INDIANAPOLIS - The city's Capital Improvement Board is budgeting $8 million to cover some of the costs associated with hosting Super Bowl XLVI. The CIB runs the Convention Center and the city's sports venues, including Lucas Oil Stadium.As usual, Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana pulls the cover off the phoniness that is Ann Lathrop and the CIB:
On Monday, the board approved a plan to cover private security as well as some of the other operational costs including staffing and utilities. Also included in that $8 million appropriation is $4 million for the city's Department of Public Safety. A spokesperson for Public Safety Director Frank Straub said it's earmarked to cover overtime for police and firefighters during the Super Bowl, noting 150 officers would be positioned inside the stadium alone.
CIB president Ann Lathrop said the board offered to help with the public safety expense knowing city was facing big budget challenges with a drop in property and income tax revenue. And unlike years past, the CIB is much better financial shape - in part because of more hospitality tax revenue coming in following the opening the convention center expansion and new JW Marriott Hotel earlier this year.
"I think, in general, we get the hospitality taxes that are going to be coming in due to the event," said Lathrop. "Given the significant, one-time-only impact this is going to have, we think it is the right thing to do as good corporate citizens."
Lathrop said the NFL has agreed to reimburse the CIB roughly $4.2 for specific gameday expenses including private security. She said the CIB hopes to recoup the remaining $4 million from the extra tax revenue generated during the Super Bowl.
Keep in mind this was the same CIB that claimed it was teetering on bankruptcy just a couple of years ago unless we bailed it out with a series of tax increases and a new state subsidy. Now the CIB is so cash rich that it has $33.5 million to give away to the Simon's Indiana Pacers and another $8 million to foot the bill for Super Bowl-related expenses. I will flat out claim and defend such claim until proven otherwise that Ann Lathrop and Bob Grand totally fabricated a financial crisis after they took over the CIB following Mayor Ballard's election in order to find money for the Simon's new public subsidies for their NBA basketball team and to finance the Super Bowl costs, the event that we were told would cost taxpayers nothing because all of the funds necessary to cover the expenses would be paid by contributions raised by the local host committee. There have been reports that the CIB is letting the NFL use space at the convention center during the Super Bowl free of charge. Further, the legislature passed an unprecedented tax exemption that covers the Super Bowl event so that the NFL doesn't have to pay any state or local taxes during the event.
No, Ann Lathrop, we will never recoup the losses from this event. And the claim that the Super Bowl will generate $450 million for the local economy repeatedly touted in local news media reports is complete and utter bullshit. No independent study of the Super Bowl has ever proven that it generates anything approaching that kind of economic impact. Independent analysts peg the economic impact at no more than $40 to $50 million at best. As for added tax benefits, look at how little sales tax revenues grew in the Arlington, Texas communities that hosted this year's Super Bowl. Look no further than Detroit for the definitive proof of just how little benefit the Super Bowl generates for the city at large. How stupid do they think people are? It is simply unconscionable to be spending tens of millions of dollars to put on a party for the nation's richest people while the common people are sinking by the day under the pressure of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. At the rate things are going, they're going to need a small army to simply keep out angry, rioting taxpayers who will share in none of the benefits of this party and who are struggling to find jobs and to put food on the table for their families.Let's think about this realistically. If the Super Bowl were such a great investment for a city, then why were there only three cities (Indy, Houston and Phoenix) that bid for the 2012 Super Bowl? The answer is that it is not a great investment. When it comes to Indianapolis, the Super Bowl is about the elites making working men and women pay for them to have a chance to play.