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Bball
03-10-2009, 04:32 PM
Pacers owner: Money losses can’t continue

Pacers' co-owner Herb Simon told the The Indianapolis Star's editorial board today that he can't continue to lose money on the team.

Simon said he needs to resolve the team's financial situation — saying it has lost money nine of the 10 years in Conseco Fieldhouse — before he gives the team to his heirs. He repeatedly said he does not want to move the team, but he said the team could no longer operate the Fieldhouse at a loss of about $15 million per year.


“There comes a point when you can't do it any more," Simon said. “We have to straighten this thing out if we can.”

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090310/SPORTS04/90310061

Trader Joe
03-10-2009, 04:40 PM
We're gonna lose this team if we aren't careful.

Country Boy
03-10-2009, 04:43 PM
Pacers owner: Money losses can’t continue

Pacers' co-owner Herb Simon told the The Indianapolis Star's editorial board today that he can't continue to lose money on the team.

Simon said he needs to resolve the team's financial situation — saying it has lost money nine of the 10 years in Conseco Fieldhouse — before he gives the team to his heirs. He repeatedly said he does not want to move the team, but he said the team could no longer operate the Fieldhouse at a loss of about $15 million per year.


“There comes a point when you can't do it any more," Simon said. “We have to straighten this thing out if we can.”

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090310/SPORTS04/90310061

It's sounding more like a threat every day.

Bball
03-10-2009, 04:49 PM
So it comes down to putting his hand out and asking local government (AKA taxpayers) to fix a failed business model rather than looking internally at trimming fat, better marketing, let alone going to the NBA and lobbying for real change to a sustainable business model?

I really do have a problem with the way this is playing out.

It is not the city and state's fault the way this has played out. Escalating player salaries, an over-reliance on fat cats to fill the arenas of the NBA, bloated TV contracts not based on economic realities, a commissioner that has probably out-stayed his welcome, etc are all coming home to roost. And that is on a natl scale. Locally, our bloated hierarchy, several ill-advised player moves and bad contracts, refusal to address problems, and bad marketing hasn't helped us weather the storm.

And now all that meets the economic downturn that shows no sunnyside yet. I have no doubt the NBA economic model was destined to fail on its own but this has certainly hastened the failure at the fringes. And the Pacers have certainly positioned themselves squarely on the fringes with several years of questionable decisions.

If they've only made a profit once in the whole time they've been at Conseco then they don't need to be looking at the taxpayers to bailout that failing business model. They need to look internally as well as the NBA as a whole. Something is wrong with that picture.

And as much as I hate to say it, they need to fix the cause of that before they come to the taxpayers looking for corporate welfare. If that is 'unfixable' in Indy then I don't think we'll be alone in seeing teams either fold up or leave in search of greener pastures. But I doubt they ultimately find them.

Herb Simon:
Ask not what the taxpayers can do you for. Ask what you can do for the taxpayers.

Country Boy
03-10-2009, 04:53 PM
So it comes down to putting his hand out and asking local government (AKA taxpayers) to fix a failed business model rather than looking internally at trimming fat, better marketing, let alone going to the NBA and lobbying for real change to a sustainable business model?

I really do have a problem with the way this is playing out.

It is not the city and state's fault the way this has played out. Escalating player salaries, an over-reliance on fat cats to fill the arenas of the NBA, bloated TV contracts not based on economic realities, a commissioner that has probably out-stayed his welcome, etc are all coming home to roost. And that is on a natl scale. Locally, our bloated hierarchy, several ill-advised player moves and bad contracts, refusal to address problems, and bad marketing hasn't helped us weather the storm.

And now all that meets the economic downturn that shows no sunnyside yet. I have no doubt the NBA economic model was destined to fail on its own but this has certainly hastened the failure at the fringes. And the Pacers have certainly positioned themselves squarely on the fringes with several years of questionable decisions.

If they've only made a profit once in the whole time they've been at Conseco then they don't need to be looking at the taxpayers to bailout that failing business model. They need to look internally as well as the NBA as a whole. Something is wrong with that picture.

And as much as I hate to say it, they need to fix the cause of that before they come to the taxpayers looking for corporate welfare. If that is 'unfixable' in Indy then I don't think we'll be alone in seeing teams either fold up or leave in search of greener pastures. But I doubt they ultimately find them.

Herb Simon:
Ask not what the taxpayers can do you for. Ask what you can do for the taxpayers.

I like it!

Bball
03-10-2009, 04:54 PM
I mentioned this in the other thread but if the Simons have been all about keeping the team in Indy why are they suddenly talking about leaving it to the heirs? If they can no longer operate the team in a sustainable way then shouldn't they be looking for a local buyer first and foremost?

It sounds like they do want the team as an asset afterall... not that I blame them for that but then we all need to be realistic about what the goals are here. It's not solely keeping the Pacers in Indy that is motivating the Simons.

dohman
03-10-2009, 04:57 PM
If Indiana wants a basketball team taxpayers are going to be paying for it. The simons have to be competitive in the market when paying players and staff otherwise they would never have a winning record.

idioteque
03-10-2009, 05:00 PM
I too don't like the way this is playing out. I think it is Gnome who says while it is ridiculous for taxpayers to prop up sports franchises, if Indy doesn't do it, the franchise will find a city that will. However I don't know if Gnome would stand by that statement in this economy.

The most I would offer is conditional relief that is given on the basis on the franchise becoming more lean in its own expenses. Otherwise, forget it, take your terrible business model somewhere else. I wonder how much the team actually loses in one year. Why isn't the team more transparent about how much it actually loses, precisely, in one year?

Bball
03-10-2009, 05:06 PM
If Indiana wants a basketball team taxpayers are going to be paying for it. The simons have to be competitive in the market when paying players and staff otherwise they would never have a winning record.


The Simons have been part of the problem in driving salaries up in the market by continually overpaying players and holding onto underperforming players and bloated contracts too long.

It's not the taxpayers' fault things have gotten to this point. We have to be careful in looking at this like the Simons (and TPTB under them) have operated this organization in the best way possible or that the NBA overall has a sustainable business model that can weather storms and is not based on a popularity boom that they shouldn't have expected to be able to sustain.

The taxpayers are already pumping money to the Simons and it's not enough (they say).

Businesses need to be allowed to fail or else they never learn to fix their own messes.

And all that said.... I still question the math that has them losing this kind of money. If that is accurate, then they have ran the business into the ground with too many bad decisions or Indy can't afford the Pacers no matter what the Simons do.

able
03-10-2009, 05:08 PM
I too don't like the way this is playing out. I think it is Gnome who says while it is ridiculous for taxpayers to prop up sports franchises, if Indy doesn't do it, the franchise will find a city that will. However I don't know if Gnome would stand by that statement in this economy.

The most I would offer is conditional relief that is given on the basis on the franchise becoming more lean in its own expenses. Otherwise, forget it, take your terrible business model somewhere else. I wonder how much the team actually loses in one year. Why isn't the team more transparent about how much it actually loses, precisely, in one year?


They are not asking for "teamlosses" to be covered, they want the same, well a trimmed version, of what the Colts get, who on a sidenote, need 27 million a year.

see my post in the other thread

able
03-10-2009, 05:12 PM
The Simons have been part of the problem in driving salaries up in the market by continually overpaying players and holding onto underperforming players and bloated contracts too long.

It's not the taxpayers' fault things have gotten to this point. We have to be careful in looking at this like the Simons (and TPTB under them) have operated this organization in the best way possible or that the NBA overall has a sustainable business model that can weather storms and is not based on a popularity boom that they shouldn't have expected to be able to sustain.

The taxpayers are already pumping money to the Simons and it's not enough (they say).

Businesses need to be allowed to fail or else they never learn to fix their own messes.

And all that said.... I still question the math that has them losing this kind of money. If that is accurate, then they have ran the business into the ground with too many bad decisions or Indy can't afford the Pacers no matter what the Simons do.

You keep saying this, but you are excluding the amount of money flowing into coffers of the city and other businesses, employment as such in and around, directly related to having that team, like the Colts.

BY your standards Lucas Oil would not have been build and will be closed down this summer because the Colts need twice as much money as the Pacers, money that IS for the running of the team and NOT the running of thge facility, which they (Colts) don't have to bother with.

dohman
03-10-2009, 05:32 PM
The Simons have been part of the problem in driving salaries up in the market by continually overpaying players and holding onto underperforming players and bloated contracts too long.

It's not the taxpayers' fault things have gotten to this point. We have to be careful in looking at this like the Simons (and TPTB under them) have operated this organization in the best way possible or that the NBA overall has a sustainable business model that can weather storms and is not based on a popularity boom that they shouldn't have expected to be able to sustain.

The taxpayers are already pumping money to the Simons and it's not enough (they say).

Businesses need to be allowed to fail or else they never learn to fix their own messes.

And all that said.... I still question the math that has them losing this kind of money. If that is accurate, then they have ran the business into the ground with too many bad decisions or Indy can't afford the Pacers no matter what the Simons do.


Your right. The cost of doing business. There are 28 other teams in the NBA where players would probally rather live. I know you being in Indiana probally love it. But to a NBA player with millions of dollars indiana is not a destination location. Its a place to play to make a larger paycheck. Now that may not be what you or any other pacers fans want to hear but its the truth. Its something the simons have to deal with. With the amount of money they have and how they made it I am sure the last people they need to take advice from is anyone on a message board. They own the Pacers as a hobby and at 15million a year loss ITS A EXPENSIVE HOBBY.

They are basically telling indiana they are tired of losing that much money and if they want the team they are going to start paying for it plain and simple.

MyFavMartin
03-10-2009, 05:41 PM
If the Pacers leave, the taxpayers would still be required to pay for the Conseco fieldhouse. Are the Pacers contractually obligated to stay in Conseco? If so, would folding be their only way out? Think there's a buy-out?

The way the collective bargaining agreement is, Pacers are obligated to guaranteed contracts, so releasing underperforming or injured players (ala the Colts and the rest of the NFL) is not an option. Some of this is a problem. So of its the brawl. Some of its the losing records.

Is Indianapolis any different than other small market teams like San Antonio, Utah, and Sacramento? How can other teams afford $70 million+ in salaries and not be in the red? Are their tickets that much more?

The taxpayers are obligated answers to these questions before throwing money at it.

MyFavMartin
03-10-2009, 05:43 PM
Your right. The cost of doing business. There are 28 other teams in the NBA where players would probally rather live. I know you being in Indiana probally love it. But to a NBA player with millions of dollars indiana is not a destination location. Its a place to play to make a larger paycheck. Now that may not be what you or any other pacers fans want to hear but its the truth. Its something the simons have to deal with. With the amount of money they have and how they made it I am sure the last people they need to take advice from is anyone on a message board. They own the Pacers as a hobby and at 15million a year loss ITS A EXPENSIVE HOBBY.

They are basically telling indiana they are tired of losing that much money and if they want the team they are going to start paying for it plain and simple.

Maybe they could sell the team to someone else who would keep them in Indy and Conseco? Heard the NFL had a backup owner to the Colts if the Irsays sold (or OD'ed) that would keep them in Indy. Never heard who that was.

Not sure this is the time to be selling, though.

BlueNGold
03-10-2009, 06:01 PM
The problem with selling the Pacers right now is that almost everyone, even the fat cats, feel poor at the moment. It's just not a seller's market for a money-losing trophy like an NBA franchise.

Cities are not exactly flush either. There is no extra public money to poor (freudian slip) into the pockets of these NBA players. Cities are too busy trying to keep the pantries open.

The truth is, the Simons do have an expensive hobby...and right now it's an inconvenient, expensive hobby. I bet they feel stuck somewhere between a Tinsley and a Done-leavy.

Taterhead
03-10-2009, 08:04 PM
You know these rich beyond belief a-holes never cease to amaze me. More billionaire welfare, just what we need right now. Pathetic.

grace
03-10-2009, 08:05 PM
If Indiana wants a basketball team taxpayers are going to be paying for it.

That may be true but when people can't pay their property taxes do you really think they'll want to pay more taxes to keep a team?

I'd like to know how much they're losing on the Fever.

MyFavMartin
03-10-2009, 08:24 PM
Why is raising taxes always the answer?

Why isn't it ever to cut spending?

rexnom
03-10-2009, 08:35 PM
Seattle-Oklahoma has unfortunately set a very dangerous precedent here. This sounds a lot like the beginning of the end in Seattle did.

Bball
03-10-2009, 08:45 PM
I know the common argument is the amount of economic development and advancement a pro team brings to a community but the jury is still out on what that really is. ..or if it exists at all.

When you are talking about something like the Indy500 where the facility is owned and operated without an assist from taxpayers (except for security and traffic control) then you don't have much argument that the city/state benefits.

But when a city has to layer tax after tax on its citizens to pacify billionaires who can't be bothered to work towards making their product profitable (or else they work hard to make their product not appear profitable) whatever the case may be) then something is out of whack somewhere.

Eventually, you squeeze the last drop of out something, there's nothing left but diminishing returns.

If having a team is worth 5.00 to a city but they have to spend 2.50 to make that 5.00 then everyone should be happy (relatively speaking), but when that team starts asking for another 2.50 then things are being negotiated not in the practical realm, but in the realm of pride and PR.

If the Colts got a super sweetheart deal then I suppose that's great for the Colts but it doesn't mean the Pacers deserve one as well. And right now the Pacers aren't in the best of negotiating positions anyway. Let alone if you compare the two franchises. And even if someone can argue that the Pacers deserve the same or something closer to the same sweetheart kind of deal the Colts got, it doesn't necessarily mean the city can afford it (even if they are dumb enough to offer it again).

This is a bad time to try and squeeze blood from a turnip on a number of levels for the Pacers. IMHO they need to be in communications with Stern about changes he needs to be making with the current NBA model to make it more sustainable through good times and bad as well as keep ticket prices in check for average fans. ....Not trying to get more corporate welfare from the local citizenry. Someone needs to say "ENOUGH!"

There's also been recent talk about why the Simons and Walsh didn't want an All-Star game in Indy. If I'm Indy government and I'm being asked to fork over more and more money to millionaires and billionaires in the name of investing in the city then I want to know why the team turns their nose up at the All-Star game.

And if the Pacers try and turn this into to a Pacers vs the Colts argument they might well call the Mayflower vans now. They better be arguing this as a Pacer issue.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that the Simons already got a sweetheart deal with Conseco. They are not being raked over the coals no matter how much they try and paint that portrait. They simply didn't get the deal the Colts got... and it's not like that can be afforded either.

rexnom
03-10-2009, 08:48 PM
Hmm...I don't think that the Simons are in a terrible negotiating position. If they don't get what they want from Indy, I'm sure they can go to another city and sellout their inferior product.

BlueNGold
03-10-2009, 08:51 PM
Seattle-Oklahoma has unfortunately set a very dangerous precedent here. This sounds a lot like the beginning of the end in Seattle did.

The silver lining with this economy is that there is less money flowing that can draw away a franchise. The Simons are probably wealthier than anyone who might be interested in purchasing the Pacers...and even they are feeling the pain of the losses. I bet other rich people are looking for a return about now...not more losses. So, I don't see the Pacers going anywhere. The harder question is, what will the Simons get from the city?

rexnom
03-10-2009, 08:54 PM
The silver lining with this economy is that there is less money flowing that can draw away a franchise. The Simons are probably wealthier than anyone who might be interested in purchasing the Pacers...and even they are feeling the pain of the losses. I bet other rich people are looking for a return about now...not more losses. So, I don't see the Pacers going anywhere. The harder question is, what will the Simons get from the city?
Well, the Simons don't necessarily have to sell the team. They could get what they want from another city if Indy doesn't pony up.

Pacersfan46
03-10-2009, 09:18 PM
The silver lining with this economy is that there is less money flowing that can draw away a franchise. The Simons are probably wealthier than anyone who might be interested in purchasing the Pacers...and even they are feeling the pain of the losses. I bet other rich people are looking for a return about now...not more losses. So, I don't see the Pacers going anywhere. The harder question is, what will the Simons get from the city?

True or not, the Simons or new owners ... whoever could believe that by moving the team you eliminate the losses. The excitement for the new city would generate the money to turn it around. Not to mention if they got a team friendly deal from the city as well.

-- Steve --

BlueNGold
03-10-2009, 09:28 PM
Well, the Simons don't necessarily have to sell the team. They could get what they want from another city if Indy doesn't pony up.

Usually that's true. However, in this economy it is far less likely that a city would have the money to pony up. Anything is possible though. All you need to do is look south of the Westin to see the impossible.

El Pacero
03-10-2009, 09:46 PM
I declare that all Pacers players should offer a 10% pay decrease to help offset the cost of operating expenses to taxpayers . . . and make the city of Indianapolis love them to death. With the current economy, Marion County taxes and property taxes, this is the best move to win over Indianapolis again.

Bball
03-10-2009, 09:48 PM
Usually that's true. However, in this economy it is far less likely that a city would have the money to pony up. Anything is possible though. All you need to do is look south of the Westin to see the impossible.

The real shame of that is the extra dollars paid for that retractable roof. It's already shown that it won't be open if there's the remotest chance of any kind of weather outside of absolutely clear for miles and 68 degrees.

So why even bother because in Indy that means it might be open for a few preseason games (and it wouldn't surprise me to see it closed as a rule for preseason games) and maybe a couple of home games per season at best...

But what do I know... It sure is cool.

idioteque
03-10-2009, 10:01 PM
The state of sports stadiums is just ridiculous. The venues that Colts and Pacers play in are practical for those organizations like it would be practical for me to buy a Ferrari.

Is it utterly ridiculous to fathom an athletic stadium that would last for 40 or 50 years and two or three renovations? Would it have been too much for the Colts to play in West Lafayette or something for half a season while the RCA Dome is refurbished and pimped out? It is senseless for a lot of these athletic stadiums all around the country to be demolished when really, there is little or nothing wrong with that except for the fact they're not stacked with luxury boxes? I understand that Indianapolis has to do what is has to do to keep the Colts and the Pacers in town, and I am questioning the context in which these decisions were made more than the decisions themselves. It is a crying shame, though, that these places have to be torn down and rebuilt every 20 years. It is just excessive and irresponsible.

It just vexes me that it is considered normal for stadiums to be built and rebuilt BY TAXPAYERS the way that they are.

Bball
03-10-2009, 10:19 PM
The state of sports stadiums is just ridiculous. The venues that Colts and Pacers play in are practical for those organizations like it would be practical for me to buy a Ferrari.

Is it utterly ridiculous to fathom an athletic stadium that would last for 40 or 50 years and two or three renovations? Would it have been too much for the Colts to play in West Lafayette or something for half a season while the RCA Dome is refurbished and pimped out? It is senseless for a lot of these athletic stadiums all around the country to be demolished when really, there is little or nothing wrong with that except for the fact they're not stacked with luxury boxes? I understand that Indianapolis has to do what is has to do to keep the Colts and the Pacers in town, and I am questioning the context in which these decisions were made more than the decisions themselves. It is a crying shame, though, that these places have to be torn down and rebuilt every 20 years. It is just excessive and irresponsible.

It just vexes me that it is considered normal for stadiums to be built and rebuilt BY TAXPAYERS the way that they are.


You're onto something and I will tag along with the theme about sports stadiums becoming ridiculous- How many more seats has and will Lucas Oil Stadium sell because of the millions they invested in that retractable roof?

Negotiations have left the realm of practical and are now debated somewhere in the dreamworld where only pride, ego, and PR really matter.

It's easy to spend other people's money... politicians have learned that lesson too well. Also, it's easy to use other people's money to buy votes. They've learned that lesson too. And people from dollaraires to billionaires have learned the can vote in people who will give them the goodies they want. After all, it's only other people's money.

croz24
03-10-2009, 10:24 PM
it goes beyond the stadium costs and it's pure and simple, we have no stars or anybody worth coming to see. people can talk all they want about danny granger, but the fact is, he's just not exciting enough. we need a peyton manning on the pacers who would deliver us wins and consistency at the top of the standings. if the pacers do that, the fans will show. but the pacers management is inept, as are most of its fans. for some reason, they seem to love mediocrity. either be really good, or really bad. being in the middle gets you nowhere.

Shade
03-10-2009, 10:45 PM
The fact that they keep making these public statements has me worried. Very worried.

Where there's smoke...

Bball
03-10-2009, 10:49 PM
The fact that they keep making these public statements has me worried. Very worried.

Where there's smoke...

:Edit: That joke was too easy... Just use your imagination.... :cool:

Bball
03-11-2009, 02:59 AM
The state of sports stadiums is just ridiculous. The venues that Colts and Pacers play in are practical for those organizations like it would be practical for me to buy a Ferrari.

Is it utterly ridiculous to fathom an athletic stadium that would last for 40 or 50 years and two or three renovations? Would it have been too much for the Colts to play in West Lafayette or something for half a season while the RCA Dome is refurbished and pimped out? It is senseless for a lot of these athletic stadiums all around the country to be demolished when really, there is little or nothing wrong with that except for the fact they're not stacked with luxury boxes? I understand that Indianapolis has to do what is has to do to keep the Colts and the Pacers in town, and I am questioning the context in which these decisions were made more than the decisions themselves. It is a crying shame, though, that these places have to be torn down and rebuilt every 20 years. It is just excessive and irresponsible.

It just vexes me that it is considered normal for stadiums to be built and rebuilt BY TAXPAYERS the way that they are.


This post should be required reading by every mayor, governor, and any other politico everywhere.

I've said for quite some time the federal government needs to step in and somehow put a stop to this madness because it's clear local politicians cannot do it themselves. They are addicted to the stature they think a pro team brings their city, and afraid of the hit they'd take as the person in power that let the team walk. And they are so blinded they don't negotiate rationally.

