the leverage. Yet, despite the fact the Pacers don't have leverage, the CIB caved anyway.

It would be nice to see that Pacers contract on-line. I found the Colts Lucas deal on the Star website archives.

jabberdoodle said...

Paul - it is online now. At -- Click on 'Agreements'.

I agree with you - the idea that the Pacers have not publicly asked that the operating expenses be picked up by the CIB does give the CC Councillors an opening to say no to it. More importantly, it gives the public more reason to push on the Councillors to oppose the deal.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I saw it. Thanks.