"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Irsay whines: "It's everyone's stadium"

GREAT ARTICLE FROM THE STAR 9-18-08 (be sure to read the comments section) On a side note: The 'State' is the general assembly and the governor is CEO of the State, so......another colossal blunder at taxpayers' expense by people who operate with deficit spending. More stadium goofs by the goofs that organized, designed and favored the red brick barn that sounds like one. While we loose our homes misused as collateral at the Bond Bank and watch our mismanaged CIB finger the public while inserting the rest into our pockets for everything but the necessities, Marion County and the donut county residents who are paying for this stadium ought to present their ID at every event for free admission since we are paying for it. That is..if we don't come down with disease from the ground floor with port-a-pottys and no public handwashing facilities while eating your hepatitis finger food. So don't forget to take your moist toilette packages. You'll need them along with a crying towel and send your doctor bill to the CIB and the Governor.
--Patriot Paul for HFFT
Posted: September 18, 2008

Our position: State, Colts must not leave city to plug latest stadium funding gap.

Everybody knew the great civic party called Lucas Oil Stadium was going to run up a big tab. But oh, the surprise bills that keep hitting us on this long morning after.

Two years after learning that unexpected expenses had eaten two-thirds of the $50 million contingency fund for construction, and a year after learning the original $675 million cost was nowhere near reality, taxpayers this week found out the city budget for running the stadium has a hole the size of the retractable roof.

As reported by The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy on Wednesday, the Capital Improvement Board says extra -- that's extra -- costs of operating the now-$750 million facility may reach $20 million, not the $10 million originally projected.

The Indiana Convention Center expansion, due for completion in 2010, should help; and so may increased non-football business in Lucas. But as things stand now, the CIB's reserves are near exhaustion and dire options are being considered, including cuts in staff and arts funding. The quasi-governmental city agency, in short, is looking down the same financial gun barrels as city government -- while the party goes on.

Two other parties to this party should step up. The state, which wrested control from the city over negotiations with the Colts and built the stadium, cannot continue arguing that cost overruns for operations are the city's problem. And the team, which invested all of $50 million in the enterprise and retained all sponsorship rights as well as a cut of all gate receipts, cannot keep calling itself a mere tenant that made a deal cast in concrete.

Encouragingly, state Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, the state's key man in the affair, has offered to work with the beleaguered city in finding a way to close the latest gap, focusing on user fees as the most palatable approach. New taxes, at any level, can only be a last resort if they're not off the table entirely.

What's left? The CIB has suggested the sale of naming rights or sponsorships to the convention center. We would suggest, as we have previously, that the Colts share a portion of the revenue from stadium naming rights and sponsorships, which will exceed $20 million a year. It is, after all, the public's stadium that bears those signs, even if the (rent-free) tenant was handed the spoils.

A deal's a deal? The Colts and the state may sing that refrain all they wish, but the city's negotiators can say much the same regarding their expectations. So can the overburdened taxpayers of a city that's stuck with a management job for an eight-county region.

"It's about community," Colts owner Jim Irsay said during the inaugural festivities. "It's everyone's stadium. This is the people's stadium." In that spirit, can the local people get a break?


Anonymous said...

Yeah, well if Irsay felt a part of our community then why doesn't he live in Marion County?

Pete Boggs said...

Historically, these are the kinds of "parties," that people tend to leave...

Downtown Indy said...

It's 'der VolksStadion', but make no mistake - the money it takes in is Jimmy's and Jimmy's alone.

Along with the other money woes, now a lawsuit against the CIB et al. has been filed on behalf of a woman burned by fireworks in the Dome.

WIBC Story

Anonymous said...

In the real world, where apparently the CIB, Irsay and the lot don't live, people lose their jobs for screw-ups like this!

I say, let these morons cover the difference out of their own pockets! Perhaps then, they would finally feel the pain they are inflicting on the rest of us.

The 'Bacchus' Oil Stadium is a symbol of greed, corruption and excess...it looms over this city's skyline like the vulture it is, picking our bones dry.

Anonymous said...

When it's time for the public protest against more taxes going for grown men throwing a ball around a pantheon, say when.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

"It's about community," Colts owner Jim Irsay said during the inaugural festivities. "It's everyone's stadium. This is the people's stadium."

Irsay continued, saying, "I just get all the money! /s off


Concerned taxpayer? Did Irsay really say that? If so...where can I get a copy of the documentation?