...IMHO...

Jose Slaughter
03-11-2009, 03:18 AM
So if the cost of operating Conseco is too much for the Pacers...

Why can't they find another place to play?

Would the NBA allow them to remain in Indianapolis if they played their home games at Butler?

Maybe play a few at IU or Purdue?

I doubt the NBA would be that intersted in keeping a team in Indy to allow them to do that. Better to move the franchise to a city with an NBA approved arena or let the team die & let the model franchises absorb their players.

Mourning
03-11-2009, 03:28 AM
You keep saying this, but you are excluding the amount of money flowing into coffers of the city and other businesses, employment as such in and around, directly related to having that team, like the Colts.

BY your standards Lucas Oil would not have been build and will be closed down this summer because the Colts need twice as much money as the Pacers, money that IS for the running of the team and NOT the running of thge facility, which they (Colts) don't have to bother with.

:amen:

Justin Tyme
03-11-2009, 04:02 AM
I'm one of those that doesn't believe in the public bailing out companies or sports franchises. I have already seen more than enough of this bailout on a national level in the last 6 months for poor management of different companies and industries. This economy is closer to a depression than it is recovery even with the economic stimulus the gov't is giving. Why should the taxpayer pay for the Simons' problems? I wasn't in favor of the taxpayers having to shoulder the Colts new stadium, nor am I in favor the tax payer shouldering the Pacers need for relief.

What guarantee do the taxpayers have if they help now that the next generation of Simons will keep the Pacers in Indianapolis? It's just a matter of time before one generation or the other of Simons sell the Pacers. My view is if the Simons don't want to shoulder their responsibility for their loss of millions due to management problems then they need to look for new ownership that will keep the Pacers in Indiana. If they can't find new ownership to keep the Pacers in Indiana, I'll be the first to be sad to see the Simons sell the Pacers and the Pacers leave Indianapolis, but as a taxpayer I never created their problem nor do I want to pay for their problem. They aren't paying for John Q Public's economic problems, so why should John Q Public pay for their economic problem. Taxpayers are losing their jobs and homes everyday, it's not their responsibility to help pay to bailout the Pacers for inept management over the years. JMOAA

Erik
03-11-2009, 05:16 AM
Herb Simon stressed Tuesday that he wants to keep his team in Indianapolis but was equally adamant that he can no longer afford the operating expenses at Conseco Fieldhouse or the team's year-after-year financial losses.

Simon said the Pacers have lost money nine of the past 10 years, including the year the Pacers played in the NBA Finals. (Forbes.com offers a different financial picture; see the graphic at left.) Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said the team has lost $200 million total since Simon bought it in 1983.


"There comes a point where you have to say, 'Maybe I can't do this anymore,' " Simon, 74, said in an hourlong meeting with executives and reporters at The Indianapolis Star. "Certainly my family, if I'm not here, is not going to be able to do it.

"So, let's straighten this thing out. Maybe we can't. But let us try. Sure, I would have picked a better time than the world's greatest economic crisis. The timing sucks, but that's what it is."

The timing is triggered by a clause in the Pacers' lease -- signed when the team moved into the fieldhouse in 1999 -- that allows the team to renegotiate with the city's Capital Improvement Board after 10 years.

Under the agreement, the Pacers agreed to operate the fieldhouse, which is costing the team about $15 million a year. Simon said he did not want to negotiate in public, but it's clear, based on what CIB officials have said, that neither side thinks the team can continue to pay that much.

The CIB is facing its own $20 million shortfall. If it were to absorb the cost of operating the fieldhouse, it almost certainly would need help from taxpayers.

Simon avoided making threats to leave town and said he has not spoken to other cities that might be interested in the team. But, he stressed, "it's very important we resolve this in the near future. Very important."

And it's not just the Pacers that Simon is concerned about. The fate of the Fever seems tenuous at best.

Simon said he is committed to the WNBA team for just one more year. The team has lost "several million dollars," he said, and must double corporate sponsorships and attend ance if it is to survive.

But while Simon bemoaned his financial situation, others looked skeptically at the latest example of a wealthy professional sports team owner wanting public money.

Cathy Burton, president of the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations, said she doesn't fault Simon for trying to get a deal as good as the one the Colts received at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"The fault," she said, "lies in giving it to them. The citizens can't afford to bail them out."

She said the team brought many of its problems on itself, with player misbehavior that has hurt attendance. She called on the Pacers to open their financial books to the public.

David Carter, a sports business expert from the University of Southern California, said he can't evaluate the team's claims of losing money in nine of the past 10 years, including 2000, when they went to the NBA Finals.

But, Carter said, "even if they are (losing money), you still need to take a look at how valuable the team would be if it were put up for sale -- and not necessarily in the home market."

The Simons bought the Pacers for $11 million. Forbes magazine said the team is now worth a little more than $300 million, a figure the team disputes.

"The accumulated losses are close to the value of the franchise," said Morris, the Pacers Sports & Entertainment executive. "There is not some golden egg out there somewhere."

Potential suitors for the Pacers include Kansas City, which just built a new arena.

But, Carter said, "just because a city is interested doesn't mean they can pull the trigger. States, cities and school districts are laying people off, and there's going to be a headline about giving money to a new basketball team?"

Simon said he has been a community-minded steward of the team, which almost certainly would have left Indianapolis if he had not stepped in.

Now, it appears taxpayers may be expected to step in again. A number of options have been floated to cover the CIB's operating debt, which, depending on the outcome of negotiations with the Pacers, may very well include some if not all of the $15 million to operate the fieldhouse.

Paul Okeson, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's chief of staff, said the mayor wants to focus first on increasing admission taxes to help the CIB, spreading the burden to those who use the facility. But a 1 percentage point increase in that tax would raise only an estimated $1.5 million, not nearly enough revenue to cover the problem. In addition, the Pacers are concerned they would have to absorb that cost because they're not certain they could raise ticket prices without losing fans.

Another possibility is raising the existing tax on restaurants, but Okeson said the city needs to be cautious, especially because it would make that tax among the highest in the country.

Still, the city senses it must do something.

"I think everyone involved would agree that a picture of Indianapolis without the Pacers would not be healthy," Okeson said.

Simon said he didn't have any recommendations for how the CIB comes up with the money.

"That's not our job," Simon said. "We want to cooperate, but I think some creative people can come up with creative ways of doing it."http://www.indystar.com/article/20090311/SPORTS04/903110367

It seems to me that they're putting this stuff out there to get us ready for the inevitable, the taxpayers will eventually cover this. I'm sure not getting that restaraunt tax raised before the Superbowl comes to Indy is too much like missing a free meal to them. And reading that about the Fever makes me feel like they are all but gone.

Kemo
03-11-2009, 05:27 AM
The latest article I read looked kinda grim , saying that the Pacers are losing something to the tune of 30 million this year ...

here is the link to the latest indy star article

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090309/LOCAL/90309046/1088/SPORTS04


Conseco costs drain Pacers' bottomline
By Brendan O’Shaughnessy
Posted: March 9, 2009


The Capital Improvement Board cut about $400,000 in grants to arts and tourism groups today and revealed new details about the Indiana Pacers’ financial problems.

Pat Early, the board's vice president, said the Pacers are losing about $30 million this season and have lost money every year but two of the 28 years the Simons have owned the team.
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Early said the Pacers cannot continue to shoulder the $15 million per year operating costs of Conseco Fieldhouse. He said the team has not threatened to leave but that there is a good chance it will leave or shut down if the CIB does not assume those costs.

“If we are unable to do this, we’re really jeopardizing the health of Downtown,” Early said.

He called the Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium the bookends of a $4 billion annual tourism and convention industry. “If one of those bookends goes down, who knows what’s next.”

Early said that the city still would have to shoulder the Fieldhouse’s operating costs if the Pacers didn’t play there and estimated that they would be nearly the same. He said the team acknowledges responsibility for its players’ problems off the court but cannot control a collective bargaining agreement that hurts small-market cities.

“It’s important that everyone understands the Pacers can’t participate any more financially,” Early said of talk that the city cover only a portion of the operating costs. “They are already participating with millions of dollars every year. We are going to have to find a solution.”

The update on talks with the Pacers overshadowed the expected cut to the grants it makes. The board cut 13 percent from cultural tourism, the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Indiana Black Expo. It exempted from the cuts the Finance Committee's recommendation to also cut 13 percent from the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

Dave Lawrence, vice president of the Arts Council, said he appreciated the difficult situation facing the CIB but reminded the board that the arts also contribute to the city's vitality and $52 million in taxes. "As we’re talking about the Pacers and how to save Downtown, we also have to talk about the arts,” he said.

Call Star reporter Brendan O'Shaughnessy at (317) 444-2751

ABADays
03-11-2009, 06:41 AM
True or not, the Simons or new owners ... whoever could believe that by moving the team you eliminate the losses. The excitement for the new city would generate the money to turn it around. Not to mention if they got a team friendly deal from the city as well.

-- Steve --

History has proven these honeymoons are short lived.

MillerTime
03-11-2009, 06:49 AM
Losing $15 million per year is a lot of money lost

sloopjohnb
03-11-2009, 07:38 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090227

Not sure if you folks have read this article in the above link. It's Bill Simmons writing at the All-Star Break about the state of the NBA and the direction it is heading. He's predicting another lockout, and a major victory for the owners in the lockout. Very long article and a great read. It is broken into 4 sections and I am going to include some quotes from the 4th section, but I think anyone with the time and interest should take a look at this article in full.


4. The dawning of NBA Franchise Hot Potato.
Ohhhhhhhh, it's coming.

I became obsessed with this topic over All-Star Weekend and solicited input from as many people in the know as I could. Franchise Hot Potato hinges on five factors in all, although only three need to be in play. You need a team with a dwindling fan base and/or bailing sponsors and suite/courtside customers. (I count 11: Indiana, Memphis, Milwaukee, Sacramento, New Jersey, New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, Minnesota, Charlotte and Philly.) You need a team trapped in an aging stadium that can't drum up local money for a new one. (I count three: Sacramento, Jersey and Milwaukee.) You need an owner who purchased his team because he was worth a ton of money ON PAPER … only now, he's worth significantly less and might even be worth $10 for all we know. (Consensus candidates for this list: Phoenix, Hijack City, Jersey, Memphis, Indiana, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Charlotte … and, surprisingly, Sacramento and Cleveland.) You need cities with NBA-ready, modern arenas either finished or about to be finished that would love nothing more than stealing a team. (Definitely Kansas City, Anaheim, San Jose, Louisville, Tulsa and Pittsburgh; possibly Columbus, St. Louis; and just for fun, let's throw in Montreal and London.) And you need a struggling team that can actually extricate itself from its lease.

The last "need" is easier said than done, as the Grizzlies would tell you -- owner Michael Heisley would leave treadmarks fleeing Memphis if he weren't tied to FedEx Forum through 2015. Then again, Hijack City owners McClendon and Clay Bennett showed us a nice blueprint for weaseling out of a lease in Seattle last year, a strategy best described as, "make up selfish reasons to leave, make your move, leave a trail of broken hearts, *******ize the integrity of the league, then make everything OK by just paying everyone off because the city will be greedy enough to accept a cash settlement right away over fighting you in court for the next six years." Thank you, fellas. You guys will be remembered as the Lewis and Clark of Scumbag NBA Owners.

Looking at the next 15 months only, the consensus of people in the know was that multiple NBA franchises (guesses ranged from three to eight) will move cities, get sold to new owners or throw themselves on the mercy of the league (meaning the NBA would effectively take over operations of that franchise, kinda like what happens in the MLS or WNBA). Nobody believes the league will contract or merge two franchises, simply because Stern is stubborn that way; that would be an undeniable sign of weakness in his eyes. (If you don't believe me, I have five words for you: Season 13 of the WNBA.) On the other hand, he's the one who opened the door for 21st-century franchise relocation with his callous handling of Seattle's situation. The other 29 NBA cities learned an ominous lesson from SonicsGate: If you don't heed every arena-related wish of your team, no matter how insane or unrealistic those wishes are, then it might move and the commissioner's office will not protect you. As long as we have cities like K.C. and Anaheim waiting with open arms, teams will keep moving. And they will.

(Important Note No. 2: I already planted this seed to my friend Jason Whitlock, but it's worth mentioning again … I am fine with the Kings moving back to Kansas City because Sacramento stole them in the first place. It's like if I left the Sports Gal for Megan Fox, stayed with her for 15 years, then the Sports Gal stole me back and we spent the rest of our lives together. You couldn't blame the Sports Gal for this, right? Hold on … lemme enjoy this scenario for a few more seconds … hold on … hold on … OK. Also, I like the thought of Pittsburgh landing the Nets or Grizzlies for some reason. Did you know Pittsburgh's team in the ABL (circa 1962) was named "The Pittsburgh Rens" after Pittsburgh's annual renaissance festival? You're not gonna believe this, but they went under. Then their next team was called the Pittsburgh Pipers (ABA, late-'60s) and they went under. Regardless of what you think about Pittsburgh as an NBA city, at least admit it can come up with phenomenally dumb nicknames. Keep your fingers crossed for the Nets to become the Pittsburgh Ironmen (What? They already tried that one?) or the Pittsburgh Coal.)

So that's the climate for the No Benjamins Association right now: Murky, unpredictable and not so lucrative. And you wonder why I didn't want to write about All-Star Weekend. Looking at the big picture, the league won't struggle even 1/10th as much as the NHL in years to come -- of all the wildest predictions I heard in Phoenix, the craziest came from a connected executive who predicted that fifteen NHL teams would go under within the next two years (and was dead serious) -- and Major League Baseball is about to get creamed beyond belief. Other than the NFL, the NBA will emerge from this financial quagmire in the best shape of any professional sport; not just because its billion-dollar deals with Disney and Turner (inked fortuitously in the summer of 2007) run through the 2015-16 season but because the Lockout That Hasn't Happened Yet will ultimately solve every major league issue except its stupefyingly dreadful officiating.

One last thought: For most of the decade, Stern and his team kept thinking, "We're going global, we're going global" and never anticipated their American foundation could crumble. But it might -- at least to some degree -- and even if the league ultimately lands in a more econonically feasible place, we might see some things in the next three or four years that we never imagined. You know, just like we're seeing with every other business in this country. Maybe the NBA really is America's game.

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. For every Simmons column, as well as podcasts, videos, favorite links and more, check out the revamped Sports Guy's World.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 07:54 AM
I know the common argument is the amount of economic development and advancement a pro team brings to a community but the jury is still out on what that really is. ..or if it exists at all.



I don't the jury is still out. I think every serious and thorough analysis shows that pro sports teams in general and publicly owned sports venues in particular do NOT pay for themselves. Here's the seminal report:


http://books.google.com/books?id=pO8_caM0kVgC&dq=Mark+S+Rosentraub&printsec=frontcover&source=an&hl=en&ei=-rO3SaCZHJLIMquQidgK&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result#PPR7,M1


"The sports welfare system exists--indeed it thrives and continues to grow--because state and local government leaders, dazzled by promises of economic growth from sports, mesmerized by visions of enhanced images for their communities, and captivated by a mythology of the importance of professional sports, have failed to do their homework. Too many community leaders do not understand--or they choose to ignore--the reams of information describing the miniscule impact of teams on local economies..."

.

Eindar
03-11-2009, 07:57 AM
I think the Pacers should look at cutting payroll much futher before putting their hands out for taxpayer money. As much as I hate to say it, they wouldn't be losing money if they ran the franchise like Donald Sterling runs the Clippers. Once Dunleavy, Murphy, and Tinsley are off the books and replaced by guys making half their salary and putting up 80% of their stats, the Pacers can turn a profit. I see this more as the Simons trying to use the excuse of a bad economy to turn a business that should break even into a business that will always make money.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 08:10 AM
I think the Pacers should look at cutting payroll much futher before putting their hands out for taxpayer money. As much as I hate to say it, they wouldn't be losing money if they ran the franchise like Donald Sterling runs the Clippers. Once Dunleavy, Murphy, and Tinsley are off the books and replaced by guys making half their salary and putting up 80% of their stats, the Pacers can turn a profit.

It is very likely that will be part of the resolution.


Simon is saying, "This can't go on." He isn't saying, "The taxpayers have to bail us out." He saying the bottom line needs to change. I think it very unlikely that Simon doesn't want to trim staff and payroll as much as practical.


And anyway, if the deal between PS&E and the CIB is renegotiated so that the CIB in future operates Conseco Fieldhouse and just leases space to the Pacers, that would mean that a public asset was returning to public control. On principle, we ought to support that.

Sollozzo
03-11-2009, 08:13 AM
I think the Pacers should look at cutting payroll much futher before putting their hands out for taxpayer money. As much as I hate to say it, they wouldn't be losing money if they ran the franchise like Donald Sterling runs the Clippers. Once Dunleavy, Murphy, and Tinsley are off the books and replaced by guys making half their salary and putting up 80% of their stats, the Pacers can turn a profit. I see this more as the Simons trying to use the excuse of a bad economy to turn a business that should break even into a business that will always make money.

But if they ran it like Donald Sterling they would be making the playoffs once like every 15 years. That would help solve their financial problems but that certainly wouldn't get fans interested in the team.

But I agree with your overall point. Enormous guaranteed contracts are the problem with the NBA. The problem is teams are caught between a rock and a hard place because you have to pay good players if you want to keep them.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 08:17 AM
Would it have been too much for the Colts to play in West Lafayette or something for half a season while the RCA Dome is refurbished and pimped out?

They wanted to expand the Indiana Convention Center into the space where the RCA Dome sat. Convention facilities do make money, and the larger new convention center will attract more business 300+ days a year. That part of the decision might have been pretty smart.

idioteque
03-11-2009, 08:32 AM
Matthew Tully, the political columnist for the Star, has written an article about this now. Tully is a really nice guy and a fair reporter.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090311/NEWS08/903110353/1304/LOCAL



Sorry, Pacers, the answer's no


Posted: March 11, 2009



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Once in a while, you just have to say no.

This is one of those times. The economy is in free fall. Retirement accounts are in peril. Our local government is so broke that potholes go unfilled. The Police Department is so underfunded that crime continues to drive people to the suburbs. Indianapolis Public Schools faces such shortfalls that hundreds of teachers could lose their jobs.

<script type="text/javascript"> OAS_AD('160x600_1'); &nbsp</script>
So the people and the leaders of Indianapolis need to say no to the Indiana Pacers.
I'm sorry, Brothers Simon, but we can't afford to further subsidize your sports enterprise -- at least not to the levels being discussed. We sincerely appreciate the upstanding corporate citizens you have been. We're sorry you're losing money on your NBA franchise. We regret that you feel you can't continue to suffer your team's financial burden. But, ultimately, that's your problem.


Not ours.


For years, there's been a debate about the gargantuan piles of money that cities and states spend in desperate attempts to attract and retain major-league sports franchises. Political leaders and sports bosses prey on the fear that midmarket cities such as this one will crumble without big-time sports. Many of us do indeed worry what it would mean to lose a team such as the Pacers.
But each time a new taxpayer-funded palace is built, a question emerges: When is someone finally going to stand up to the sports barons?
Another question also must be asked: Can this market afford to sustain an NBA team?
It's a question nobody wants to ask. But if that team can't survive on its own -- even in an arena financed largely by tax dollars -- perhaps the answer is no. If that team can't survive without painful concessions from taxpayers amid a historic economic downturn, perhaps the answer is no.


Perhaps it's time to stand up to those with the last names of Simon and Irsay and force major-league sports franchises to accept more of the costs that come with the glory of running and owning teams.
As one sensible reader writing about the Pacers put it Tuesday: "Are you not a private enterprise?"
I write all this as someone who follows the Pacers closely, who admires all the Simons have done for the city, and who at times has purchased partial season-ticket packages. I want the Pacers to stay where they belong: here in Indianapolis. I know losing them would be a brutal shame and a hit to our civic pride.


But if the Pacers' business model is so weak that it can't survive without more public money, that's their problem. If the Pacers have indeed lost money in 26 of the past 28 years, that's their problem. If the Pacers choose to pay a backup center $8 million a year while losing $30 million, that's their problem. If Herb and Mel Simon are willing to destroy the vast amount of good will they have built up in the city by moving their team, that's their choice.


There seems to be a belief among some of our leaders that the Colts got their money, so the Pacers must get theirs. Well, life doesn't work that way. First, if the Colts have any loyalty to this city, they will agree to reopen their lease and hand back at least a portion of the most egregious giveaways in it, most notable among them the millions they receive from non-Colts events held at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Second, much has changed in the four years since Colts owner Jim Irsay got his sweetheart deal. Between the economy and the city's bleak budget picture, and the likelihood that few cities would bid high for a middling NBA team, Indianapolis has negotiating power this time.


So far, though, the city seems intent on capitulating. Mayor Greg Ballard is missing in action, publicly at least. Capital Improvement Board Vice President Pat Early has been charged with dealing with the team and has been little more than an arm of the Pacers. Monday, he warned that losing the team would essentially destroy the city and defensively insisted, "The Pacers can't participate any more financially."
You call that negotiating?


If every team the Pacers faced this season were as big a pushover as Early, the team would be headed to an NBA championship.


It's time to make tough decisions, and tough calls. It's time for cities to say enough is enough. It's time to tell sports franchises that their financial problems are just that.


Theirs.

Major Cold
03-11-2009, 08:43 AM
These comments are more trying to get a new lease at Conseco, then threatening to leave the city.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 08:48 AM
I don't think the Pacers' leaving the city is under consideration, but we have to remember that the community (through the CIB) owns Conseco Fieldhouse.

