|Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
In the article, Capital Improvement Board President Ann Lathrop refused to comment. However, the IBJ noted that in 2010, members of the CIB said that the $33.5 million was a "temporary fix," until local officials could see what would happen with the NBA's new revenue plan.
Now that the details of the deal are known, including that the Pacers will receive $20 million more, we taxpayers are off the hook for an extension of the three year deal, right? So our tax dollars spent on the Pacers can now be spent on such things as police officers, libraries, parks, etc., right? Democrats who tend to favor more money spent on such services, will stand up for taxpayers against the billionaire owner of the Pacers who wants a handout, right?
If you think so, you don't know Indianapolis politics. Both parties are in bed on the corporate welfare, pay-to-play nonsense that dominates the city's politics. In the article, Council President Maggie Lewis indicates that the Pacers have "bipartisan support" and that they understand the "financial benefits" of the Pacers.
It is amazing how much smarter Indianapolis city-county councilors and others are than those economists who have studied the issue in detail and found little evidence the professional sports positively impacts local economies:
This is from a 2004 article on the subject:
|Maggie Lewis, President,|
Indpls City-County Council
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — If you build it, they will come … with wallets bulging, eager to exchange greenbacks for peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs and beer, and T-shirts and ball caps with team logos.
At least that’s the theory embraced – time and time again – by mayors and city council members hoping to lure professional sports teams to their cities by promising to build new arenas for the teams. But one guy who’s not buying it is sports economist Brad Humphreys, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
That’s because Humphreys and colleague Dennis Coates, a professor of economics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, haven’t uncovered a single instance in which the presence of a professional sports team has been linked to a boost in the local economy.
“Our conclusion, and that of nearly all academic economists studying this issue, is that professional sports generally have little, if any, positive effect on a city’s economy,” Humphreys and Coates wrote in a report issued last month by the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. The institute commissioned the professors to study the economic impact of a deal proposed by Anthony Williams, the mayor of Washington, D.C.; under terms of the agreement, the Major Baseball League would move the Montreal Expos to the nation’s capital in exchange for a new, city-built ballpark.
The professors based their report on new data as well as previously published research in which they analyzed economic indicators from 37 major metropolitan areas with major-league baseball, football and basketball teams.
“The net economic impact of professional sports in Washington, D.C., and the 36 other cities that hosted professional sports teams over nearly 30 years, was a reduction in real per capita income over the entire metropolitan area,” Humphreys and Coates noted in the report.
The researchers found other patterns consistent with the presence of pro sports teams. Among them:
• a statistically significant negative impact on the retail and services sectors of the local economy, including an average net loss of 1,924 jobs;
• an increase in wages in the hotels and other lodgings sector (about $10 per worker year), but a reduction in wages in bars and restaurants (about $162 per worker per year).
Those employed in the amusements and recreation sector appeared, at first glance, to benefit significantly from the presence of a pro team, with an average annual salary increase of $490 per worker, Humphreys said. However, he added, “this sector includes the professional athletes whose annual salaries certainly raise the average salary in this sector by an enormous amount.
As it turns out, those workers most closely connected with the sports environment who were not professional athletes saw little improvement in their earnings as a result of the local professional sports environment.”Numerous later studies earlier than this article and since say exactly the same thing. Of course when the CIB had a study commissioned prior to the three year deal, it didn't hire a university economist who might have actually told the public the truth. The CIB also didn't look at any studies previously done by academics. Instead the Board hired a firm that promotes the hospitality industry to give a "homer" report saying what the CIB proposed doing was a good idea.
The dishonesty of the folks at the CIB know no limits.
The article continues:
"Though Pacers officials say the expense of operating Bankers Life Fieldhouse is an albatross, there is an upside for the franchise. It gets to keep revenue from all events there, from concerts to ice shows. Pacers officials decline to say how much those events generate, but they've said it's not enough to cover expenses for the 18,165 seat venue."Let's clarify what is going on.. We taxpayers own Bankers Life Fieldhouse. We taxpayers subsidize the Pacers to the tune of $10 million a year to run that building. The Pacers get to keep 100% of the revenue from the Fieldhouse. The Pacers, however, refuse to tell the public how much it makes from events held at that building which we taxpayers own. The Pacers though want us to accept that the team is losing money and we should give them tens of millions more in annual subsidies. The CIB refuses to demand the Pacers give this information and simply accept that the Pacers are losing money and taxpayers should pay millions more to the billionaire team owner. The City supports giving away the tax dollars even though we don't have money in the budget to pay for a new IMPD recruit class and are desperately short of police officers and crime is rising.
Only in Indianapolis.