"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

Which city wanted (and could afford) the Pacers?

Press Release from Mayor Ballard's office:

I wanted to update you on today's announcement regarding the 3-year agreement reached between the City's Capital Improvement Board and Pacers Sports and Entertainment. As you know, since I campaigned in 2007 my pledge has been to tackle the City's challenges in an honest and responsible manner and to improve City services while maintaining my top priority of protecting our taxpayers. The CIB agreement with Pacers Sports and Entertainment honors that pledge.

This agreement is about Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers did not ask and we would not consider helping with team operating costs. The Fieldhouse is a City-owned public building that must be run with or without the Pacers. It is less expensive for the City, and therefore the taxpayers, to keep the Pacers as the prime tenant.

When you spend as much time out in the community as I do, you hear a lot of opinions. I understand there is a lot of frustration with the recent performance of the Indiana Pacers and I know there are people who don't want the City to do anything to keep the team here. But the value and impact of keeping the Pacers in Indianapolis goes far beyond their most recent win-loss record.

It's imperative for people to know that the economic impact of losing the Indiana Pacers was estimated at $55 million per year with a direct impact to local government of $18 million per year. Also, nearly 1000 jobs are directly related to the Pacers and Fever playing in Conseco Fieldhouse - and the number of jobs grows exponentially when you include all activities in the Fieldhouse and the nearby employers dependent on downtown activity.

In addition to considering the loss of jobs and tax revenue, it's critical for residents to understand that Conseco Fieldhouse is a City-owned building. Without the Pacers as the prime tenant, taxpayers would have to shoulder the entire cost of operating the Fieldhouse without the benefit of tax receipts - a total estimated at $15-18 million per year. Finally, it is important to factor in our City's status as a sports capital and the role it plays in recruiting employers and conventions to Indianapolis, which in turn generates significant tax revenue.

Even while considering all these facts, the agreement was not reached easily, but the alternative was far worse. We could not afford to lose the Pacers to another city. Therefore, we reached a 3-year agreement which preserves the $55 million annual economic impact, the $18 million annual direct impact to local government, and we protected thousands of jobs and taxpayers. Most importantly, the $10 million in financial assistance to operate our City-owned facility for 3 years comes without any additional tax increases.

The millions of dollars generated by tax revenues from the Fieldhouse and downtown activity help fund improvements in your neighborhood, and many of the 66,000 people with jobs tied to our hospitality industry are your neighbors. I'm asking for your help to communicate some of the lesser known facts behind this decision over the coming days because preserving the economic and marketing viability of our City affects all of us. I hope I can count on you to voice your support both publicly and privately.


Gregory A. Ballard
Mayor of Indianapolis

1 comment:

Downtown Indy said...

Yes, Gary, I am certain you and Paul (and others) will help communicate the 'lesser known facts behind this decision over the coming days.'