If the Pacers were to leave Indianapolis, the CIB would be left to bear the cost of operating Conseco Fieldhouse. The losses would be much greater without the Pacers drawing crowds 41 nights a year.


As Pacer fans, we want them to stay and play in the best sports venue in America.

As taxpayers, we ALSO want the Pacers to stay at Conseco, because even if they leave we still have to keep paying for the building.

idioteque
03-11-2009, 08:50 AM
Remember this:

If the Pacers were to leave Indianapolis, the CIB would be left to bear the cost of operating Conseco Fieldhouse. That cost would be much greater without the Pacers drawing crowds 41 nights a year.

I don't think the Pacers' leaving the city is under consideration, but we have to remember that the community (through the CIB) owns Conseco Fieldhouse.

As Pacer fans, we want them to stay and play in the best sports venue in America.

As taxpayers, we ALSO want the Pacers to stay at Conseco, because even if they leave we still have to keep paying for the building.

It is more pragmatic for the Pacers to stay, admittedly I'm just crying over spilled milk here.

BillS
03-11-2009, 08:58 AM
I think what honks me off is that, according to my understanding of statements by members of the CIB, the huge losses are due to not taking into account the actual costs of operating Lucas Oil Stadium.

So, essentially, because the CIB screwed the pooch in negotiations with the Colts, the Pacers will be gone. Seems fair to me :rolleyes:

We should all remember this when the Colts have their own inevitable dry spell and the stadium is nearly empty on Sundays.

On another note, the VP of the CIB (name escapes me) says that he believes the operations of the Pacers have been done very, very well in terms of cost containment. You can't help the level of salaries in the league. I believe that the chances are very good that even if the Pacers had made different decisions on different players they'd still have been paying about the same amount. Remember that our biggest problem player (Artest) was a bargain salary-wise.

Dr. Goldfoot
03-11-2009, 09:07 AM
Here's a 23 page document, by two dudes way smarter than me, about the economic impact of professional sports facilities, franchises, large sporting events (ie Superbowl) and urban development. I'm pretty sure they are saying there ain't much.

It's a PDF so beware.....

Link (http://www.umbc.edu/economics/wpapers/wp_03_103.pdf)

clownskull
03-11-2009, 09:10 AM
well, i haven't read the newest document yet but if the pacers leave- i will pretty much throw in the towel on the nba. unless some other team ever came here again i won't bother with it. it's that simple.

Peter_sixtyftsixin
03-11-2009, 09:11 AM
well, i haven't read the newest document yet but if the pacers leave- i will pretty much throw in the towel on the nba. unless some other team ever came here again i won't bother with it. it's that simple.

seconded.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 09:19 AM
Here's a 23 page document, by two dudes way smarter than me,


I dunno about that. Are they in three different bands at once?


But yeah, this is another bit of research I've seen. They reference Rosentraub among their sources.

There really isn't any doubt left to those who've studied it. It is easy to say, "Look at all the money people are spending." That is usually the kind of case that is made in support of sports franchises and sports venues.

The defect of that kind of analysis is that nearly all the money spent at the subsidized venue would have been spent anyway. Luring people with $X to spend away from one local venue to another venue doesn't create new wealth.

MillerTime
03-11-2009, 09:20 AM
These comments are more trying to get a new lease at Conseco, then threatening to leave the city.

I kind of got that feel also. They said that they have lost money 9 out of the 10 years at Conseco. It seems more of a threat to Conseco rather than the city of Indy

Unclebuck
03-11-2009, 09:27 AM
The Pacers are too near and dear to my heart for me to comment objectively on this topic. So let me use a diferent sport that greatly benefits this city - a sport I care nothing about and in fact I really don't like it and it bugs me it takes away as much media attention from the sports I do care about. Motorsports - Indy 500 and Brick yard.

Personally - if they never ran another race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - it would be fine by me, in fact I would prefer it. However, having said that I know how it benefits the city in so many regards, I want the races to continue running here. And if it takes the city to help pay for it, I am fine with that - I am not too short-sighted to say well I don't like motorsports so I don't want a penny of my tax-dollars going to support the IMS. (I have no idea how much our tax dollars support the speedway - that is not the point)

So when I read or hear citizens of Indianapolis say - well the Pacers stink - or when they say, "I don't like the Pacers or the NBA, so I don't want a penny of my taxes to pay to support the Pacers" - it make me mad and I think they don't understand what the pacers have meant to this city and the downtown area.

Edit - I think we are a long, long way away from the pacers leaving, but what I find interesting is the peoples reaction - I've always said that Indy is not a NBA city, in fact a good portion of basketball fans in Indy hate the NBA and only like the pacers when they are good. I've said many times that 1994 -2000 was an aberration as far as love for the pacers. Now we are seeing the what is normal for this city

Speed
03-11-2009, 09:30 AM
I'm going to weigh in here. Let me just say this, I'm not for solid gold toilets or seat prices that can't be attained by the average Joe.

However, I think what Professional sports brings to a city can not be over emphasized. They are living breathing advertisements for a city. Put a price on amount of media coverage that is given when it's said as the "Indiana" Pacers, the "Indianapolis" Colts, "Indy" cars.

I'll simplify. Advertising for a city (pro sports) begets perceived attractiveness begets business locating or staying in a city begets jobs begets revenue for a City begets growth.

I always think back to when I was a kid and Louisville and Indy were very similar. (Nap town, IndianNO place) Indy attracted the Colts, kept the Pacers (NBA version) and now take a tour of both cities and tell what you think.

I'm not saying you have to have a pro sports team to live in a nice town or a nice city. I am saying that if a City wants to grow and thrive it is the best advertising money can buy.

I'm okay if you want to live in a small town and not be part of that atmosphere, but people who complain how sports teams drain money away from schools and such, I think the opposite, it generates jobs for those parents who have to send their kids to school and generates tax paying citizens that help pay for schools and roads, etc.

I'm hardly ever against negotiating with Pro sports teams to stay in a city. I always think the money will come back tenfold.

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but that's how I feel.

Lastly, there is the sense of community that Pro sports teams bring. I think back to the Pacers in the Finals and standing in line at the store hearing complete strangers talking about The boys. The same with the Colts and the superbowl run. This town was one, at least for a moment. Pretty special.

Dr. Goldfoot
03-11-2009, 09:37 AM
But yeah, this is another bit of research I've seen. They reference Rosentraub among their sources.

There really isn't any doubt left to those who've studied it. It is easy to say, "Look at all the money people are spending." That is usually the kind of case that is made in support of sports franchises and sports venues.

The defect of that kind of analysis is that nearly all the money spent at the subsidized venue would have been spent anyway. Luring people with $X to spend away from one local venue to another venue doesn't create new wealth.

Even when faced with facts from the nerdery, I still contend that professional sports are very important to Americans. Whether they are aiding or hindering the redevelopment of our cities with urban plight is something better left to people who aren't free to discuss it on here (ie ME). It's still interesting though and I'm not as willing to throw out the indirect effect teams have on a city as some stupid economist.

Brad8888
03-11-2009, 09:37 AM
Perhaps the NBA owners as a group can work out a new agreement with the players whereby a portion of the players compensation is an actual minority ownership in all franchises by the NBA Players Association. That way, the players would have an interest in protecting all parties involved. Then, the players and the current ownership group could decide, as a unit, which franchises to help, which to let go, and how to achieve a more balanced league both from a competitive standpoint and a financial risk standpoint as well.

That said, who knows if we will even have a financially viable franchise in the eyes of the Simon family, or any other prospective ownership group, whether the team remains here or moves elsewhere? The albatross of the TV revenue sharing agreement with the old St. Louis Spirits would stay with our franchise regardless of who owns it, which diminishes the franchise value. It wouldn't surprise me if that factor would be considered a motivation to disband the franchise and bring in another franchise to another city (KC?).

Putnam
03-11-2009, 09:38 AM
Personally - if they never ran another race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - it would be fine by me, in fact I would prefer it. However, having said that I know how it benefits the city in so many regards, I want the races to continue running here. And if it takes the city to help pay for it, I am fine with that - I am not too short-sighted to say well I don't like motorsports so I don't want a penny of my tax-dollars going to support the IMS. (I have no idea how much our tax dollars support the speedway - that is not the point)

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is private property. Your tax dollars never have been wrapped up in IMS the way they are with Conseco. I can't say the public contribution is zero, but it is negligible.

Dr. Goldfoot
03-11-2009, 09:42 AM
UB, tax payers provide little to no money to IMS. In fact, I'm pretty sure all that is provided are extra security outside of the facility like traffic cops etc...


How you aren't in love with open wheel racing is another argument we'll have to put on hold for now.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 09:43 AM
Why would you say this?


However, I think what Professional sports brings to a city can not be over emphasized.

Professional sports are the most important thing in the city!
The only thing that matters in the city is professional sports!
No sacrifice is too great for the city to make for professional sports!
The city exists solely to sustain professional sports teams!
Without professional sports, there would be no air to breathe in the city!


There. I overemphasized what professional sports can bring to a city.


The rest of Speed's post is very good and reasonable*, but it is actuallty very possible to buy image-building advertisement and to quantify the value of it. Communities do it all the time. There is nothing magical or mysterious about it.


*Except this part, which is quite clearly wrong: the worst argument you could make.


I think the opposite, it generates jobs for those parents who have to send their kids to school and generates tax paying citizens that help pay for schools and roads, etc.

I'm hardly ever against negotiating with Pro sports teams to stay in a city. I always think the money will come back tenfold.



The ratio of public investment to new jobs created is less for a professional sports venue than for just about any public investment imagineable.




We should keep the Pacers here. They are a good team with a good tradition. We like them. We should keep them and support them because we like them and we choose to spend our money that way rather than some other way. But we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that they are essential.


.

Unclebuck
03-11-2009, 09:51 AM
I'm going to weigh in here. Let me just say this, I'm not for solid gold toilets or seat prices that can't be attained by the average Joe.

However, I think what Professional sports brings to a city can not be over emphasized. They are living breathing advertisements for a city. Put a price on amount of media coverage that is given when it's said as the "Indiana" Pacers, the "Indianapolis" Colts, "Indy" cars.

I'll simplify. Advertising for a city (pro sports) begets perceived attractiveness begets business locating or staying in a city begets jobs begets revenue for a City begets growth.

I always think back to when I was a kid and Louisville and Indy were very similar. (Nap town, IndianNO place) Indy attracted the Colts, kept the Pacers (NBA version) and now take a tour of both cities and tell what you think.

I'm not saying you have to have a pro sports team to live in a nice town or a nice city. I am saying that if a City wants to grow and thrive it is the best advertising money can buy.

I'm okay if you want to live in a small town and not be part of that atmosphere, but people who complain how sports teams drain money away from schools and such, I think the opposite, it generates jobs for those parents who have to send their kids to school and generates tax paying citizens that help pay for schools and roads, etc.

I'm hardly ever against negotiating with Pro sports teams to stay in a city. I always think the money will come back tenfold.

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but that's how I feel.

Lastly, there is the sense of community that Pro sports teams bring. I think back to the Pacers in the Finals and standing in line at the store hearing complete strangers talking about The boys. The same with the Colts and the superbowl run. This town was one, at least for a moment. Pretty special.

I agree 100%

Jonathan
03-11-2009, 09:51 AM
I have a solution. Costs are high to run the Fieldhouse. Our city has a work release program. Also if you are on probation in Marion County and do not have employment you are required to do community service. Use these individuals to clean the fieldhouse.

What city would the Pacers move to? Las Vegas & Seattle come to mind.

Dr. Goldfoot
03-11-2009, 09:54 AM
Kansas City.

Major Cold
03-11-2009, 10:03 AM
I think the reality is that the times call for us, as Americans, to get out priorities straight. We treat our entertainment as needs. And when we spend vicariously on those things, risks arise. And when the storms of life hit, the decisions of the past catch up.

Shade
03-11-2009, 10:03 AM
Again, if the Pacers have really, truly lost money almost every year they've been here, including in 2000 when we made the Finals, then the Pacers' finances are being horribly mismanaged. I just don't buy the sob stories of these supposed massive losses the Simons have endured since taking over the franchise. It doesn't add up.

Justin Tyme
03-11-2009, 10:03 AM
Matthew Tully, the political columnist for the Star, has written an article about this now. Tully is a really nice guy and a fair reporter.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090311/NEWS08/903110353/1304/LOCAL


Great column!!! A thumbs up.

Shade
03-11-2009, 10:05 AM
On another note, if we were to lose the Pacers, I would no longer watch NBA basketball. I would go back to exclusively following the NCAA.

Shade
03-11-2009, 10:08 AM
I think the reality is that the times call for us, as Americans, to get out priorities straight. We treat our entertainment as needs. And when we spend vicariously on those things, risks arise. And when the storms of life hit, the decisions of the past catch up.

It's true. I do it, too, but at least I don't spend far beyond my means; I won't go into debt to buy a luxury item. I don't even have a credit card for that very reason. The only thing I am in debt for is my education.

Interestingly, the laser tag place I work at is experiencing RECORD SALES during this depression. That says a lot.

A lot of people who appear to be wealthy, or at least well off, are actually just living off of growing credit card debt.

Shade
03-11-2009, 10:12 AM
The Pacers are too near and dear to my heart for me to comment objectively on this topic. So let me use a diferent sport that greatly benefits this city - a sport I care nothing about and in fact I really don't like it and it bugs me it takes away as much media attention from the sports I do care about. Motorsports - Indy 500 and Brick yard.

Personally - if they never ran another race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - it would be fine by me, in fact I would prefer it. However, having said that I know how it benefits the city in so many regards, I want the races to continue running here. And if it takes the city to help pay for it, I am fine with that - I am not too short-sighted to say well I don't like motorsports so I don't want a penny of my tax-dollars going to support the IMS. (I have no idea how much our tax dollars support the speedway - that is not the point)

So when I read or hear citizens of Indianapolis say - well the Pacers stink - or when they say, "I don't like the Pacers or the NBA, so I don't want a penny of my taxes to pay to support the Pacers" - it make me mad and I think they don't understand what the pacers have meant to this city and the downtown area.

Edit - I think we are a long, long way away from the pacers leaving, but what I find interesting is the peoples reaction - I've always said that Indy is not a NBA city, in fact a good portion of basketball fans in Indy hate the NBA and only like the pacers when they are good. I've said many times that 1994 -2000 was an aberration as far as love for the pacers. Now we are seeing the what is normal for this city

Indiana has always been more about college and high school basketball than pro. It only became a "football state" when the Colts started winning consistently.

And I agree with you about the Brickyard and 500. I just don't see the appeal in watching cars drive around in circles for hours.

duke dynamite
03-11-2009, 10:17 AM
Indiana has always been more about college and high school basketball than pro. It only became a "football state" when the Colts started winning consistently.

And I agree with you about the Brickyard and 500. I just don't see the appeal in watching cars drive around in circles for hours.
Shade, I have a ton of respect for you, but c'mon, you can do better than that.

Shade
03-11-2009, 10:19 AM
Shade, I have a ton of respect for you, but c'mon, you can do better than that.

What? That's exactly what happens. All I can do is hope for a massive crash where nobody gets hurt, because otherwise, it bores me.

Kuq_e_Zi91
03-11-2009, 10:19 AM
Indiana has always been more about college and high school basketball than pro. It only became a "football state" when the Colts started winning consistently.

And I agree with you about the Brickyard and 500. I just don't see the appeal in watching cars drive around in circles for hours.

Woah, look! A left turn! And another left turn!?! Man, this is exciting. I wonder what's gonna happen next? What's that you say? 5,000 more left turns? Wow! God forbid somebody crashes and brings something new to all these left turns.

duke dynamite
03-11-2009, 10:23 AM
What? That's exactly what happens. All I can do is hope for a massive crash where nobody gets hurt, because otherwise, it bores me.
No, the only circles are the shape of the tires on the cars. If they were going in circles, the race would be nothing but cars doing donuts.


Woah, look! A left turn! And another left turn!?! Man, this is exciting. I wonder what's gonna happen next? What's that you say? 5,000 more left turns? Wow! God forbid somebody crashes and brings something new to all these left turns.
I challenge you all to watch one whole race.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 10:31 AM
Please don't hi-jack the thread discussing whether or not auto racing is good!


.

travmil
03-11-2009, 10:37 AM
It's VERY hard to feel sorry for a billionaire that claims to be losing millions. I don't think Mel and Herb are riding the bus to work and eating ramen noodles.

Major Cold
03-11-2009, 10:51 AM
Nor do I feel sorry for those eating Ramen noodles. Them are good.

Major Cold
03-11-2009, 10:56 AM
It's true. I do it, too, but at least I don't spend far beyond my means; I won't go into debt to buy a luxury item. I don't even have a credit card for that very reason. The only thing I am in debt for is my education.

Interestingly, the laser tag place I work at is experiencing RECORD SALES during this depression. That says a lot.

A lot of people who appear to be wealthy, or at least well off, are actually just living off of growing credit card debt.


So did the Simons write a check the couldn't cash? They risked it by signing big contracts and poor marketing, hoping that it would generate a fanbase to make money on. But is that even true. Did the Simons ever expect to make millions off of the Pacers? Or were they playing with a reall expensive toy? One that costs more and more. And since they are losing money in their malls, this toy is becoming unmanageable.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 11:24 AM
It's VERY hard to feel sorry for a billionaire that claims to be losing millions. I don't think Mel and Herb are riding the bus to work and eating ramen noodles.


Have the Simons asked anyone to feel sorry for them? Nothing I've read has sounded anything like, "Please feel sorry for us."

No, I think they are businessmen, and they are treating this issue in a business-like way. They aren't being emotional. Why are we?

It is reasonable and right for the community to push back at the Simons. But it is not reasonable for us to characterize what they are doing unfairly.

2minutes twowa
03-11-2009, 11:40 AM
Have the Simons asked anyone to feel sorry for them? Nothing I've read has sounded anything like, "Please feel sorry for us."

No, I think they are businessmen, and they are treating this issue in a business-like way. They aren't being emotional. Why are we?

It is reasonable and right for the community to push back at the Simons. But it is not reasonable for us to characterize what they are doing unfairly.

You're absolutely right. And it's up to us and our elected officials to view this situation in a business like manner as well. Take a good hard look at the Pacers as a business. Do they bring in enough money to the community to warrant financial help. If they do, then make the right business decision. If they don't, then decline and risk losing the team. And this is from a life long Pacers fan that would be devestated to see this team play anywhere than the state of Indiana. This cannot be an emotional decision by the city.

Unclebuck
03-11-2009, 12:07 PM
Take a good hard look at the Pacers as a business. Do they bring in enough money to the community to warrant financial help. If they do, then make the right business decision. If they don't, then decline and risk losing the team.

If that is all you truly want to be considered. Then the Pacers should leave and will leave. Even if you consider some of the difficult to determine indirect benefits the Pacers bring. Still they don't bring enough $$ into the community to warrant the finanicial help.

You know what, I can live with that. However - and this is a big however - everything in our city then needs to be put to the same test. If they don't bring enough money to the community - then they must go. Say goodbye to the arts, say goodbye to a number of things that benefit the city - things that costs money, but in the end might not make economic sense. Parks - gone. Plus a lot of downtown business, hotels.......a number of things will be gone.

We might not like what we become, but darnit we'll be fiscally responsible

Speed
03-11-2009, 12:08 PM
Why would you say this?



Professional sports are the most important thing in the city!
The only thing that matters in the city is professional sports!
No sacrifice is too great for the city to make for professional sports!
The city exists solely to sustain professional sports teams!
Without professional sports, there would be no air to breathe in the city!


There. I overemphasized what professional sports can bring to a city.


The rest of Speed's post is very good and reasonable*, but it is actuallty very possible to buy image-building advertisement and to quantify the value of it. Communities do it all the time. There is nothing magical or mysterious about it.


*Except this part, which is quite clearly wrong: the worst argument you could make.





The ratio of public investment to new jobs created is less for a professional sports venue than for just about any public investment imagineable.




We should keep the Pacers here. They are a good team with a good tradition. We like them. We should keep them and support them because we like them and we choose to spend our money that way rather than some other way. But we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that they are essential.


.

Putnam, I think you are right, except where you said I was wrong! :dance:

How can you measure a company that comes to Indy and part of the reason they even considered Indy is the CEO is a huge sports fan and is inundated with 4 hour commercials on Sunday afternoons or Monday nights.

Or happens to be watching Dancing with the Stars and sees Helio who is an Indycar driver or watching the NBA draft and sees the Indiana Pacers are on the clock with the 11th pick.

I mean I think its hard to measure the impact this all has on the perceived attractiveness of a City and it's identity.

Maybe it's just the way I see things as a life long sports fan, but if someone asks me about Indy, first things that pops out are - the track, Pacers, and Colts as some things that people could widely identify with.

Lasty, theres another argument I've heard on talk radio that a town in Iowa (I can't remember which town, since they don't have a major sports team) that they have poured all of their assets into community development and not worried about building a stadium for a team they are trying to steal, but don't yet have. (yes, I'm looking at your Kansas City). I guess this Iowa town has done really well and it's a very nice place to live. That! is the argument against worrying about being held hostage.

I still say these teams pay for themselves and then some, even if its not tangible on a spreadsheet that accounts dollar for dollar.

sloopjohnb
03-11-2009, 12:08 PM
I think the reality is that the times call for us, as Americans, to get out priorities straight. We treat our entertainment as needs. And when we spend vicariously on those things, risks arise. And when the storms of life hit, the decisions of the past catch up.

