February 09, 2009
Indianapolis: Stadiums out of money, send more
Hey, remember that $20-35 million a year operating deficit Indianapolis' stadium authority was projecting to run? Turns out it's now $43 million a year - and the city or county may have to consider new taxes to help stem the flow of red ink.
Among the options being considered, according to the Indianapolis Star, are a food and beverage tax hike, a hotel tax hike, a sales tax increment financing district (which would just divert sales taxes that would otherwise go to the state treasury), a ticket surcharge (which, contrary to what the Star claims, would mostly come out of the pockets of the Colts and other local teams, who would be limited how much they could raise ticket prices, not local fans), and lease concessions from the Colts and Pacers. Noting that the Pacers are expected to demand a sweetheart lease akin to the Colts', U of Indianapolis sports marketing professor Larry DeGaris remarked, "On one hand, the city has already played its hand by building the stadiums -- it would be a shame to have these two huge white elephants Downtown (if the teams, in particular the Pacers, opt to move to new cities).
But the teams don't have the same leverage now, either. Where are the Pacers going to go that can help them?"
All this, on top of the $715 million that local taxpayers spent to build the Colts' new stadium in the first place, could leave the public on the hook for more than $1 billion in construction and operation costs. But then, it's not like anyone could have predicted that the stadium would lose money for its public owners once it opened - oh, wait...
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
February 09, 2009
Posted by M Theory at Wednesday, February 11, 2009