Monday, July 12, 2010

Mayor Ballard Proves (Again) He's No Friend of Taxpayers; Agrees to Fork Over over $33.5 Million More In Taxpayer Money to Billionaire Simons

Mayor Ballard has once again showed his contempt for Marion County taxpayers and willingness to divert taxpayer money away from parks, libraries and other needed government functions to give to corporate entities, in this occasion, the billionaire Simons, the owners of the Pacers.

We knew the Pacer deal would be bad for taxpayers. We just didn't know it would be this bad. The deal's highlights as reported by the Indianapolis Star:
  • The CIB, i.e. taxpayers, will give $30 million over the next three seasons to the Pacers. That amount will be reduced every year.

  • The CIB will make a minimum of $3.5 million of capital irmpovmements to Conseco Fieldhouse.

  • If the Pacers move before 2013-14 season, they will repay $30 million to the CIB. This amount declines every year.

  • The Pacers continue to receive 100% of the non-Pacer revenue on the building.

The Star article makes a reference to the existing $20 million penalty in the contract for early termination. That is a lie that apparently Paul Okeson, Anne Lathrop and possibly administration officials are peddling to members of the media. I have read thoroughly, several times, and done calculations on the penalty provision in the contract. There is no scenario by which the existing contractual penalty is only $20 million. The fact is in 2009 that penalty would have been about $150 million. It declines every year. This year, it would have been about $138 million.

The Simons cannot pick up and move the team under the existing contract. The contract can only be broken if 1) the team is losing money; 2) the team is being sold; and 3) the team is being relocated out of Indianapolis. Even then the Simons would have to pay the aforementioned $138 million.

It will be interesting to see if the CIB and City "negotiators" were such sell-outs that this amendment alters the existing 1999 contract to give the Simons the right to move the team, with little if any penalty. I wouldn't put it past people like Paul Okeson and administration officials to further sell the City's taxpayers down the river.


Downtown Indy said...

And the City 'negotiators' made no insistence on the Pacers turning around their financial situation so that no future bailout (let's call this what it is) would be necessary.

Over 3 years, the Pacers could rework their player compensation to improve their cash flow.

But no, they continue business as usual and we are supposed to think they won't ask for another toke on the money-pipe at that time?


Paul K. Ogden said...


Can you imagine any scenario by which the Pacers 3 years from now say: "We're making plenty of money and we don't need to continue this taxpayer subsidy."

Cato said...

Republicans are as big Liberals as the Democrats.

This was theft from the taxpayers, nothing less.

The Republicans have shown America that winning is getting as much of other people's money as you can, through whatever means.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Ballard is the enemy of Hoosier taxpayers.