Oh man, you said it. This is the mentality of most Americans right now. But I believe that mentality is changing before our eyes. Everyone is spending less on wants, especially as the cost of needs rises.

Although I no longer live in Indianapolis, I am hopeful my hometown will prosper. I still have family that lives there. I would love to see the Pacers stay in Indiana and remain hopeful that it will happen. But if push comes to shove...

Let me point to my own state, Florida. In Orlando we have the Citrus Bowl which hosts 3 college football games a year, two bowl games and an annual rivalry game between two smaller FL colleges or something like that. There is currently a politician going around proposing that the Citrus Bowl be torn down and rebuilt. The estimated cost is $300 million. Now this politician is basing his argument on the assumption that the BCS will eventually go the way of a tournament and that they will need to add another bowl to the list of BCS bowls. Are you kidding? Florida's public education is in shambles right now. Orange County public schools (which makes up a majority of Orlando schools) is $100 million in the hole and they will be laying off teachers and staff-workers at schools everywhere this summer. This includes bus drivers, which means that the after-school activities, especially those that involve travel will take quite a hit and may falter at some schools. It's quite disgusting to see a politician pining for the city to spend $300 million on a new stadium when in a couple of months thousands of people are going to lose their jobs. That is greedy and disgusting.

That's it. That's all I have to say.

Pacers
03-11-2009, 12:09 PM
I'm going to weigh in here. Let me just say this, I'm not for solid gold toilets or seat prices that can't be attained by the average Joe.

However, I think what Professional sports brings to a city can not be over emphasized. They are living breathing advertisements for a city. Put a price on amount of media coverage that is given when it's said as the "Indiana" Pacers, the "Indianapolis" Colts, "Indy" cars.

I'll simplify. Advertising for a city (pro sports) begets perceived attractiveness begets business locating or staying in a city begets jobs begets revenue for a City begets growth.

I always think back to when I was a kid and Louisville and Indy were very similar. (Nap town, IndianNO place) Indy attracted the Colts, kept the Pacers (NBA version) and now take a tour of both cities and tell what you think.

I'm not saying you have to have a pro sports team to live in a nice town or a nice city. I am saying that if a City wants to grow and thrive it is the best advertising money can buy.

I'm okay if you want to live in a small town and not be part of that atmosphere, but people who complain how sports teams drain money away from schools and such, I think the opposite, it generates jobs for those parents who have to send their kids to school and generates tax paying citizens that help pay for schools and roads, etc.

I'm hardly ever against negotiating with Pro sports teams to stay in a city. I always think the money will come back tenfold.

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but that's how I feel.

Lastly, there is the sense of community that Pro sports teams bring. I think back to the Pacers in the Finals and standing in line at the store hearing complete strangers talking about The boys. The same with the Colts and the superbowl run. This town was one, at least for a moment. Pretty special.

This. Just look at the difference in downtown from before MSA to after MSA. Bringing the Pacers downtown was the first step to bringing Indianapolis to one of the top cities in the country. Just think how devastated this city would be right now if a grand majority of its jobs still centered in the auto manufactoring sector.

The Pacers started the revitalization of downtown, and now tourism (based mainly on the conventions) rules our roost.

At the same time, there should be no bailout for the Pacers if something isn't going to give. The city can't just waltz in and subsidize $15M with money we don't have and let the Simon's keep doing what they're doing. If that means putting our foot down and letting the Simon's make the decision of moving the team, so be it. Someone would have to look at what the Pacers currently bring to the table for the city, and if it's worth doing what would need to be done to keep them.

The Colts got lucky. Their iron was hot when their contract was up. The Pacers are in the opposite position (though their iron was hot in 99 when the contract was written). If I were the Pacers, I'd try to negotiate splitting the cost of the Fieldhouse with the city, and adding the right to renegotiate the contract again in another 5-10 years.

Bball
03-11-2009, 12:15 PM
It is very likely that will be part of the resolution.


Simon is saying, "This can't go on." He isn't saying, "The taxpayers have to bail us out." He saying the bottom line needs to change. I think it very unlikely that Simon doesn't want to trim staff and payroll as much as practical.


And anyway, if the deal between PS&E and the CIB is renegotiated so that the CIB in future operates Conseco Fieldhouse and just leases space to the Pacers, that would mean that a public asset was returning to public control. On principle, we ought to support that.

Yes Putman, but he also says:
Simon said he didn't have any recommendations for how the CIB comes up with the money.

"That's not our job," Simon said. "We want to cooperate, but I think some creative people can come up with creative ways of doing it."

Bball
03-11-2009, 12:30 PM
How about a tax on player salaries?

-Bball

RWB
03-11-2009, 12:37 PM
How about a tax on player salaries?

-Bball

Or based on other incentives like wins. :devil:

Country Boy
03-11-2009, 12:47 PM
Yes Putman, but he also says:
Simon said he didn't have any recommendations for how the CIB comes up with the money.

"That's not our job," Simon said. "We want to cooperate, but I think some creative people can come up with creative ways of doing it."

And it is not tax payer's job to bail you out after you sit back for years and let Donnie and Larry hire border line criminals for players and thus driving off cash paying customers.

2minutes twowa
03-11-2009, 12:55 PM
If that is all you truly want to be considered. Then the Pacers should leave and will leave. Even if you consider some of the difficult to determine indirect benefits the Pacers bring. Still they don't bring enough $$ into the community to warrant the finanicial help.

You know what, I can live with that. However - and this is a big however - everything in our city then needs to be put to the same test. If they don't bring enough money to the community - then they must go. Say goodbye to the arts, say goodbye to a number of things that benefit the city - things that costs money, but in the end might not make economic sense. Parks - gone. Plus a lot of downtown business, hotels.......a number of things will be gone.

We might not like what we become, but darnit we'll be fiscally responsible

I understand what you're saying. There is more to measuring the benefit than just dollars and cents, you're right. But what happened to the funding for the arts, parks and other programs that don't necessarily bring profit but are essential to the city? They got their budgets cut. Are the arts a privately owned organization? Are parks a "for profit" enterprise? If the Pacers are not profitable today and weren't profitable during their hay day, then I can't see where they ever will be. I hope they somehow come up with a solution that pleases all sides, but giving them more tax payer money right now just doesn't sit right with me.

BRushWithDeath
03-11-2009, 12:55 PM
How about a tax on player salaries?

-Bball

The state taxes every NBA player who plays in Indiana. Both Pacers and opponents. Every state does. It's the athlete and entertainer's tax. For instance, a piece of Deron Williams' pay goes to state since he played here last night. And when Lil' Wayne's concert occurs later this month he'll have to pay a tax to the state.

But it is a pretty small amount.

BillS
03-11-2009, 12:58 PM
And it is not tax payer's job to bail you out after you sit back for years and let Donnie and Larry hire border line criminals for players and thus driving off cash paying customers.

:banghead:

Simon: "Donnie, if we don't stop recruiting guys at the penitentiary then the whole team will go down the drain!"

Donnie: "We gotta do it, boss, it's not like we can get players from other teams who didn't have problems."

Bird: "Uhhhhh .... whut?"

Bball
03-11-2009, 01:00 PM
I don't doubt the team has recently fallen on hard times. We've seen some horrible mismanagement... or extreme bad luck (however you want to look at it). But I'm really questioning the losses in all but 2 years of the past 20. I'm wondering how much spin went into that number? My GUESS is that they knew there would be no sympathy for the current situation because they really made their own bed with a host of questionable decisions and most people think they can dig out of that hole with some smarter decisions. But this negotiating tactic of saying the past 20 years has also been a loser takes the spotlight off the current situation.

But it also calls into question whether Indy can support a team at all or the Simons' own failure to operate the team in the black even in the good times.

I question whether they are negotiating honestly. What they probably need is some short term help that dissolves and is even paid back with interest when they get past this era of overspending and bad decisions. Instead, IMHO they are taking advantage of this downturn to leverage the city into a bailout and better deal that would be nothing more than a cash cow for the Simons to milk on.

If it wasn't billionaires asking government for tax money from an already overtaxed populace it might sell a little better on Main street. Ultimately, it's an insult made more of an insult by the CIB's apparent desire to find them the money.

Open those books.

clownskull
03-11-2009, 01:12 PM
i too question whether they negotiating honestly. i too would like to see those books. they want my money but don't seem to want to show me what's going on. until they are willing to change their stance, i don't want to give them a dime.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 01:14 PM
Putnam, I think you are right, except where you said I was wrong! :dance:



:cheers: I can go along with that!


How can you measure a company that comes to Indy and part of the reason they even considered Indy is the CEO is a huge sports fan and is inundated with 4 hour commercials on Sunday afternoons or Monday nights.


Sure. A community that has good schools, good roads, low crime, low taxes, no traffic problems, plenty of available sites for development, a ready pool of well-educated and skilled job candidates willing to work for moderate wages, and easy regulations might as well have sports teams, too. That might be the icing on the cake that pulls in the big development. But a sports team is never reason enough for a company to locate in a city that is deficient in the things that really matter. There is a vast literature about economic development site selections that confirms this.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 01:23 PM
Just look at the difference in downtown from before MSA to after MSA.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc! There was a lot of progress, starting in the Hudnut years. MSA was neither the first nor the most important cause. Much more important were several large office buildings that ensured people would continue to work downtown, and the conversion of the Sears building into O'Malia's, ensuring that people could continue to live downtown. Those two changes swamp the effect of MSA.




The Pacers started the revitalization of downtown, and now tourism (based mainly on the conventions) rules our roost.

What? Tourism accounts for less than 5% of the jobs, income and sales in Indianapolis. The numbers accredited to tourism may sound large, but they are tiny relative to the totals.

Putnam
03-11-2009, 01:32 PM
I'm really questioning the losses in all but 2 years of the past 20. I'm wondering how much spin went into that number?

I question whether they are negotiating honestly.

Open those books.


I would hope that the CIB is going to know more about the Pacers' accounts than we'll ever be privy to. Who knows about how these negitiations are conducted? How much disclosure is routine? And how much can the CIB request or demand in this particular case?

BillS
03-11-2009, 01:39 PM
The CIB sounds like they are satisfied with the figures they are being shown.

The Forbes figures use Operating Profit, which (in my limited accounting experience) I recall as being profit before certain expenses or excluding certain losses. Does anyone know what the figures being given to the CIB are using?

Bball
03-11-2009, 01:42 PM
I would hope that the CIB is going to know more about the Pacers' accounts than we'll ever be privy to. Who knows about how these negitiations are conducted? How much disclosure is routine? And how much can the CIB request or demand in this particular case?

Since they are asking for tax dollars, and since the climate right now is one in which that is like squeezing blood from a turnip, I'd hope that not only would the CIB require a full look at the books but that the Star would press for that info as well.

While the info might be private, public funds are not. If you want the public funds you should expect to backup your claims of need to the public.

-Bball

naptownmenace
03-11-2009, 01:50 PM
The silver lining with this economy is that there is less money flowing that can draw away a franchise. The Simons are probably wealthier than anyone who might be interested in purchasing the Pacers...and even they are feeling the pain of the losses. I bet other rich people are looking for a return about now...not more losses. So, I don't see the Pacers going anywhere. The harder question is, what will the Simons get from the city?

True, so true. If this was said 4 or 5 seasons ago I'd be really worried.

I think this is just a lot of posturing with veiled threats. If they were to sell or move right now, they'd lose even more money, IMO. No city has money for a brand new arena (or a commitment to build a new one in this economy) which is usually a pre-requisite for getting an NBA franchise to move to your city.

Unclebuck
03-11-2009, 01:50 PM
I am very confident that the Pacers have only made a profit in ttwo years. That claim seems right to me.

I'm sure the pacers have backed up their claims to the CIB. That doesn't mean they have to hold a press conference and tell everyone

Country Boy
03-11-2009, 01:57 PM
I am very confident that the Pacers have only made a profit in ttwo years. That claim seems right to me.

I'm sure the pacers have backed up their claims to the CIB. That doesn't mean they have to hold a press conference and tell everyone

in my view can we trust the CIB? They appear to be just an arm for the Pacers and the Colts for that matter. Numbers can be manipulated when it comes to profits and the Simon's have the best attorneys and accounts that money can buy. They aren't billionaires by chance.

Bball
03-11-2009, 01:59 PM
I am very confident that the Pacers have only made a profit in ttwo years. That claim seems right to me.

I'm sure the pacers have backed up their claims to the CIB. That doesn't mean they have to hold a press conference and tell everyone

That's fine.... as long as the CIB tells the Simons "NO" or even offers a deal less than what they have now. If the Simons want to use their option to renegotiate the contract, the law doesn't say they get a better deal or that they didn't just throw away the best deal they could get and let the CIB off the hook for something they already couldn't afford.

That should be the type of posturing the CIB is doing.... not what we're seeing (in public anyway).

This stuff is just out of control IMHO. Cities should just buy the darned franchises themselves.... instead of subsidizing billionaires and a league that can't or won't straighten up its act and support its own business model.

I think it borderlines on corruption that this type of taxpayer money is used in this way. Somebody has to stand up and say "NO!"

Los Angeles
03-11-2009, 02:00 PM
Hmph.

Did the Colts end up moving to LA, as so many fans fretted and posted on and on about?

I give the alarms here the same amount of consideration.

They need a new deal, they will get a new deal. Just thatnk the lucky stars that they don't need a new arena too.

rexnom
03-11-2009, 02:01 PM
True, so true. If this was said 4 or 5 seasons ago I'd be really worried.

I think this is just a lot of posturing with veiled threats. If they were to sell or move right now, they'd lose even more money, IMO. No city has money for a brand new arena (or a commitment to build a new one in this economy) which is usually a pre-requisite for getting an NBA franchise to move to your city.
Stuff like this concerns me because I think you are underestimating the market. A lot of cities have NBA-arenas or fanbases willing to sellout those arenas. That makes the state of this economy a catalyst for moving. Whether a city just has a lot of money (Anaheim), willing fanbases (Kansas City), or is willing to go crazy for the NBA as its only pro sport (Louisville), plenty of cities can offer up that which Indy might not.

Bball
03-11-2009, 02:04 PM
Lousiville would even offer up some hope to the owners that they would still be in the area and might maintain some of the existing fanbase. ...Of course that is at least partly assuming they think they actually have marketed to southern Indiana enough to matter plus add what few Indy diehards would still follow the team....

duke dynamite
03-11-2009, 02:09 PM
Lousiville would even offer up some hope to the owners that they would still be in the area and might maintain some of the existing fanbase. ...Of course that is at least partly assuming they think they actually have marketed to southern Indiana enough to matter plus add what few Indy diehards would still follow the team....
You, Ms. Dukie (I mean dustpan), SilverStrife, thunderbird, and myself are pretty much the only ones who pay attention on a regular basis down here...

idioteque
03-11-2009, 02:12 PM
FWIW...and not that much, I would still support the Louisville Pacers. My Dad grew up there, it wouldn't sting that bad.

Unclebuck
03-11-2009, 02:16 PM
Yeah, I don't buy the idea that other cities aren't interested or unable to come up with the $$ to entice the pacers or the arena to entice them. I don't buy that at all.

Oh and ask cities like Charlotte or Seattle if it is cheaper to keep an existing team or acquire a new one

naptownmenace
03-11-2009, 02:23 PM
Stuff like this concerns me because I think you are underestimating the market. A lot of cities have NBA-arenas or fanbases willing to sellout those arenas. That makes the state of this economy a catalyst for moving. Whether a city just has a lot of money (Anaheim), willing fanbases (Kansas City), or is willing to go crazy for the NBA as its only pro sport (Louisville), plenty of cities can offer up that which Indy might not.

I suppose they could move to Louisvill or Kansas City. Louisville is in the middle of building a 22,000 seat arena but it won't be done for nearly another 2 years. Kansas City has a nice newer arena and it seems they would like a team too.

I guess I did take those 2 cities for granted but I'm not too worried at this point. The Conseco Lease has another season or two on it, right?

Justin Tyme
03-11-2009, 03:24 PM
Yeah, I don't buy the idea that other cities aren't interested or unable to come up with the $$ to entice the pacers or the arena to entice them. I don't buy that at all.

Oh and ask cities like Charlotte or Seattle if it is cheaper to keep an existing team or acquire a new one


Better yet ask why Seattle doesn't have a NBA team. BECAUSE the voters didn't want to be taxed to pay for a new area. Same reason the Kings don't have a new one. Bottomline is not everyone is a NBA fan, but almost all pay taxes.

When one goes out to eat in Marion county, how much tax is the customer paying per dollar spent for "sports facilities." Even most of the surrounding counties around Indianapolis, customers are paying for the Colts new stadium.

The Lucas Oil stadium holds how many seats? Yet, I have to pay for a stadium that Jimmy held up the City of Indianapolis to get. Outside of the Colts what has the Irsay's ever done for Indianapolis business wise? I'm paying for something I will never ever step foot in just so others can! Sorry, I see no reason why I or others should pay for the City of Indianapolis to stick their chest out in pride saying they have an NFL team. Nor am I willing to help the Simons with the Pacers.

From day one of my being a poster on PD, I have almost always been on the side of ownership of the Pacers. I understand their pockets are only so deep, and numerous times I have pointed this out to posters who were always wanting this player or that player saying it wasn't prudent for ownership to do it. The same idea applies to the tax payer. Their pockets are only so deep, and they don't have millions to support their families on. So why ask them to shoulder supplimenting the loss of inept management of the Pacers.

If the sports citizens of Indiana can't support sports franchises in Indianapolis, then why should the tax payers support it for them? If a franchise makes a profit, are they going to share it with the tax payers? Right! The tax payers are being squeezed in this current economic situation. I know people that have lost 100's of thousands of their retirement in the last 8 months, and now billionaires want these same people to help them out? Please! If they can't afford their toy/hobby, then they need to do like many others have had to do and give it up whether the hobby/toy is antiques or a sports franchise. JMOAA

Shade
03-11-2009, 03:28 PM
No, the only circles are the shape of the tires on the cars. If they were going in circles, the race would be nothing but cars doing donuts.


I challenge you all to watch one whole race.

They drive continuously in a loop.

I, personally, would prefer if they just did donuts. ;)

[/end thread derailment]

idioteque
03-11-2009, 03:37 PM
I am very confident that the Pacers have only made a profit in ttwo years. That claim seems right to me.

I'm sure the pacers have backed up their claims to the CIB. That doesn't mean they have to hold a press conference and tell everyone

You MAY be right, but I work in government, and let me tell you people will bluff shamelessly to get federal funding. You wouldn't believe how far they will go.

Justin Tyme
03-11-2009, 03:39 PM
I suppose they could move to Louisvill or Kansas City. Louisville is in the middle of building a 22,000 seat arena but it won't be done for nearly another 2 years. Kansas City has a nice newer arena and it seems they would like a team too.

I guess I did take those 2 cities for granted but I'm not too worried at this point. The Conseco Lease has another season or two on it, right?



Louisville couldn't support the Louisville Colonels of the ABA nor could KC support the Royals after they moved from Cincinnati. Why is Stern going to allow a city that couldn't support an ABA team or one that couldn't support a NBA team that has 2 other major sports franchises to get a NBA team? Sorry, I just can't see either of those 2 cities in the near future getting an NBA franchise... new or existing.

YoSoyIndy
03-11-2009, 03:56 PM
Have the Simons asked anyone to feel sorry for them? Nothing I've read has sounded anything like, "Please feel sorry for us."

No, I think they are businessmen, and they are treating this issue in a business-like way. They aren't being emotional. Why are we?

It is reasonable and right for the community to push back at the Simons. But it is not reasonable for us to characterize what they are doing unfairly.

I agree w/ this. I don't get how everyone is taking it so personal. They are a business. They have a contracted right to take the option to re-negotiate. This right was negotiated pubicly w/ the CIB.

How much money owners have doesn't matter. It reminds me of the "windfall profits" ads that were run during the elections about gas companies. US is a for-profit nation. Getting mad at companies for legally negotiating is unproductive. Channel that anger to coming up w/ constructive ways to protect yourself. Let your voice be heard to the appropriate people.

idioteque
03-11-2009, 03:58 PM
This right was negotiated pubicly w/ the CIB.



I hope there are no videotapes of these negotiations. :eek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulupTy1Ojjo

Swingman
03-11-2009, 04:25 PM
I like the Colts and Pacers and would hate to see either team leave Indianapolis.

However asking taxpayers to subsidize these millionaires is akin to stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. The average income for someone living in Indiana in 2005 was around $44,000. Now given the current economy, I'd guess the average person is worse off this year than they were in 2005. In contrast, the Pacers players are averaging over $4 million in salary this year.

I'd be willing to wager that this salary disparity between sports athletes and people living in the real world is apparent across the nation.

It makes a lot more sense for the NBA to enforce all player contracts to be cut in half and the salary cap cut in half then having taxpayers indirectly support the millionaires getting richer. I don't care if this causes more players to leave for Europe. There will always be players wanting to play in the NBA, even at half the current salaries.

I highly doubt the above will happen but it's what should happen. I think some people's love for sports is clouding their judgment to what is right and just.

Peter_sixtyftsixin
03-11-2009, 04:36 PM
Louisville couldn't support the Louisville Colonels of the ABA

By all accounts I know of, that's not true. Louisville was on better economic footing than the Pacers, but the NBA thought Indy would be a better TV market.

2minutes twowa
03-11-2009, 04:57 PM
I hope there are no videotapes of these negotiations. :eek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulupTy1Ojjo

:laugh:

MyFavMartin
03-11-2009, 07:40 PM
http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/54/400list08_Herbert-Simon_PRZO.html

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/10/billionaires-2009-richest-people_Melvin-Simon_UIA0.html

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/10/billionaires-2009-richest-people_The-Worlds-Billionaires-IN_8Rank.html

Think Herb isn't a billionaire anymore since he's not on Forbes this year?

