As someone who has studied the Pacers contract in detail, the Star omits or misrepresents several critical facts which if included in the editorial would have undermined the Star's support for more Pacer subsidies. These are:
- The Star says this matter is being considered now, because the 20 year deal "allowed for adjustments at the 10 year mark." No, it does not. The 10 year mark is significant because it is the start of an Early Termination provision, which can only be exercised under certain conditions and with extremely large penalties.
- The only way the Early Termination provision can be exercised is if: 1) the Pacers are losing money; 2) the Simons are selling the team; AND 3) the team is being relocated outside of Indianapolis. The Simons cannot simply pick up the team and move it as the Star editorial strongly implies. The Simons could only do that AFTER the 20 year contract is up.
- The Star completely misses the significant penalty associated with the exercise of the Early Termination provision. The contract contains two penalty formulas for early termination, which decline every year. You use the penalty which renders the lowest penalty. In 2010, the penalty if the Simons sell the team out of state, would be $130 million. (In 2009, it was $142 million.)
- Apparently some CIB types have been trying to convince reporters that the Pacers are allowed to offset losses against the penalty. That is an absolute lie. There is no right of the Pacers to offset penalties with losses in that contract.
- The Star continues to ignore the almost unanimous academic studies which show that professional sports subsidies are not a good investment for local government.
- The Star says city negotiators "represent the residents" of Indianapolis. Really? So even though probably 80% of residents are adamantly opposed to giving the Simons millions more of our tax dollars (a conservative estimate), even though the academic studies say it would be a bad investment, and even though the contract does not even require the City to be at the negotiating table, these "negotiators" represent us?