"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Field of Schemes author covers our Lucas Oil Stadium fiasco

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...

—Neil deMause



From FieldOfSchemes.org

February 11, 2009

New Orleans running out of stadium money, too

Indianapolis isn't the only city whose sports facilities are hemorrhaging red ink: The Superdome Commission, which runs both the New Orleans Saints' dome home and the Hornets' arena, is looking at a $27.5 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, according to the New Orleans Times-Picuyune. Of course, this may have something to do with the ridiculous leases the state agreed to with its teams, where Louisiana taxpayers actually pay the Saints and Hornets more than $46 million a year combined just to play in their state.

"There are not enough monster truck shows in the universe to make up" for the losses, Superdome VP told the state legislature in asking for more tax money to bail out the agency's budget. While it wouldn't be quite as simple as underprivileged college students subsidizing the Saints and Hornets profits with their tuition money, that's pretty close as shorthand.

—Neil deMause

Anonymous said...

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2802e3a8-f77c-11dd-81f7-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1 P.J. Orork is always worth reading.

Downtown Indy said...

And while we have a spiffy new stadium, IndyParks currently has $100M of deferred maintenance projects and has a deficit of several million dollars.


Hmmm, more deferred maintenance in the city's properties. We are so screwed - thanks to the CIB. Everywhere you look there's not enough money to go around.

I spent some time reading through Urbanophile's blog this evening. The CIB has certainly gone the 'all eggs in one basket' route with our tax monies, which that blog talks about. Lots of items discussed there that made me stop and say, 'Yeah, that's where things went wrong here.'

Anonymous said...

Just wait, we are about to have another boondoggle as they are now pushing for mass transit. Yes, as we face a $43 million dollar shortfall with the Colts and face an economic crisis, our government continues its desire to grow. In times of Depressions/Recessions, it is normal for businesses and individuals to trim themselves down to become more productive, however, elected leaders take the opposite approach and decide that it's time to grow the government.