MyFavMartin
03-11-2009, 07:54 PM
http://www.geocities.com/ranny_singka/spf02.html

grace
03-11-2009, 08:02 PM
They drive continuously in a loop.

I, personally, would prefer if they just did donuts. ;)

[/end thread derailment]

Some people happen to enjoy racing. For example my mother has the schedule for the IRL, 3 NASCAR series, NHRA, and GP on her refrigerator. She doesn't have a Pacer schedule, but she does use a Fever ticket as a bookmark.

Sollozzo
03-11-2009, 08:13 PM
Hmph.

Did the Colts end up moving to LA, as so many fans fretted and posted on and on about?

I give the alarms here the same amount of consideration.

They need a new deal, they will get a new deal. Just thatnk the lucky stars that they don't need a new arena too.


Huge difference. The situations aren't comparable, IMO.

The Colts renegotiated in 2004 when (one of) the greatest quarterback ever was in the beginning of his prime with the team winning a lot of games. Manning and the Colts popularity gave them a sweet deal.

I'll say as long as I live that the Colts would be long gone to LA or another city if Manning didn't arrive and make the team so popular.

The Pacers OTOH aren't even remotely popular with the average resident. Since no one outside of the diehards really cares about them right now, it will be harder for them to get a gravy deal.

speakout4
03-11-2009, 08:17 PM
I hear the Simons saying they just are not going to saddle their heirs with this losing propisition. They bought the team because the mayor asked them to help save the downtown and that is exactly what happened. The downtown is viable without the pacers and while the Simons liked owning the team they are not going to ask their heirs to continue the subsidy. What will happen likely? The pacers will be sold eventually or moved and it will be done by the brothers themselves and not their offspring. Indy just isn't a great city for an nba team. There are only a handful of cities that can afford multiple professional teams. The only hope I see is to find another group of Indy billionaires who don't mind losing money for 10-20 years. The Simons are no doubt factoring in big losses in their other enterprises over the next decade or so because this country is over-malled.

Pacers24Colts12
03-11-2009, 08:30 PM
All I know, the only reason I have an allegiance to Indy is because of the Pacers or Colts. As a working professional here, who grew up here my whole life, I would be much more tempted to move if either A. The Pacers left or B. The Colts left, they are pretty much the only reason I stay here.

BlueNGold
03-11-2009, 09:10 PM
The real shame of that is the extra dollars paid for that retractable roof. It's already shown that it won't be open if there's the remotest chance of any kind of weather outside of absolutely clear for miles and 68 degrees.

So why even bother because in Indy that means it might be open for a few preseason games (and it wouldn't surprise me to see it closed as a rule for preseason games) and maybe a couple of home games per season at best...

But what do I know... It sure is cool.

The funding for Lucas Oil Field might result in the Pacers going bye bye. That's probably the saddest part of that decision.

...another big slap in the face which is far more likely...and in fact all but guaranteed to happen...is when Peyton Manning retires. When he's gone, we are very likely to have a long stretch of bad football teams.......and that stadium will be a very large and very expensive museum.

vnzla81
03-11-2009, 09:33 PM
why don't they put the pacers and the Colts in lucas Stadium? I am sure they could save big time money doing this. Other cities have more than one team in one building

MyFavMartin
03-11-2009, 09:36 PM
I hear the Simons saying they just are not going to saddle their heirs with this losing propisition. They bought the team because the mayor asked them to help save the downtown and that is exactly what happened. The downtown is viable without the pacers and while the Simons liked owning the team they are not going to ask their heirs to continue the subsidy. What will happen likely? The pacers will be sold eventually or moved and it will be done by the brothers themselves and not their offspring. Indy just isn't a great city for an nba team. There are only a handful of cities that can afford multiple professional teams. The only hope I see is to find another group of Indy billionaires who don't mind losing money for 10-20 years. The Simons are no doubt factoring in big losses in their other enterprises over the next decade or so because this country is over-malled.

I read somehwere that Indy is the 12th largest market in the US. Throw in the fact that the state is basketball crazy puts into perspective how bad the last few years have taken a toll on the public and the Simons.

Would Cook want the Pacers?

count55
03-11-2009, 09:48 PM
I read somehwere that Indy is the 12th largest market in the US. Throw in the fact that the state is basketball crazy puts into perspective how bad the last few years have taken a toll on the public and the Simons.

Would Cook want the Pacers?

The city is the 12th largest city, but that doesn't include metropolitan areas, which would be the better measure. If you expand the metropolitan area (to include Carmel, Fishers, Greenwood, etc), we drop down to around 33rd, I believe.

Also, we don't have a great corporate presence, here.

Taterhead
03-11-2009, 09:49 PM
Yeah, I don't buy the idea that other cities aren't interested or unable to come up with the $$ to entice the pacers or the arena to entice them. I don't buy that at all.

Oh and ask cities like Charlotte or Seattle if it is cheaper to keep an existing team or acquire a new one

I don't know about that Buck. California is one of the richest states and they are completely bankrupt. So is Arizona where I live. Casinos in Vegas are even losing money. This economy is killing city governments even more than the citizens. And there haven't been any promising signs of it getting any better. I doubt the Pacers have many options, at least in the short term. The last thing any city or state government is going to do is invest in a sports franchise right now.

I think the CIB will cave in the end. But it pisses me off. If you are losing money, then how do you sign Granger and Jeff Foster of all people to high dollar contracts? Why not hold on to O'neal and make the trade for Marion like the Raps did, a move that saved them 22 million dollars? Let some guys go and lower your costs? Don't get me wrong I'm glad they resigned Danny and got Roy Hibbert in the deal for JO, but not if it is going to contribute to us losing the whole team! The Simons and upper management haven't ran the team as if they were losing money, and then they come with their hands out? Are you kidding me?

When are the franchises going to show some appreciation for the fans? When are they going to realize that they lost the money by operating out of their means? They spend, spend and spend and then act like they have gotten a ****ty deal? They have the nicest basketball stadium in the world! If that isn't good enough then what will be?

The fact of the matter is that they haven't lost money because of the deal they have. They have lost money by giving Jamal Tinsley 40+ million dollars. Along with dumb ideas, like instead of just letting Peja walk, they got the trade exception which they sent to ATL for Al, then sent him along with Jack for Dun and Troy Murphy and their near 80 million dollar combined salaries. Moves like that is why they lost money. Those two decisions right there can account for nearly all of their claimed losses in 10 years. It's just not fair. I have a thriving small business right now that can't get a small loan to expand, but these rich beyond belief douche bags that obviously suck at doing business get huge amounts of money handed to them left and right because they suck? Man, facism really sucks. End Rant, apologies to all, deep breath, sigh.:mad:

Taterhead
03-11-2009, 09:54 PM
why don't they put the pacers and the Colts in lucas Stadium? I am sure they could save big time money doing this. Other cities have more than one team in one building

Because Lucas Oil costs more to operate than the Fieldhouse. It would actually increase the losses.

Taterhead
03-11-2009, 10:07 PM
I hear the Simons saying they just are not going to saddle their heirs with this losing propisition. They bought the team because the mayor asked them to help save the downtown and that is exactly what happened. The downtown is viable without the pacers and while the Simons liked owning the team they are not going to ask their heirs to continue the subsidy. What will happen likely? The pacers will be sold eventually or moved and it will be done by the brothers themselves and not their offspring. Indy just isn't a great city for an nba team. There are only a handful of cities that can afford multiple professional teams. The only hope I see is to find another group of Indy billionaires who don't mind losing money for 10-20 years. The Simons are no doubt factoring in big losses in their other enterprises over the next decade or so because this country is over-malled.

Indy is a fine city for an NBA team. The truth is the Pacers have been wasting money consistantly the last ten years. They paid Bender a ridiculous sum of money. Scot Pollard, Austin Croshere. Jamal Tinsley. Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy. These are investments that reaped little reward. There is your losses and some profits on top of that. They have been near the top of the league in payroll for a long time now. It is time reality sinks in to them. In this market you cannot afford to waste resources. So overpaying for marginal players is just not a feasible option.

Indy is a small market, but that BS is overplayed. Sure it isn't NY where you can have a 120 million dollar payroll and still turn a profit, but there is plenty enough of a market to be profitable. Mismanagement is the source.

Bball
03-11-2009, 10:23 PM
I read somehwere that Indy is the 12th largest market in the US. Throw in the fact that the state is basketball crazy puts into perspective how bad the last few years have taken a toll on the public and the Simons.

Would Cook want the Pacers?

Can Steve Ferguson learn to oversee an NBA franchise and does he like pro basketball?

-Bball

Bball
03-11-2009, 10:26 PM
It's JO's fault!

:devil:

Dece
03-11-2009, 10:53 PM
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but rather than a team moving, I think it seems likely that in the coming years the NBA will have a retraction...possibly as soon as 2010 when the new CBA is due.

I think this would actually be very good for the health of the league. It would instantly add depth to every team, in a way, as well as provide more parity, as teams would be less likely to have a total scrub among their rotation with the decreased demand for players.

Does anyone else think this is a possibility and/or good idea?

Sollozzo
03-11-2009, 10:59 PM
The city is the 12th largest city, but that doesn't include metropolitan areas, which would be the better measure. If you expand the metropolitan area (to include Carmel, Fishers, Greenwood, etc), we drop down to around 33rd, I believe.

Also, we don't have a great corporate presence, here.


Correct

Indy is only the 12th largest city because it "cheats" and counts the entire county (like Louisville, Nashville, Jacksonville). City wise, Indy is "bigger" than Boston, Miami and Atlanta. But those cities have metropolitan areas that dwarf Indianapolis and are far bigger players on the national scale.

Taterhead
03-11-2009, 11:01 PM
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but rather than a team moving, I think it seems likely that in the coming years the NBA will have a retraction...possibly as soon as 2010 when the new CBA is due.

I think this would actually be very good for the health of the league. It would instantly add depth to every team, in a way, as well as provide more parity, as teams would be less likely to have a total scrub among their rotation with the decreased demand for players.

Does anyone else think this is a possibility and/or good idea?

I definitly think it could be the leagues saving grace. Just imagine if the Pacers could've cut Austin Croshere years ago? Or what if we could cut Tinsley right now?

dohman
03-11-2009, 11:14 PM
I definitly think it could be the leagues saving grace. Just imagine if the Pacers could've cut Austin Croshere years ago? Or what if we could cut Tinsley right now?


you can sit here and complain about contracts all you want. But the bottom line is We made some bad moves over the past few years because players had to leave the city. We had to try to get SOMETHING for the players we lost. We went from being a top contender to lottery pick.

The pacers may overpay players because they typically do it based on potential and try to lock players up before they become STARS. Who was the last MAJOR FREE AGENT to come to this city? Try to draft good and lock them in with a good salary. It may be a gamble but the simons know if indiana wants a good competitive team its the way they have to play the game.

Taterhead
03-11-2009, 11:21 PM
Correct

Indy is only the 12th largest city because it "cheats" and counts the entire county (like Louisville, Nashville, Jacksonville). City wise, Indy is "bigger" than Boston, Miami and Atlanta. But those cities have metropolitan areas that dwarf Indianapolis and are far bigger players on the national scale.

The last statistic I saw was that we were 23rd in total population counting metropolitan areas.

Taterhead
03-11-2009, 11:23 PM
you can sit here and complain about contracts all you want. But the bottom line is We made some bad moves over the past few years because players had to leave the city. We had to try to get SOMETHING for the players we lost. We went from being a top contender to lottery pick.

The pacers may overpay players because they typically do it based on potential and try to lock players up before they become STARS. Who was the last MAJOR FREE AGENT to come to this city? Try to draft good and lock them in with a good salary. It may be a gamble but the simons know if indiana wants a good competitive team its the way they have to play the game.

When was the last time we had cap space?

Pacers
03-12-2009, 12:12 AM
I agree w/ this. I don't get how everyone is taking it so personal.


WTF. You don't see why people are taking it so personal? Seriously? Do you live in Indy? Do you work in Indy? Buy things in Indy? Drive the roads in Indy? Tried to put a kid in one of the public schools in Indy?

This money that the Simons want from the CIB doesn't just poof out of thin air, friend. It's my money. It's your money. It's all of our money. And it's a nice damn chunk of it that could be headed somewhere else to do other things in the city.

Have you ever met an athlete or anyone connected to sports on a high level? They're not hurting, believe me. I've met Colts and Pacers and people in the Pacers front office. This money means nothing to them. It's numbers in a spreadsheet. The number in their Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is red instead of black so they want someone to subsidize something to get that number black.

When you are doing your part and asking for some help - that's business. When your wallet strings are looser than some of the women you run into late at night on Washington Street and you are asking for some help - that's greed.

This is the latter.

And something else that I am amazed at, the fact that on a Pacers message board, most all of us are against this. That says a lot to me.

vnzla81
03-12-2009, 12:16 AM
WTF. You don't see why people are taking it so personal? Seriously? Do you live in Indy? Do you work in Indy? Buy things in Indy? Drive the roads in Indy? Tried to put a kid in one of the public schools in Indy?

This money that the Simons want from the CIB doesn't just poof out of thin air, friend. It's my money. It's your money. It's all of our money. And it's a nice damn chunk of it that could be headed somewhere else to do other things in the city.

Have you ever met an athlete or anyone connected to sports on a high level? They're not hurting, believe me. I've met Colts and Pacers and people in the Pacers front office. This money means nothing to them. It's numbers in a spreadsheet. The number in their Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is red instead of black so they want someone to subsidize something to get that number black.

When you are doing your part and asking for some help - that's business. When your wallet strings are looser than some of the women you run into late at night on Washington Street and you are asking for some help - that's greed.

This is the latter.

And something else that I am amazed at, the fact that on a Pacers message board, most all of us are against this. That says a lot to me.

agreed

duke dynamite
03-12-2009, 12:19 AM
WTF. You don't see why people are taking it so personal? Seriously? Do you live in Indy? Do you work in Indy? Buy things in Indy? Drive the roads in Indy? Tried to put a kid in one of the public schools in Indy?

This money that the Simons want from the CIB doesn't just poof out of thin air, friend. It's my money. It's your money. It's all of our money. And it's a nice damn chunk of it that could be headed somewhere else to do other things in the city.

Have you ever met an athlete or anyone connected to sports on a high level? They're not hurting, believe me. I've met Colts and Pacers and people in the Pacers front office. This money means nothing to them. It's numbers in a spreadsheet. The number in their Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is red instead of black so they want someone to subsidize something to get that number black.

When you are doing your part and asking for some help - that's business. When your wallet strings are looser than some of the women you run into late at night on Washington Street and you are asking for some help - that's greed.

This is the latter.

And something else that I am amazed at, the fact that on a Pacers message board, most all of us are against this. That says a lot to me.


agreed
Raise my taxes. My season ticket prices went down this year.

No love for openoffice.org?

vnzla81
03-12-2009, 12:24 AM
I think that one of the big problems here is that a lot of the sport teams owners got this teams as a hobby, they had billions to spend and now their accounts are not looking good, so the 1st thing they want to get rid of is the hobby(the team) or ask for help to the tax payers to help the teams the did not know how to manage in the first place.

Pacers
03-12-2009, 12:27 AM
Raise my taxes. My season ticket prices went down this year.

No love for openoffice.org?

LOL. Come on now. You know nobody in the Pacers FO knows anything about Open Source. They're still running IE, too.

As for raising your taxes, it's your season ticket prices that should be going up instead.

Bball
03-12-2009, 01:06 AM
so the 1st thing they want to get rid of is the hobby(the team)

They don't appear to want to get rid of the hobby. They even want it to pass on to their heirs. But they want the taxpayers to make it profitable, or more profitable, for them. And they don't want to share that profit with the taxpayers.

Country Boy
03-12-2009, 07:29 AM
Indy is a fine city for an NBA team. The truth is the Pacers have been wasting money consistantly the last ten years. They paid Bender a ridiculous sum of money. Scot Pollard, Austin Croshere. Jamal Tinsley. Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy. These are investments that reaped little reward. There is your losses and some profits on top of that. They have been near the top of the league in payroll for a long time now. It is time reality sinks in to them. In this market you cannot afford to waste resources. So overpaying for marginal players is just not a feasible option.

Indy is a small market, but that BS is overplayed. Sure it isn't NY where you can have a 120 million dollar payroll and still turn a profit, but there is plenty enough of a market to be profitable. Mismanagement is the source.

Stop look and listen! The Pacers say they lost money even when they went to the finals. What does Troy or Dun have to do with those years? Where does Miller the legend fit in with this? Do you also blame him?

sweabs
03-12-2009, 07:35 AM
Isn't this (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=36267) an interesting thread to visit amidst the Pacers' current problems?

http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=36267


Mark Rosentraub has done some extensive research and shown that players garner about 55% of the gains from public subsidies, while owners receive the other 45%. Ticket prices also tend to escalate with the onslaught of a new arena. So where again, is the taxpayers' ROI? Isn't it ironic that these people, who will be paying for the new arena, are going to likely be left unable to afford the price of admission?

And what Bball and Mal were kind of alluding to what economists often refer to as the "substitution effect" - where people will spend their discretionary income on leisure activities regardless of whether or not the professional sports team is there.

If you're interested in this stuff, Rosentraub is a good place to start as Putty has alluded to.

indygeezer
03-12-2009, 07:44 AM
I'm not a really sharp tax guy or whatever but the shortsighted view tells me that if the Simons sell the team they pay capital gains on a basis of $11M (what they reportedly paid for the team) and then when the kidlets inherit the Simons fortune they get nicked again for that increased inheritance. Now if they merely inherit the team they get hit for the inheritance tax but their basis becomes whatever the team value was at the time of their inheritance. So they owe a lesser tax. They could offset some of this further with a few years of "losing" money and effectively lower or eliminate their tax on the eventual sale.

Or am I reading all of that wrong?

My second point is this....everytime a concession is made to the Colts the Pacers start talking hard times, and vice versa. This just happens to coincide with worldwide hard times and it is the Simon's turn to beyatch about the raw deal they have...then it will be Jimmy's turn to talk about the economy. Go back over the years and see if there isn't a pattern.

Taterhead
03-12-2009, 08:22 AM
Stop look and listen! The Pacers say they lost money even when they went to the finals. What does Troy or Dun have to do with those years? Where does Miller the legend fit in with this? Do you also blame him?

Do I blame Reggie Miller? Where did that come from?

But seriously, you don't see the connection with paying average players HUGE sums of money and losing huge sums of money? In actuality I am fairly confident they are twisting the truth here anyway. Numbers can be easily manipulated.

BillS
03-12-2009, 08:31 AM
When you are doing your part and asking for some help - that's business. When your wallet strings are looser than some of the women you run into late at night on Washington Street and you are asking for some help - that's greed.

This is the latter.

Yeah, because the Simons contributed more and took on more of the operation of the Fieldhouse than any owner has done in a long time. I guess they should have been contributing to the downtown like so many other sports owners who hold the city hostage and say from the beginning to pay everything or we're gone.


And something else that I am amazed at, the fact that on a Pacers message board, most all of us are against this. That says a lot to me.

I think the people who don't want the Pacers to leave are concerned about the reality of the situation, not against the renegotiation and for the Pacers to close up shop.

You make it sound like we're unanimous that the Simons have given nothing to the city and have gouged them for everything while the Colts deserve everything they got.

Unclebuck
03-12-2009, 08:34 AM
Does anyone know what the Colts lost prior to this season??

duke dynamite
03-12-2009, 08:36 AM
Does anyone know what the Colts lost prior to this season??
$20 and an earring from a concession worker?

Putnam
03-12-2009, 08:52 AM
Does anyone know what the Colts lost prior to this season??



Playoff games they should have won, in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008?

clownskull
03-12-2009, 09:33 AM
Playoff games they should have won, in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008?

lol. that was pretty good i must admit!

indygeezer
03-12-2009, 10:05 AM
Playoff games they should have won, in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008?



Post of the year material there buddy.

Country Boy
03-12-2009, 10:13 AM
Do I blame Reggie Miller? Where did that come from?

But seriously, you don't see the connection with paying average players HUGE sums of money and losing huge sums of money? In actuality I am fairly confident they are twisting the truth here anyway. Numbers can be easily manipulated.

Like I said stop look and listen. You keep blaming the Pacer's money losses on Murph and Dun's contract, however you refuse to acknowledge that the Pacer's have lost money when Reggie was in his heyday. Your dislike for these two players precludes you from seeing the facts right there in front of you.

Phree Refill
03-12-2009, 10:20 AM
Playoff games they should have won, in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008?

Boom goes the dynamite

Tyrion
03-12-2009, 10:55 AM
I haven't posted in a long time, but I thought I would add a couple things to this discussion. Buck mentioned that if we aren't going to subsidize businesses like the Colts/Pacers with massive amounts of government money that we also shouldn't/wouldn't be willing to subsidize the arts, parks, etc. A large part of the problem people obviously have with giving the Pacers a better deal on the backs of taxpayers is the crummy state of schools in the county, even the township schools are stuggling, roads, etc., etc.

Regarding what brings money and visitors into the city, the city did a study about 10 years ago which had a finding the surprised city officials. It found that the arts bring about twice as many people and tourist dollars into the city as the Colts, Pacers, and the Speedway combined. It has been after this study that the city has given some office space to Bands of America and Drum Corps International, as well as other arts organizations in an effort to get more arts related events to the city. However, the investment the city has made in these areas pales in comparison to the kind of dollars that we are talking about with the Colts or Pacers...a tiny, tiny fraction. The Indianapolis Symphony is struggling too. I know that they operate largely on money from the Lilly Endowment. I don't know if they get any government money...I don't think so, but they just cut 15% of their staff (not counting the musicians).

Every organization is struggling, I would like to see the Pacers cut every expense they possibly can before we even start talking about government dollars. We can argue about whether or not subsidizing sports, the arts, etc. is a good idea or what the priority should be based on our current economic climate, but there is no question that the Pacers do not bring enough value (economic value...I guess we could debate the psychic value to the city) to the city to justify raising taxes.

Another thing, right now, I don't see much likelihood that the Pacers will get a substantially better deal to go somewhere else. Maybe I'm totally wrong about that, but with this economy cities are going to think twice about throwing money at an organization. Plus, I think that there are other more attractive clubs that a city wanting to bring in an NBA city would go after before the Pacers.

Kraut N Beer
03-12-2009, 10:59 AM
A few thoughts of mine.....

If the Pacers do stay, we may see more of the Memphis model of trading talent and stockpiling draft picks and younger, cheaper talent and other teams' castoffs. That would save in expenses, but the team would have to be competitive and good enough to keep the fan base excited. However, with the Pacers already near the bottom in attendance and cheap and free tickets often available, I don't think attendance and ticket revenue can dip much further. Larry Bird did mention last summer that he was charged with building a competitive, exciting team, but mentioned that the payroll would need to be decreasing. Holding those expiring contracts was the first part of that movement.

There was some discussion either earlier in this thread or another thread about Louisville being an option and that they are building a stadium. I don't see the Simons dumping on Indy and moving the team 2 hours down the road on I-65. There would have to be an ownership change for that to happen. I do not recall a professional sports franchise outside of Oakland/LA Raiders making a move of such proximity, and that was much further apart than a 2-hour drive.

I think that something will be done to make this work out, but I don't think it can be any additional restaurant or hotel tax. People will quit dining out with any frequency at some point, and businesses will opt to hold conventions in other cities at some point. $10 million in player salaries and personnel savings from operations plus $10million in creative financing can be done without a ton of pain, and then they are at least in the ballpark of breaking even again.

BillS
03-12-2009, 11:03 AM
Every organization is struggling, I would like to see the Pacers cut every expense they possibly can before we even start talking about government dollars. We can argue about whether or not subsidizing sports, the arts, etc. is a good idea or what the priority should be based on our current economic climate, but there is no question that the Pacers do not bring enough value (economic value...I guess we could debate the psychic value to the city) to the city to justify raising taxes.

I think the point made by the CIB VP was that they believe the Pacers have in fact cut what they are allowed to cut. The major expense is player salaries, but they simply can't cut those this year due to guaranteed contracts.

When it comes to letting contracts expire and not getting equivalent players, at what point do you pass the point where you can't increase revenue because you've cut your expenses by providing an inferior product? Some of this will be touched in my next response...

duke dynamite
03-12-2009, 11:07 AM
Like I said stop look and listen. You keep blaming the Pacer's money losses on Murph and Dun's contract, however you refuse to acknowledge that the Pacer's have lost money when Reggie was in his heyday. Your dislike for these two players precludes you from seeing the facts right there in front of you.
Calm down, don't be so assertive...

It wasn't Reggie's fault, however that the Pacers were allegedly losing money. He was the biggest factor of a larger fanbase and increased revenue for the franchise, lost money or not.

For Dun and Murphy, it's been said time and time again, that their contracts were a by-product of having to get rid of "spoiled meat" so to speak. Financially, it looked like a mistake, but it was a sacrifice we had to make to clean up the mess.

BillS
03-12-2009, 11:07 AM
If the Pacers do stay, we may see more of the Memphis model of trading talent and stockpiling draft picks and younger, cheaper talent and other teams' castoffs. That would save in expenses, but the team would have to be competitive and good enough to keep the fan base excited. However, with the Pacers already near the bottom in attendance and cheap and free tickets often available, I don't think attendance and ticket revenue can dip much further. Larry Bird did mention last summer that he was charged with building a competitive, exciting team, but mentioned that the payroll would need to be decreasing. Holding those expiring contracts was the first part of that movement.

Well, raw attendance is up from last year by 10%+, so we can in fact get worse from where we are now.

Now, I don't know if revenue has been impacted, because a lot of this is due to cheap tickets and giveaways, but as recently as 2 years ago they couldn't even give away tickets. That tells me it ISN'T just the cost, it is the perceived quality of the team. The buzz (anecdotal as I've seen no scientific poll) is that this team is fun to watch and consists of players with good character, some of whom may very well be on the upswing of their careers.


Again, if it makes a difference, I have no problem with a tax increase on ticket sales for sporting events in Indy. A buck increase would be almost invisible to anything but the cheapest seats and would bring in an additional half million even at bad attendance figures just from the Fieldhouse.

Country Boy
03-12-2009, 12:28 PM
Calm down, don't be so assertive...

It wasn't Reggie's fault, however that the Pacers were allegedly losing money. He was the biggest factor of a larger fanbase and increased revenue for the franchise, lost money or not.

For Dun and Murphy, it's been said time and time again, that their contracts were a by-product of having to get rid of "spoiled meat" so to speak. Financially, it looked like a mistake, but it was a sacrifice we had to make to clean up the mess.


Stop look and listen Duke. You are missing my point. I am not saying Reggie is responsible, I was using him as an example to the poster who was saying that Troy .and Dun's contracts are the main reason for the Pacers losing money, when in fact it is has been reported non stop that the Pacers have lost money in 28 of the last 30 years. I am calm, I just don't have patience with people who don't or won't listen to facts and just continue with their own opinion and pass them on as fact.

duke dynamite
03-12-2009, 12:29 PM
Stop look and listen Duke.
That was all I needed to read. Now where is the ignore button?

Taterhead has a valid point. He included Mike and Troy into that because their contracts are huge, but they are just good players on bad teams. That's all there is to it. You pay a player a ton of money to play well, and help their team win. It isn't happening.

And yes, you do need to calm down. Just because he is contradicting you doesn't mean this needs to turn out into a big argument on who's ego is bigger because your opinion is the only one that matters.

"Stop, look, and listen."

Unclebuck
03-12-2009, 12:36 PM
Again, if it makes a difference, I have no problem with a tax increase on ticket sales for sporting events in Indy. A buck increase would be almost invisible to anything but the cheapest seats and would bring in an additional half million even at bad attendance figures just from the Fieldhouse.

They shouldn't do a set amount, but rather a %, so the cheaper seats have to pay less in real dollars - but all pay the same %. Although there is already a tax on every ticket - (6%?)

Putnam
03-12-2009, 01:25 PM
I was using him as an example to the poster who was saying that Troy .and Dun's contracts are the main reason for the Pacers losing money, when in fact it is has been reported non stop that the Pacers have lost money in 28 of the last 30 years.


You pay a player a ton of money to play well, and help their team win. It isn't happening.



Can we agree that with a complex corporate balance sheet there's no such thing as a "main reason" for losing money? They are losing money because their expenses exceed their revenues. That is true in every year they have a deficit.

Every dollar of expense contributes to the cost side of the ledger -- Granger's salary as well as Dunleavy's. And the same for those highly effective complementary souvenir headbands they give away as for anyone's salaries. Country Boy is right that you can't point the finger at one player and say he's the one who is putting the Pacers into the red.


Still, Duke's right that excessive/unproductive salary outlays have hurt the Pacers especially in recent years. Remember the year (was it 05 or 06?) when about 20% percent of the salary cap was going to players (Bender, Miller and Walker) who weren't even in the NBA? That wasn't good. I don't think that was as serious an issue before Bender.


.

Country Boy
03-12-2009, 01:32 PM
Can we agree that with a complex corporate balance sheet there's no such thing as a "main reason" for losing money?

They are losing money because their expenses exceed their revenues. They is true in every year they have a deficit.

Every dollar of expense contributes to the cost side of the ledger -- Granger's salary as well as Dunleavy's.

Still, it is possible to argue that excessive/unproductive salary outlays have hurt the Pacers especially in recent years. Remember the year when over 20% percent of the salary cap was going to players (Miller and Bender) who weren't even active? That wasn't good. I don't think that was as serious a liability going back before the brawl and before Bender.



The fact of the matter is that they haven't lost money because of the deal they have. They have lost money by giving Jamal Tinsley 40+ million dollars. Along with dumb ideas, like instead of just letting Peja walk, they got the trade exception which they sent to ATL for Al, then sent him along with Jack for Dun and Troy Murphy and their near 80 million dollar combined salaries. Moves like that is why they lost money. Those two decisions right there can account for nearly all of their claimed losses in 10 years.

This is the part of the post that I am questioning, blaming 28 out of 30 years of Pacer money losses on two players, Troy and Dun. The Temptatiions had a great song back in the day, and it ain't just my imagination that this line of reasoning is just plain myopic.

Bball
03-12-2009, 02:01 PM
The fact of the matter is that they haven't lost money because of the deal they have. They have lost money by giving Jamal Tinsley 40+ million dollars. Along with dumb ideas, like instead of just letting Peja walk, they got the trade exception which they sent to ATL for Al, then sent him along with Jack for Dun and Troy Murphy and their near 80 million dollar combined salaries. Moves like that is why they lost money. Those two decisions right there can account for nearly all of their claimed losses in 10 years.



Maybe I got lost in the thread somewhere but I don't think any of the people you're tossing this point back at (Taterhead, Dukie, or Putnam) would disagree with any of that.

-Bball

Phree Refill
03-12-2009, 02:21 PM
Stop look and listen Duke.
Boom goes the dynamite

Taterhead
03-12-2009, 04:45 PM
Like I said stop look and listen. You keep blaming the Pacer's money losses on Murph and Dun's contract, however you refuse to acknowledge that the Pacer's have lost money when Reggie was in his heyday. Your dislike for these two players precludes you from seeing the facts right there in front of you.

That's just baloney. First of all, I already stated I don't believe their claim that they've lost money all but one year in the last 10. All I said was if you are losing money, do not make moves like that and then expect taxpayer dollars to pay for it later on. Do the math on the bad contracts I listed and then compare it to the claimed losses. All they are doing is passing the blame for their mismanagement onto their lease agreement. If you have a business that is losing money, you don't throw money around like it's confetti and then ask for the struggling citizens of Indianapolis to pay for that. You make fiscally responsible decisions.


You can blame the agreement all you want. But the fact that people aren't going to games is the Pacers fault. The fact that the team is struggling is the Pacers fault. The fact that they have had a high payroll for a long time is the Pacers fault. The fact that they gave Jamal Tinsley his contract is the Pacers fault.


Your philosophy is apparently that they have no culpability in this mess. It's just that they have a crappy lease. Well let me inform you of something. In a business, profits are not guaranteed to you. And the fact that you didn't turn a profit is on only YOU. The object of a business is to operate within your means. Not to spend however much you want and then **** and moan and blame other things (that you were fully aware of BTW) because you lost money.

BTW, where did you get that I disliked Dunleavy? You have a bizarre way of getting your point across.

Taterhead
03-12-2009, 04:55 PM
The fact of the matter is that they haven't lost money because of the deal they have. They have lost money by giving Jamal Tinsley 40+ million dollars. Along with dumb ideas, like instead of just letting Peja walk, they got the trade exception which they sent to ATL for Al, then sent him along with Jack for Dun and Troy Murphy and their near 80 million dollar combined salaries. Moves like that is why they lost money. Those two decisions right there can account for nearly all of their claimed losses in 10 years.

This is the part of the post that I am questioning, blaming 28 out of 30 years of Pacer money losses on two players, Troy and Dun. The Temptatiions had a great song back in the day, and it ain't just my imagination that this line of reasoning is just plain myopic.

You are cherry picking the post. But how can argue that move from my point of view. Peja was a free agent. The team was apparently losing a lot of money. But instead of trimming the fat, they get a trade exception which they deal for Al who they gave a 30+ million dollar deal. Then they package him with Jackson who had a good contract and take on 80 million dollars in guarantees! Those events that unfolded from Peja to Troy and Dun cost them at the least 60 million dollars in additional payroll. I am not blaming the players, I am blaming the management.

Also, why are you going back to the days they played in MSA? That has no relevance. We are talking about right now, in the Fieldhouse. The deal for the Fieldhouse was supposed to take care of the previous years problems.

Who's to say that if the CIB caves and gives in that they won't spend even more out of their means from here on out and we'll be having this same conversation again in 2019?


I was using him as an example to the poster who was saying that Troy .and Dun's contracts are the main reason for the Pacers losing money, when in fact it is has been reported non stop that the Pacers have lost money in 28 of the last 30 years.

I never said they were the main reason countryboy, just a part of a series of financial blunders. I actually like both Troy and Mike as people and players. I just don't think neither are worth their salaries even when they are at their best.

The deal for the Fieldhouse was supposed to make the team profitable. I don't care about the years before, because if you ever went to a Pacers game at MSA you know that arena was past it's time. They needed an arena, and we delivered the best they could hope for. I just want them to make it work.

count55
03-12-2009, 05:12 PM
Who's to say that if the CIB caves and gives in that they won't spend even more out of their means from here on out and we'll be having this same conversation again in 2019?

Well, it's highly likely that the CIB will take on the management of Conseco. This would be the possible result of the lease agreement made ten years ago. It's likely that the Pacers would be attempting to exercise that option in any case where their results met the requirements laid out in the lease.

However, if and when the CIB takes on the management of Conseco, the underlying financial issues will still remain. It would still make it a realistic possibility that the Pacers would move in the next 10 years.

The only thing that saves them at that point is improved revenue (through better play and higher attendance) and an improved CBA. If the owners don't get significant concessions in 2011, including short contracts and lower maximums, then it will be unlikely that the Pacers and several other small market teams will be able to survive in their current cities, or at all.

The characterization of this as a "hand out" to the Pacers is inaccurate and somewhat misleading. This lease says that after 10 years (and some preconditions), the Pacers can request that the CIB take over management of Conseco. The lease says that the funding options are a tax on food, hotels, and rental cars, or a downtown casino. In effect, ,it's an eventuality that was seen by both parties at the time of the agreement, and, depending on the exact wording, a commitment that may have already been made by the city.

While it will certainly take some of the pressure off of the Pacers short term, there would still be a long way to go before they would become viable again.

As I understand it, the Pacers would have to pay the city a $34mm penalty if they break the lease (which runs for either 20 or 30 years, I don't recall). That's a lot of money, but if the Simon's claims of their loss levels are anywhere close to reality, it would not be a prohibitive sum.

Country Boy
03-12-2009, 05:46 PM
You are cherry picking the post. But how can argue that move from my point of view. Peja was a free agent. The team was apparently losing a lot of money. But instead of trimming the fat, they get a trade exception which they deal for Al who they gave a 30+ million dollar deal. Then they package him with Jackson who had a good contract and take on 80 million dollars in guarantees! Those events that unfolded from Peja to Troy and Dun cost them at the least 60 million dollars in additional payroll. I am not blaming the players, I am blaming the management.

Also, why are you going back to the days they played in MSA? That has no relevance. We are talking about right now, in the Fieldhouse. The deal for the Fieldhouse was supposed to take care of the previous years problems.

Who's to say that if the CIB caves and gives in that they won't spend even more out of their means from here on out and we'll be having this same conversation again in 2019?



I never said they were the main reason countryboy, just a part of a series of financial blunders. I actually like both Troy and Mike as people and players. I just don't think neither are worth their salaries even when they are at their best.
The deal for the Fieldhouse was supposed to make the team profitable. I don't care about the years before, because if you ever went to a Pacers game at MSA you know that arena was past it's time. They needed an arena, and we delivered the best they could hope for. I just want them to make it work.


That could be said for all but a handful of players like Kobe and LB. Troy and Dun's contracts are not a total loss as you are trying to make them, or did Al and Jackson play for nothing? Besides fans were demanding that Jackson be traded, any trade would have brought back players with high contracts whether there name was Murphy or John Smith.

Now, I don't believe the figures that the Simons are putting out there either, as we all know that numbers can be crunched to show just about anything the cruncher wants them to say. I don't like the tax payers being held hostage anymore than the next guy.

Bball
03-12-2009, 06:36 PM
That could be said for all but a handful of players like Kobe and LB. Troy and Dun's contracts are not a total loss as you are trying to make them, or did Al and Jackson play for nothing? Besides fans were demanding that Jackson be traded, any trade would have brought back players with high contracts whether there name was Murphy or John Smith.

Now, I don't believe the figures that the Simons are putting out there either, as we all know that numbers can be crunched to show just about anything the cruncher wants them to say. I don't like the tax payers being held hostage anymore than the next guy.

Well, we did expand the trade to more than Sjax. If we're going to look at it from the POV of moving someone who was losing favor with fans and sponsors, we probably could've stopped right there. But for whatever reason, the trade got expanded to include Al and we (supposedly) wanted to get Diogu in the deal.

Apparently someone decided to try and make chicken salad instead of just cutting losses and apparently salary ramifications lost importance to us somewhere in the negotiations.

I'm still not sure what this has to do with the overall point. We historically overpaid our players. The alleged MSA bleeding was supposed to be stopped with the Conseco deal. But we still handed out contracts like Candy. Croshere... Rose... Bender... Foster 1 and 2.... JO... Tinsley... Even Reggie's final contract which had an extra year tagged on. The Peja to Al deal. Not letting BMiller just walk.

Some deals look questionable when put into context. The Sarunas deal in and of itself wasn't terribly huge but then we still had Tinsley and AJ as well to pay at the PG slot so we had a lot of money tied up in PG's all expecting to be the #1 or 2 PG.

Artest got extended. Again, not a bad deal in and of itself but if you think he was a loose cannon maybe an extension wasn't the smart play. And he got extended the same time as Foster and Bender all the while knowing BMiller and RMiller was FA's to be. Again, the context looks bad for cap and tax reasons. It looks terrible with 'losing money on the team' factored in.

It just looks to me like all the wasteful spending and refusal to address mistakes in a timely fashion came back home to roost.

Country Boy
03-12-2009, 07:25 PM
Well, we did expand the trade to more than Sjax. If we're going to look at it from the POV of moving someone who was losing favor with fans and sponsors, we probably could've stopped right there. But for whatever reason, the trade got expanded to include Al and we (supposedly) wanted to get Diogu in the deal.

Apparently someone decided to try and make chicken salad instead of just cutting losses and apparently salary ramifications lost importance to us somewhere in the negotiations.

I'm still not sure what this has to do with the overall point. We historically overpaid our players. The alleged MSA bleeding was supposed to be stopped with the Conseco deal. But we still handed out contracts like Candy. Croshere... Rose... Bender... Foster 1 and 2.... JO... Tinsley... Even Reggie's final contract which had an extra year tagged on. The Peja to Al deal. Not letting BMiller just walk.

Some deals look questionable when put into context. The Sarunas deal in and of itself wasn't terribly huge but then we still had Tinsley and AJ as well to pay at the PG slot so we had a lot of money tied up in PG's all expecting to be the #1 or 2 PG.

Artest got extended. Again, not a bad deal in and of itself but if you think he was a loose cannon maybe an extension wasn't the smart play. And he got extended the same time as Foster and Bender all the while knowing BMiller and RMiller was FA's to be. Again, the context looks bad for cap and tax reasons. It looks terrible with 'losing money on the team' factored in.

It just looks to me like all the wasteful spending and refusal to address mistakes in a timely fashion came back home to roost.

All valid points, but the same could be said for almost all of the NBA teams. The main difference being the Pacers have less of a margin for error in making bad deals. Don't think for one minute that other teams don't have the same problems as the Pacers have.

speakout4
03-12-2009, 07:48 PM
Your philosophy is apparently that they have no culpability in this mess. It's just that they have a crappy lease. Well let me inform you of something. In a business, profits are not guaranteed to you. And the fact that you didn't turn a profit is on only YOU. The object of a business is to operate within your means. Not to spend however much you want and then **** and moan and blame other things (that you were fully aware of BTW) because you lost money.
.
All your assumptions that it is bad management would work for you if you could show that any Pacer management at any time made a consistent profit. The idea that this town can support a bball franchise has not been proven by you or anyone else. Perhaps we are large enough for one professional team and not two. Irsay has carped about not making enough through several stadium upgrades and finally a new stadium. It seems that making a go in Indy is a very real problem.

Hicks
03-12-2009, 08:16 PM
I find the blame game for bad contracts to miss the point. Bird, and Walsh before him, were likely going to spend a comparable amount of money on somebody. Whether or not that player was the right player is largely irrelevant when the topic is the Pacers financial bottom line as an enterprise. The only validity to it is to argue it had a tremendous enough impact on ticket and merchandise sales to significantly alter the bottom line, which I don't think is proven true beyond a reasonable doubt based on any information we currently have.

What I think we all need to know right now is this:

* How are the other 29 teams doing
* What do they credit for being the primary factors in their success/failures year by year when it comes to their bottom lines?

Those pieces of information should give us something solid to compare to the Pacers' situation and to make better judgments on how things have been handled.

able
03-12-2009, 09:21 PM
I find the blame game for bad contracts to miss the point. Bird, and Walsh before him, were likely going to spend a comparable amount of money on somebody. Whether or not that player was the right player is largely irrelevant when the topic is the Pacers financial bottom line as an enterprise. The only validity to it is to argue it had a tremendous enough impact on ticket and merchandise sales to significantly alter the bottom line, which I don't think is proven true beyond a reasonable doubt based on any information we currently have.

What I think we all need to know right now is this:

* How are the other 29 teams doing
* What do they credit for being the primary factors in their success/failures year by year when it comes to their bottom lines?

Those pieces of information should give us something solid to compare to the Pacers' situation and to make better judgments on how things have been handled.


Leaving exceptional years aside to either side, and not going back to MSA days of which we all know what tjhe position was, this is real easy:

CFH costs 15 million to run, hence losses smaller then that (15 mio) are eating up the profit the pacers would have made that year. as i said leaving aside last and this year, where the losses are also on the bball side of matters.

the matter is really simple:

PS&E are paying 15 million dollars yearly (and have done so since opening) for running and upkeep.

the Colts are paying nothing, getting chunks of money when others use the facility on top of that and only have to account for a very limited timescale and intensity of usage so it is easu to plan major other events in the venue, unlike the pacers, who also have the fever to think of.

PS&E are now saying, we don't want that anymore, if you can do it for them, then why would we pay for all that, seeing as we already are paying in more taxes t begin with, and that is a justifiable position.
Not nice, not funny, but something the ppl who decided to give all that to the Colts should have kept in mind.

I find it amazing that this discussion is about the few cents tax and the content of that discussion and no one says "let the Colts pay it" while they are asking AND GETTING at least 3 times the amount the Pacers want the city to cover.

and for those who say "well irsay made a better deal" well you are right, but there is a "lease review" coming up, and the lessee say whopee, want your building back ?
It will cost the city the same amount if the Pacers are gone, only the INCOME part will be gone, so the total loss will double, where do you think those dollars are gonna come from ??

indygeezer
03-12-2009, 09:38 PM
Lest we forget, I'll remind everyone that we are still paying the owners of the St Louis Spirits for not suing us when the 4 teams jumped to the NBA. (which is why St Loius is NOT a destination for ANY NBA team. The agreement is nullified when StL gets a team IIRC.) It is a massive amount of any TV revenue we share in...again IIRC. I believe it was a percentage value not a specified $ amount.

Taterhead
03-12-2009, 09:57 PM
All your assumptions that it is bad management would work for you if you could show that any Pacer management at any time made a consistent profit. The idea that this town can support a bball franchise has not been proven by you or anyone else. Perhaps we are large enough for one professional team and not two. Irsay has carped about not making enough through several stadium upgrades and finally a new stadium. It seems that making a go in Indy is a very real problem.

Well, you are right. My view is based on some assumptions that could be right or wrong. There is no way to prove a hypothetical profit. But you can point to certain moves that made the situation worse. I believe the Simons don't even really care if they turn a profit in the first place. But with the economy as bad as it is, and the teams struggles the last few years, they have combined to make them sweat. So really my point isn't that they would've turned a profit, but more along the lines of this not being an issue right now with out poor decisions by management.



The characterization of this as a "hand out" to the Pacers is inaccurate and somewhat misleading. This lease says that after 10 years (and some preconditions), the Pacers can request that the CIB take over management of Conseco. The lease says that the funding options are a tax on food, hotels, and rental cars, or a downtown casino. In effect, ,it's an eventuality that was seen by both parties at the time of the agreement, and, depending on the exact wording, a commitment that may have already been made by the city.


You're right as well, it is not really a hand out. But if they up taxes of any sort it still pisses me off. If they can increase revenue for the CIB through a casino I would be fine with that. Jobs, entertainment, and money earned is all great. And I do think the Pacers deserve at least the same deal as the Colts if it is possible without extra taxes. After all they have been here longer.

My only issue with this is taking tax money and using it to fill in revenue loss for a private business. The Pacers are important to Indianapolis, there is no doubt about that. But if it were any other business would anyone support taking tax money and paying operating costs to make revenue easier to attain for them? I doubt it. But no one can honestly not admit that they have done a horrible job of salary management and personnel decisions the last 5 years. And no one can honestly say that isn't responsible for a chunk (the size is debatable) of those losses in some form or another.


That could be said for all but a handful of players like Kobe and LB. Troy and Dun's contracts are not a total loss as you are trying to make them, or did Al and Jackson play for nothing? Besides fans were demanding that Jackson be traded, any trade would have brought back players with high contracts whether there name was Murphy or John Smith.

Now, I don't believe the figures that the Simons are putting out there either, as we all know that numbers can be crunched to show just about anything the cruncher wants them to say. I don't like the tax payers being held hostage anymore than the next guy.

No, they weren't a total loss. And I think you are focusing too much on two players instead of my overall point. I'm just talking about a philosophy of doing business more than individual deals. But not every trade out there would have brought back two players with 10 million a year deals spread over 4.5 years. They took on over 80 million dollars in guaranteed salaries in exchange for two players guaranteed about half of that. If you think the only trades out there were that kind of deal, you are mistaken.

BlueNGold
03-12-2009, 09:57 PM
Ok, here is the plan. If the Simons are so concerned about the Pacers leaving the city...and the Pacers lose money, why don't the Simons sell the franchise to Indianapolis ala the Green Bay Packers? We seem to like to throw money down the drain.

Bball
03-12-2009, 10:05 PM
Lest we forget, I'll remind everyone that we are still paying the owners of the St Louis Spirits for not suing us when the 4 teams jumped to the NBA. (which is why St Loius is NOT a destination for ANY NBA team. The agreement is nullified when StL gets a team IIRC.) It is a massive amount of any TV revenue we share in...again IIRC. I believe it was a percentage value not a specified $ amount.

I mentioned it in either this thread of the other. But I didn't think St Louis having an NBA team or not mattered since the owners of the contract wouldn't have any interest in that.

Someone needs to attack that contract and do it with gusto. It has to be the most one-sided deal in any business ever seen. Even as teams are losing money and on the verge of going out of business or seeking a bailout from taxplayers, the Silnas are lapping up millions of dollars for nothing. They make more money NOT owning a team than team owners are making by owning one. They make more for not owning a team than Tinsley makes not playing the game. :eek:

A contract that is bleeding one side dry while another said is getting super-sized rich just cannot have some weak point somewhere.

...But you'd think with the numbers it's generating someone would've found it before now.

The NBA, for the good of the league and teams involved, needs to challenge this contract or negotiate a buyout... no matter how much it hurts up front. They might have to mount a serious challenge to it to get the Silnas to consider a buyout at this point.

But that ASSUMES the teams really are hurting and this contract really is a large source of that hurt. ... Not just some more numbers used to help manipulate the bottom line to help in their seeking of corporate welfare for their private enterprises.

Hicks
03-12-2009, 10:13 PM
Leaving exceptional years aside to either side, and not going back to MSA days of which we all know what tjhe position was, this is real easy:

CFH costs 15 million to run, hence losses smaller then that (15 mio) are eating up the profit the pacers would have made that year. as i said leaving aside last and this year, where the losses are also on the bball side of matters.

the matter is really simple:

PS&E are paying 15 million dollars yearly (and have done so since opening) for running and upkeep.

the Colts are paying nothing, getting chunks of money when others use the facility on top of that and only have to account for a very limited timescale and intensity of usage so it is easu to plan major other events in the venue, unlike the pacers, who also have the fever to think of.

PS&E are now saying, we don't want that anymore, if you can do it for them, then why would we pay for all that, seeing as we already are paying in more taxes t begin with, and that is a justifiable position.
Not nice, not funny, but something the ppl who decided to give all that to the Colts should have kept in mind.

I find it amazing that this discussion is about the few cents tax and the content of that discussion and no one says "let the Colts pay it" while they are asking AND GETTING at least 3 times the amount the Pacers want the city to cover.

and for those who say "well irsay made a better deal" well you are right, but there is a "lease review" coming up, and the lessee say whopee, want your building back ?
It will cost the city the same amount if the Pacers are gone, only the INCOME part will be gone, so the total loss will double, where do you think those dollars are gonna come from ??

Personally, I don't know MSA's story and if I missed it in earlier pages of this thread that's my fault.

I agree on the basis of the lease it's fair for the Pacers to want a better deal.

What is it that I'm remembering that involves the Pacers paying $1 a year (or some other recurring amount of time) to the city or the state?

Also, I'd still like to know more about the other 29 teams because the Pacers financial issues go beyond the lease, and that's more what I'm getting at when I talk about the player salaries and comparing the Pacers to the rest of the NBA teams. 30mm is a big loss. Losing money almost every year for decades is also a big deal. I'd like to learn more about why that is happening, and what the Pacers have already tried to do about it.

Frankly, I start to seriously get nervous about the state of the franchise (in regards to it staying here) when I consider the financial issues we're hearing about (aside from the subject of the lease) and the fact that in the middle of all of this, they are giving season ticket holders 25% off the cost they paid this year, AND they're upping the home court gift shop discount from 20% off to 30% off for full season ticket holders (and giving half season people 20%, which was not the case before).

These are some pretty sizeable discounts. Obviously it's meant to attract a higher volume of customers, but at what cost when the financial status of the team is apparently in a jeopardizing position right now? It worries me a bit.

MrSparko
03-12-2009, 10:36 PM
Ok, here is the plan. If the Simons are so concerned about the Pacers leaving the city...and the Pacers lose money, why don't the Simons sell the franchise to Indianapolis ala the Green Bay Packers? We seem to like to throw money down the drain.

I think that the Packers were "grandfathered" in, and that it's not possible to do that anymore.


Maybe that's just the NFL though.

Bball
03-12-2009, 10:49 PM
Ok, here is the plan. If the Simons are so concerned about the Pacers leaving the city...and the Pacers lose money, why don't the Simons sell the franchise to Indianapolis ala the Green Bay Packers? We seem to like to throw money down the drain.

Why do that? Why not just let things continue on the way they are where eventually the city/state (read: taxpayers) pay for all the costs while the Simons continue to own the franchise and run it how they wish.

That's really the direction the big 3 sports are heading until someone learns to say "no" and others then have the power to say it as well, or the federal government steps in and says "you can't do that any longer".

When/if that ever happens then these entities will finally have to look to their own management as well as the league itself to create an environment where they can profit. But until then it's "Hey Mr. Taxpayer... we need some more money..."

By the way, how does a business that loses money in 18 of the past 20 years increase in value? In what bizzaro financial sense is that possible?

-Bball

Bball
03-12-2009, 11:35 PM
When talking about questionable spending of funds, let's not forget things like Isiah Thomas being hired (and paid quite handsomely) to be a first time coach and ultimately being fired (and still paid) as well as the re-up done for Rick Carlisle who also ended up fired and still had to be paid.

It's not just money given to players that is at question here if we're going to question decisions that management have made with funds.

-Bball

able
03-13-2009, 05:27 AM
Personally, I don't know MSA's story and if I missed it in earlier pages of this thread that's my fault.

I agree on the basis of the lease it's fair for the Pacers to want a better deal.

What is it that I'm remembering that involves the Pacers paying $1 a year (or some other recurring amount of time) to the city or the state?

Also, I'd still like to know more about the other 29 teams because the Pacers financial issues go beyond the lease, and that's more what I'm getting at when I talk about the player salaries and comparing the Pacers to the rest of the NBA teams. 30mm is a big loss. Losing money almost every year for decades is also a big deal. I'd like to learn more about why that is happening, and what the Pacers have already tried to do about it.

Frankly, I start to seriously get nervous about the state of the franchise (in regards to it staying here) when I consider the financial issues we're hearing about (aside from the subject of the lease) and the fact that in the middle of all of this, they are giving season ticket holders 25% off the cost they paid this year, AND they're upping the home court gift shop discount from 20% off to 30% off for full season ticket holders (and giving half season people 20%, which was not the case before).

These are some pretty sizeable discounts. Obviously it's meant to attract a higher volume of customers, but at what cost when the financial status of the team is apparently in a jeopardizing position right now? It worries me a bit.

Afaik;

CFH was financed with "own" funds and city funds i believe that to be 140 own and 80 city/state.
They then rented out the place to PS&E for $ 1
They added to that the PS&E obligation to maintain and manage the building.
The latter runs at a cost of 15 mio a year.

The Pacers have outside last year and this year never lost more then that amount, so in other words, the profit the Pacers make goes to pay for that 15 mio and then they are short.

The amount paid to the old St Louis farnchies aint that enormous, now a few million is still good money and may have "some" influence on the bottom line but in comparison to the above it is marginal.

I once again refer to the deal the Colts got of which no one speaks, but alone in initial finance the Pacers are dwarfed and again when it comes to maintenance and management (est for LOS= 47 mio) money the CIB needs to find, not to mention that whatever is held in LOS a set amount per ticket sold goes to the Colts, screw the losses made.

I am frankly amazed by no one picking up on that and instead going of and on about possible bad management, amazed i tell you, the Pacers itself made a profit most of those years, it was first MSA and now CFH that is causing the losses.

Hicks
03-13-2009, 07:30 AM
If that's true (the losses being because of the arena, not the team/franchise), then why is this not being made clear to the public? I'm not asking to push you, but rather out of confusion in regards to what the press around here is doing.

Country Boy
03-13-2009, 07:43 AM
If that's true (the losses being because of the arena, not the team/franchise), then why is this not being made clear to the public? I'm not asking to push you, but rather out of confusion in regards to what the press around here is doing.

That is the catch, until the Pacers open their books for all to see, we will never know.

Bball
03-13-2009, 08:03 AM
That is the catch, until the Pacers open their books for all to see, we will never know.

And from what I gather, that has not happened.

Open the books.

-Bball

MagicRat
03-13-2009, 08:23 AM
Lest we forget, I'll remind everyone that we are still paying the owners of the St Louis Spirits for not suing us when the 4 teams jumped to the NBA. (which is why St Loius is NOT a destination for ANY NBA team. The agreement is nullified when StL gets a team IIRC.) It is a massive amount of any TV revenue we share in...again IIRC. I believe it was a percentage value not a specified $ amount.


Jim Morris was on Kravitz and Eddie yesterday and said they wrote the Silnas a check for $4.2 million this year.......

Said "it's not about helping about the Indiana Pacers...The Pacers have the capacity to give the city a championship team...do not have the capacity to generate enough revenue to operate and finance the building."

http://media.1070thefan.com/podcasts/031209_morris.mp3

Everybody should give it a listen....

BillS
03-13-2009, 08:40 AM
If that's true (the losses being because of the arena, not the team/franchise), then why is this not being made clear to the public? I'm not asking to push you, but rather out of confusion in regards to what the press around here is doing.

This was referred to in another thread, just putting it here for completeness:

Simon, who has owned the team with his brother, Mel, since 1983, said he doesn't need help with the Pacers.

"We can handle the team," he said. "It's the operation of the facility that's causing us the problem. We're not asking anyone to pay for us. It's just the operating of the facility."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3975398&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines


That is the catch, until the Pacers open their books for all to see, we will never know.

Was anyone screaming for the Colts to open up their books? I'm really tired of the double standard.

The opening of the books will really just make fans scream about player salaries, which we already know are the bulk of every franchise's budget, but are NOT EASILY CUT if you want a competitive team at all. With the exception of Tinsley, our problem players were NOT the expensive ones.


Afaik;

CFH was financed with "own" funds and city funds i believe that to be 140 own and 80 city/state.
They then rented out the place to PS&E for $ 1
They added to that the PS&E obligation to maintain and manage the building.
The latter runs at a cost of 15 mio a year.

The Pacers have outside last year and this year never lost more then that amount, so in other words, the profit the Pacers make goes to pay for that 15 mio and then they are short.

The amount paid to the old St Louis farnchies aint that enormous, now a few million is still good money and may have "some" influence on the bottom line but in comparison to the above it is marginal.

I once again refer to the deal the Colts got of which no one speaks, but alone in initial finance the Pacers are dwarfed and again when it comes to maintenance and management (est for LOS= 47 mio) money the CIB needs to find, not to mention that whatever is held in LOS a set amount per ticket sold goes to the Colts, screw the losses made.

I am frankly amazed by no one picking up on that and instead going of and on about possible bad management, amazed i tell you, the Pacers itself made a profit most of those years, it was first MSA and now CFH that is causing the losses.

This is what I remember, and I remember being amazed that an ownership group was willing to pony up part of the cost of a new arena. And yet, everyone wants to nail the Simons as a bunch of greedy b*****ds who never did anything for the city, as opposed to that saintly Mr. Irsay.

As I said above, the double standard here is appalling. If nothing else, the actions of the Simons in terms of their contributions to the city of Indianapolis, willingness to share the costs, and do far, far more than other franchises in terms of keeping the burden away from the city as much as possible should lend this some credibility. Yet, we insist on lumping them in with Enron and Bernie Madoff as some opportunistic billionaires just waiting to soak the city for everything they can get.

Damn, get the torches and pitchforks out and run 'em out of town, those thugs.

Taterhead
03-13-2009, 08:40 AM
I am frankly amazed by no one picking up on that and instead going of and on about possible bad management, amazed i tell you, the Pacers itself made a profit most of those years, it was first MSA and now CFH that is causing the losses.

I am aware of the deal the Pacers have, you are aware of the deal they have and so are they. You have to run the team accordingly. You can't say we would've turned a profit if.... They knew their expenses, they knew their intake. And despite that knowledge, they continued to spend more. Who knows if the deal was different they wouldn't have just spent even more than that number? I mean this reminds me of some little kids bickering over toys. "But I want the one Johnny has!" sort of thing. The Colts have a crazy good deal for them, but that doesn't mean the Pacers deal is bad. And on top of that, look at what the Colts deal has done to the CIB, put them almost 50 million short. What about the deal from their perspective? Is it still a good deal when only one side gets the benefits and the other can't pay for it? The Pacers deal is far more fair than the Colts', JMO.

I really think it's ironic that the Pacers who might lose 30 million this year, are asking the CIB who is like 47 million short for help financially.

Country Boy
03-13-2009, 08:43 AM
One aspect of this Pacer deal that has not been addressed is how much has owning the Pacers helped the Simons in their other business ventures. We hear that Indianapolis benefits greatly from the PR that the Pacers bring to the city, however nothing is said about what this PR does for the Simons. One has to ask does owning the Pacers have any benficial affects on the Simon's main area of business, ie shopping centers?

Taterhead
03-13-2009, 08:51 AM
This was referred to in another thread, just putting it here for completeness:





Was anyone screaming for the Colts to open up their books? I'm really tired of the double standard.

The opening of the books will really just make fans scream about player salaries, which we already know are the bulk of every franchise's budget, but are NOT EASILY CUT if you want a competitive team at all. With the exception of Tinsley, our problem players were NOT the expensive ones.



This is what I remember, and I remember being amazed that an ownership group was willing to pony up part of the cost of a new arena. And yet, everyone wants to nail the Simons as a bunch of greedy b*****ds who never did anything for the city, as opposed to that saintly Mr. Irsay.

As I said above, the double standard here is appalling. If nothing else, the actions of the Simons in terms of their contributions to the city of Indianapolis, willingness to share the costs, and do far, far more than other franchises in terms of keeping the burden away from the city as much as possible should lend this some credibility. Yet, we insist on lumping them in with Enron and Bernie Madoff as some opportunistic billionaires just waiting to soak the city for everything they can get.

Damn, get the torches and pitchforks out and run 'em out of town, those thugs.

Because the Colts had the smallest stadium in the league and had a team on the verge of winning a SB. And there were plenty of people upset about that deal anyways, so I'm not sure about your point there. Nobody is talking about that deal because it is irrelevant in terms of the Pacers. But beyond that, that deal had different dynamics than this one. It has brought a SB to the city already. It has allowed for expansion of the convention center. They aren't the same and shouldn't be thought of that way. JMO

duke dynamite
03-13-2009, 09:00 AM
Because the Colts had the smallest stadium in the league and had a team on the verge of winning a SB. And there were plenty of people upset about that deal anyways, so I'm not sure about your point there. Nobody is talking about that deal because it is irrelevant in terms of the Pacers. But beyond that, that deal had different dynamics than this one. It has brought a SB to the city already. It has allowed for expansion of the convention center. They aren't the same and shouldn't be thought of that way. JMO
You just opened up a BIG can of worms...lol

BillS
03-13-2009, 09:22 AM
Nobody is talking about that deal because it is irrelevant in terms of the Pacers.

Disagree. If the CIB wasn't drowning in red because of the Colts deal would the Pacers issue be so much of a problem?

If the Colts hadn't been given the farm, would the Pacers be asking for help on running the barn?

Roaming Gnome
03-13-2009, 09:28 AM
In the end... I believe a deal will get done. Yeah, it's probably going to be on the backs of taxpayers.

The long and short of this, the taxpayers can pay for the operation of the Fieldhouse with a tenant, or the taxpayers can pay to operate the the Fieldhouse without a tenant. At the end of the day... The price is pretty close.

This will be decided behind closed doors with very little public input. While most of the citizenry will complain about corporate welfare and and what not. I don't think most doing the complaining understand all the factors at play. I know I don't.

It's not like CFH will just vanish if the team moves... They will have to fill a lot of dates and continue to pay the bills on the facility. Before someone says, The Indy Ice and High School events can fill the dates.... The dates have to generate enough revenue to pay the bills!

As a Marion County taxpayer... It is just silly to draw a line in the sand on this issue when the reward is paying what you are going to have to pay anyway just to operate the building without a tenant. I say this being a victim of this harsh economy, but realize this attitude of "**** the billionaires" is based on partial information and a lot of assumptions.

duke dynamite
03-13-2009, 09:32 AM
Even if taxes were going to rise, I mean how much more money per person would that involve? I mean it could possibly be a negligible amount, right?

Justin Tyme
03-13-2009, 10:59 AM
In the end... I believe a deal will get done. Yeah, it's probably going to be on the backs of taxpayers.

The long and short of this, the taxpayers can pay for the operation of the Fieldhouse with a tenant, or the taxpayers can pay to operate the the Fieldhouse without a tenant. At the end of the day... The price is pretty close.

This will be decided behind closed doors with very little public input. While most of the citizenry will complain about corporate welfare and and what not. I don't think most doing the complaining understand all the factors at play. I know I don't.

It's not like CFH will just vanish if the team moves... They will have to fill a lot of dates and continue to pay the bills on the facility. Before someone says, The Indy Ice and High School events can fill the dates.... The dates have to generate enough revenue to pay the bills!

As a Marion County taxpayer... It is just silly to draw a line in the sand on this issue when the reward is paying what you are going to have to pay anyway just to operate the building without a tenant. I say this being a victim of this harsh economy, but realize this attitude of "**** the billionaires" is based on partial information and a lot of assumptions.


If as a Marion county resident you don't mind paying for the Colts stadium, then that's fine. I'm not a resident of Marion county, and resent having to pay for the Colts Stadium. Marion county politicans duped the surrounding counties into "helping out" in the building of the Colts Stadium. IIRC, the only county to stand up and say no was Hancock county. Hancock county was smart enough to see who was reaping the benefit from building the Stadium(Marion county), and it wasn't going to be Hancock county. The same applies to most of the other surrounding counties as well. My feeling then is the same as it is now, Indianapolis wanted to give Irsay a new playhouse then let Marion county residents pay for it. Indianapolis got bamboozled by Irsay into building him a new playhouse, and then dupped other counties into helping out so Marion county residents wouldn't have to pay for all of it. There isn't a county out there that couldn't use the money for their needs that they send to pay for the Colts Stadium.

Indianapolis can't fund a decent school system to educate their children, but can fund a new stadium for Irsay. What's that say about the city's priorities? Sports takes the front burner and education of children takes the back burner. And the downward spiral of IPS continues year after year.

I agree I believe the Indianapolis politicans will fold and agree to pay or help pay the operating costs of CFH for the Simons, but this time lets keep it in house to Marion county.

Speed
03-13-2009, 11:29 AM
Indianapolis can't fund a decent school system to educate their children, but can fund a new stadium for Irsay. What's that say about the city's priorities? Sports takes the front burner and education of children takes the back burner. And the downward spiral of IPS continues year after year.



Do you think having the Colts in Indy generates jobs in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas? And I mean directly, but also indirectly by other companies locating to Indy or Plainfield or Carmel due to the higher profile tied to the city because of Major league sports franchises.

Also, do you think the convention center and the upgrades will directly bring more revenue to the city?

It's my opinion that having these things increases the tax base, not lessens it, so the question should be why isn't IPS better.

Imo, it's a common over simplification. It wasn't like there were two choices there. Spend 2 billion on Lucas Oil, the airport, and the convention center or spend 2 billion on IPS. Without Lucas Oil, the airport, and the convention center there wouldn't be 2 billion to even talk about.

Just my opinion, Justin, I know you are by far in the majority on this thought and I see your point, I just disagree.

Side note: I went to IPS in grade school, when the Colts were in Baltimore and the Pacers were at risk of going bankrupt. There was no Lucas or RCA Dome or Conseco Fieldhouse and IPS wasn't too hot then either.

count55
03-13-2009, 11:43 AM
Even if taxes were going to rise, I mean how much more money per person would that involve? I mean it could possibly be a negligible amount, right?

Well, there are a few issues that make it more complex than this. But, as to scale:

The 2009 Adopted Budget for Indianapolis/Marion county has looks like this:

http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/Controller/Documents/2009%20Adopted%20Budget.pdf


Mm(USD) 06 Act 07 Act 08 Est 09 Bud

Sources $1,063.3 $1,169.0 $1,198.8 $1,122.5
Uses $(1,110.2) $(1,279.7) $(1,238.5) $(1,132.7)
Other $(5.6) $(11.2) $(17.7) $10.8

+/(-) $(52.5) $(122.0) $(57.5) $0.6

CFH $15.0 $15.0 $15.0 $15.0
%Srcs 1.41% 1.28% 1.25% 1.34%
%Uses 1.35% 1.17% 1.21% 1.32%

The amount we're talking about is small when we're looking at the total city/county budget, about 1.3%. However, that isn't the issue with many. First, many will bridle against paying additional taxes, regardless of the amount or, often, the purpose, just on principle. Second, many will ask the question of why we would raise a tax and spend that money on a luxury item like the Pacers, when schools/roads/police/fire/healthcare/insert-other-city-service-here are underfunded.

Of course, the tax that might possibly be levied is not an income or property tax. The lease limits the funding options to taxes on food, hotels, or rental cars. What I have heard is that the tax proposals that may be considered would likely exclude food and focus on hotels and rental cars. Theoretically, many in the city would never pay the tax. However, there are other problems with that solution, specifically the possibility (likelihood) of revenue shortfalls, and many would argue that such taxes could depress the businesses effected.

Another funding option is a downtown casino. This has not even been mentioned to my knowledge, and would have resistance for another set of reasons.

Most cities these days are running large deficits. As unemployment climbs, the tax base, and the associated revenue, declines. The Pacers/CIB aren't going to be the only ones who are going to be wanting for money.

It seems to me that we should really break the situation with the Pacers into two separate discussions. The first pertains to the lease agreement with Conseco, while the second is the actual long term viability of the Pacers, either in Indianapolis or elsewhere. There's no question that the resolution of the first has a profound impact on the second, but they are currently being considered by many as one and the same. This is absolutely not the case.

The lease issue is relatively limited in scope. The agreement indicates the possibility of a re-negotiation after 10 years if certain conditions are met. The Pacers are exercising this option, and as part of the re-negotiation, the Pacers are asking the CIB to take over the operations of the Conseco.

Other than exhibiting unbelievably bad timing (economy, other CIB **** ups), the Pacers are doing nothing at all untoward here. They are following the good business practice that every other business would, looking for areas of cost reduction and exploiting the contractual opportunity to create significant savings.

In the end, I believe it is exceedingly likely that the CIB will, in fact, accede to this request, assuming the expense, and addressing the possible funding options listed above. The only reason they would say no, at this point, is if the city determines that the Pacers leaving is an inevitability even if they say yes. This is where we get to the second part.

It is very questionable that the Pacers in Indianapolis are a viable proposition, even if they get this $15mm. As has been pointed out by many, the NBA business model has many built-in obstacles to a team's financial success. We've discussed many of these, and they center around the largest portion of a team's cost-stack: Player and Coach salaries.

I will tell you unequivocally that the Pacers could not survive in Indianapolis if the terms of the CBA were to be as they are for much longer. In fact, the NBA is in danger of significant financial difficulties if the owners do not get major concessions in 2011, specifically regarding guarantees, length of contracts, and size of maximums. If the CBA were to remain largely the same, I would expect to see retraction (the folding of teams). Indiana and Memphis might lead that list, but it's important to note that Forbes reported that the Denver Nuggets had over $26mm in losses last season.

The absorption of the CFH expenses by the city is only one thing that needs to be done to save the Pacers' future. In fact, I think it's the only thing that can be reasonably asked of the city. For the Pacers to survive, the following additional things must happen:

1. The CBA concessions above

2. Pacers reducing their own payroll - they are moving in that direction, but it will not be until 2010 or 2011 that significant strides can be made here. Also, driving towards this goal could negatively impact their ability to reach the next goal.

3. The Pacers must put a consistently competitive and entertaining product on the floor. While I, like everyone else, would love a championship, it is not a realistic goal, and it's arguably a destructive objective. I firmly believe that the decisions that turned out to be the most damaging errors over the last decade were all prompted by the desire to not only be good, but to grab at that elusive title. There's no doubt that bad Ron-Ron ultimately cost us our chance at the title, but I have no doubt also that the belief was that good Ron-Ron was our only real chance. Though some would (and did) say that was misguided (at least), it was an intoxicating temptation that many reasonable people, in and out of the the Pacers organization, could not resist.

The other thing we did was to extend our own young players who had shown promise in an effort to field a deep, talented team "on the cheap". The thought was that we could lock up guys before they got to the market and became too expensive. These strategies put us in a position to win 61 games, but the statue had clay feet. We're now living with the aftermath.

The Pacers should model themselves after Utah, and even, to a lesser extent, themselves of the '90's. Their goal should be sustained excellence, not short-term greatness. If they can get in a position for a title, then great, but not getting one should not be considered a failure...at least not to the extent that it drives your decision making.

It seems to me that, while some might bemoan the "close, but no cigar" nature, a franchise performance like Utah's would largely satisfy, in fact, thrill the market, improving and stabilizing the team's fan base and revenue streams.

But all of that is a little off topic, for now. The Pacers, who have made significant strides to repair their reputation and improve their future prospects, may be facing a situation of too little, too late. Just as they start to slow dig out, they, along with the rest of the country, are facing an economic crisis that, to me, looks like it's going to bring a long-term, if not permanent, adjustment downward in the country's standard of living. Wealth is being destroyed everyday, and its impact on the Simons can be seen clearly in this graph of the stock price of the Simon Property Group.

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/8231/chartsdll.gif (http://img9.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chartsdll.gif)

So, for those who are hoping for the CIB to pick up the expense, and the Pacers future in Indy being secured, you will probably be disappointed.

There's also an argument being advanced that the Pacers' financial situation is the direct result of their own errors and bad judgment. As such, they should basically be left to stew in their own juices.

There's merit to this, or at least some theoretic karma. The problem with that is two-fold.

First, the Pacers, specifically the Simons, are paying for these crimes. While I question the exact numbers, I have absolutely no doubt that the Simons have lost money (excluding valuation) on the Pacers over their tenure. I think the last couple of years have been horrendous, and now their being coupled with losses for Simon Property Group.

Second, if, as suggested, the city says no to teach the lesson to the Pacers, the pain isn't going to be felt by the Simons. They will seek an alternate way to stop the bleeding they are experiencing, through sale, relocation, or shutdown. The only people that will materially suffer (though perhaps not monetarily) are us, the fans.

The city of Seattle said no to the Sonics. The owner moved his team to his home town and promptly increased his revenues and cash flows, comparatively. The city of Seattle moved on, and the fans of the Sonics are still bitter and angry, and likely will be for a very long time.

Now, that is not a case to say "yes". I desperately want the Pacers to stay in Indianapolis...forever. However, I objectively understand that it is a very real possibility, perhaps even a likelihood, that the city can't and won't support a franchise that can't at least pay his keep. However, I do believe the approach of punishing the franchise for their mistakes, as a motivation, creates more collateral damage than any good it may do.

If I were a betting man, I'd say that the CIB is going to say yes, and they and the Simons are going to start costcutting and holding their breath for 2011, when the contracts clear, and the CBA expires.

Whether the Pacers are here five years after the lockout depends largely on how successful the owners are at rationalizing the business model during the CBA. I do not expect a 2011-2012 season.

travmil
03-13-2009, 11:48 AM
I believe that professional sports does raise the profile of a city and does help to bring in business and promote the city. I also believe that any benefit pro sports brings would be FAR outweighed if the same amount of time and money were invested in educating our young people.

count55
03-13-2009, 11:49 AM
Couple of things on the previous:

Obviously, it's just my take based on my best available info. If I'm materially incorrect on any fact, it should be considered a mistake, not an attempt to mislead. Please provide the correct information. Any conclusions I've drawn, as always, are open to debate. It's long-winded, even for me, and it's not impossible that I where I was heading when I started wasn't where I actually ended up.

Also, the damn "code" feature irritates the hell out of me, and I can't get the budget table spaced right, so...sorry.

indygeezer
03-13-2009, 12:07 PM
Couple of things on the previous:

Obviously, it's just my take based on my best available info. If I'm materially incorrect on any fact, it should be considered a mistake, not an attempt to mislead. Please provide the correct information. Any conclusions I've drawn, as always, are open to debate. It's long-winded, even for me, and it's not impossible that I where I was heading when I started wasn't where I actually ended up.

Also, the damn "code" feature irritates the hell out of me, and I can't get the budget table spaced right, so...sorry.


OK, who are you and whatdja do with Count??

BBall....IIRC the Silnas get that tv revenue forever...unless a NBA team is somehow located to StL in which case they have to deal with the Silnas over "rights" of some type.

And urban legend says the deal was written on a dining napkin, short and sweat, making it hard to break.

travmil
03-13-2009, 12:12 PM
And urban legend says the deal was written on a dining napkin, short and sweat, making it hard to break.

If that's truly the case I would ask for my copy and hope against hope that they couldn't produce one or that it was illegible.

Speed
03-13-2009, 12:16 PM
Awesome post Count. I really appreciate it.

I do have the question about TV revenue. I mean like 5 years from now when you hope things are better with the economy. I realize if what you say the the loss of wealth causes a retraction in lifestyles in general, but isn't there much more of a possibility that a new TV contract makes the Pacers', Memphis' and the like at least a break even proposition than all of the other things combined?

This thought comes from some discussion back when the Colts were asking for Lucas Oil. It was my understanding that the TV contract was way more important than attendance.

count55
03-13-2009, 12:30 PM
Awesome post Count. I really appreciate it.

I do have the question about TV revenue. I mean like 5 years from now when you hope things are better with the economy. I realize if what you say the the loss of wealth causes a retraction in lifestyles in general, but isn't there much more of a possibility that a new TV contract makes the Pacers', Memphis' and the like at least a break even proposition than all of the other things combined?

This thought comes from some discussion back when the Colts were asking for Lucas Oil. It was my understanding that the TV contract was way more important than attendance.

The TV contract is very important, particularly in the NFL. In both leagues, TV revenue is a huge portion. For example, the Forbes report so often cited indicates that the Pacers' gate revenue last season accounted for only $27 of the $101mm total revenue. That includes club seats, but I'm not sure if it includes suites, which could add at most, another few million. The rest of the revenue is from TV, advertising (next time you're in Conseco, check out all the signs that are "trade outs" like the IRL stuff...no revenue from that), merchandising, hookers, and gun running.

(I have no idea if PS&E is included in the Forbes number or not, and clearly, I'm not sure if anyone is paying attention to what I'm typing any more.)

The other problem is that I'm not entirely sure how the TV revenue sharing occurs in the NBA. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that the NFL basically divvies the TV contract up equally, but all games are shown on major networks. In the NBA, teams have individual contracts for most games (the Pacers with FSN), but I don't know how the national contract is split. If it's based on appearances, the Pacers are ****ed...but I kind of doubt that, because I think you'd hear more *****ing from the small market teams.

The CBA needs to improve the revenue sharing, and they need to get the contract situation more rational, allowing teams to get out from under onerous contracts, but they can't let it swing to the MLB extreme where one franchise has many multiples of the payroll of another.

Roaming Gnome
03-13-2009, 12:35 PM
If as a Marion county resident you don't mind paying for the Colts stadium, then that's fine. I'm not a resident of Marion county, and resent having to pay for the Colts Stadium. Marion county politicans duped the surrounding counties into "helping out" in the building of the Colts Stadium. IIRC, the only county to stand up and say no was Hancock county. Hancock county was smart enough to see who was reaping the benefit from building the Stadium(Marion county), and it wasn't going to be Hancock county. The same applies to most of the other surrounding counties as well. My feeling then is the same as it is now, Indianapolis wanted to give Irsay a new playhouse then let Marion county residents pay for it. Indianapolis got bamboozled by Irsay into building him a new playhouse, and then dupped other counties into helping out so Marion county residents wouldn't have to pay for all of it. There isn't a county out there that couldn't use the money for their needs that they send to pay for the Colts Stadium.


I just wanted to mention that no one was "duped" into anything. The state, not Marion county politicians came up with the proposal for a regional taxing authority. Anyway, you speak as if there wasn't any compensation for the counties that participated. Every county that did participate was allowed to keep a lion share of the funds collected. The % escapes me right now, but I do believe every county was allowed to keep a majority of the money collected.

BTW, Morgan county, not Hancock was the county that abstained from the regional tax plan for the stadium.

BillS
03-13-2009, 01:22 PM
An excellent post, Count.

I think that the Pacers are not having as many financial problems as one might think if the Fieldhouse operating costs are taken out. At least, that is what I am getting from the amount of the losses (prior to the recent disasters) vs. the operating costs. The Simons seem willing to shoulder the financial consequences of the basketball world, I think they just want a level playing field.

Justin Tyme
03-13-2009, 01:39 PM
I just wanted to mention that no one was "duped" into anything. The state, not Marion county politicians came up with the proposal for a regional taxing authority. Anyway, you speak as if there wasn't any compensation for the counties that participated. Every county that did participate was allowed to keep a lion share of the funds collected. The % escapes me right now, but I do believe every county was allowed to keep a majority of the money collected.

BTW, Morgan county, not Hancock was the county that abstained from the regional tax plan for the stadium.


My understanding was that the participating counties got to keep some, but the lion's share went for Colts stadium.

Having lived in Hancock County at different times of my life I would have bet it was Hancock county. If it's not, my mistake.

Since you seem to be more in tune with the tax situation let me ask a question. Years ago a 1% tax was levied on food from restaurants in Marion county, wasn't it for MSA? Isn't that tax is still being collected? If so, when is it to end?

Justin Tyme
03-13-2009, 02:00 PM
It's been touched on before by someone else, but what guarantee does the city of Indianapolis have if the give the Simons the operating money for CFH that the Pacers will be here in the future?

The Simons are up in age and the next generation has no interest in the Pacers, so the city gives the concession to the Simons only have them sell it or shut it down. It reminds me of a company in money problems who gets the employees to make wage concessions only to have the business close anyway.

I don't see the Simons moving the Pacers. Why would they at their age? Selling it or closing it down I could see, but taking the energy at their stage of life to move it to another city when family isn't interested in operating the Pacers in future I just don't see that happening.

Naptown_Seth
03-13-2009, 02:36 PM
And anyway, if the deal between PS&E and the CIB is renegotiated so that the CIB in future operates Conseco Fieldhouse and just leases space to the Pacers, that would mean that a public asset was returning to public control. On principle, we ought to support that.
Definitely agree with this. And not only that, but a step further is that back under public control if the team hates the lease agreement and public ownership knows it can lease the space out for much more to conventions, concerts and various other sporting/entertainment events then let them go.

The truth is that sports owners will always have that next city with low self-esteem to work over, much like how that a'hole guy always finds the next girl to treat like crap despite all her friends being dumped by him.
"For me it'll be different."

But at least we won't be getting financially kicked around anymore. I love the team, but the truth is they need us as much as we need them. And they know it too. Don't come back once you've ruined things in Kansas City and San Jose, just sit in your losses without a home till you fold. One less team to feed those former ABA owners' freebee ride.

Roaming Gnome
03-13-2009, 03:22 PM
My understanding was that the participating counties got to keep some, but the lion's share went for Colts stadium.

Having lived in Hancock County at different times of my life I would have bet it was Hancock county. If it's not, my mistake.

Since you seem to be more in tune with the tax situation let me ask a question. Years ago a 1% tax was levied on food from restaurants in Marion county, wasn't it for MSA? Isn't that tax is still being collected? If so, when is it to end?

JT, I just finished looking up the agreement and I was wrong about the "lion share". It was 50% to the Stadium/Convention Center and the other half stays in the county. As for Hancock County... It was the first county to pass it on June 08, 2005 with a 4-3 vote.

As for the original 1% tax... It was levied for the construction of the "Hoosier Dome". It was suppose to be paid off in the early 90's, but the CIB borrowed against that tax to retro-fit the dome to add the suites in the early 90's. I don't know when that bond will be paid. I'm sure they will roll that tax onto something else when it's paid for.

Justin Tyme
03-13-2009, 04:17 PM
JT, I just finished looking up the agreement and I was wrong about the "lion share". It was 50% to the Stadium/Convention Center and the other half stays in the county. As for Hancock County... It was the first county to pass it on June 08, 2005 with a 4-3 vote.

As for the original 1% tax... It was levied for the construction of the "Hoosier Dome". It was suppose to be paid off in the early 90's, but the CIB borrowed against that tax to retro-fit the dome to add the suites in the early 90's. I don't know when that bond will be paid. I'm sure they will roll that tax onto something else when it's paid for.



This is my problem with taxes to do something. Once that "something" has been done the tax is then used for "something else" and never fads away. Politicans don't like giving up a tax.

Thanx for the info! I can understand Morgan county not passing it, but I'm surprised Hancock county passed it.

Naptown_Seth
03-13-2009, 04:20 PM
BTW, my last post sounds lopsided in a "burn the team" kind of way. That's a mistake. I didn't mark out the other side of the coin which is that if the public takes over Conseco and find that they also can't rent the space out any better than what renting it to the Pacers costs then it's time to STFU and be happy someone is willing to pay us that much for it.


One other thing though is that the Pacers should be careful of what they ask for. Meaning this, what if we take over CFH and find it to be a wonderfully profitable enterprise. Then you turn back to them and wonder if they were either lying or running it poorly.

Of course if it turns out that running it does cost these insane prices that no normal rental/booking schedule can match, then the attention turns to just how all this poor arena management got put in place in the first place.

Maybe CFH itself is being run very poorly with lots of overhead or people grabbing % of the pie in the middle. Is it kickback on maintenance costs, power costs, security, food vendors...wouldn't it be interesting to see the division of that $15m operating budget and how those costs are actually applied.

That would vindicate the Simons completely if it turned up ugly. And probably result in the public crucifixion of some local fatcats* flying under the radar right now.




* isn't "fatcats" one of the greatest angry-mob words ever



** wouldn't it be great if it turned out I was the one siphoning off about $10m per year of those operating costs, cementing me as not only Most Offensive Poster but also Most Offensive Citizen, the big leagues, 1 step from Public Enemy #1.

Dare I dream.