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Thread: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

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    Default Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36441012...dianapolis_in/

    Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse
    WTHR-TV
    updated 10:28 a.m. ET, Tues., April 13, 2010
    Mary Milz/Eyewitness News

    Indianapolis - The Indiana Pacers say they are losing too much money and need relief from the city to have a future at Conseco Fieldhouse.

    As the team closes out its season this week, negotiations with the City's Capital Improvement Board are picking up over the operating costs of the Fieldhouse.

    "There's an incredible sense of urgency. We don't have the ability to operate the core needs of the building and we need help," said Pacers Sports and Entertainment President Jim Morris.

    Asked about the deadline fore reaching an agreement, Morris said, "We need to have this resolved in the next 30 to 60 days."

    Morris said while attendance and season ticket sales were up slightly this year over last, the Paces continue to lose money. The organization is estimated to be at least $150 million in the red.

    "We don't want a single penny for the Pacers or the Fever," Morris said. "Operating the teams is our responsibility."

    But he also said they do want the city to pay the roughly $15 million a year it takes to run the Fieldhouse.

    "A basketball team in a small market does not have the financial capacity to generate money to operate a public building," he said.

    But there's more to it. Morris said some of the equipment at the 11-year-old Conseco needs to be updated or replaced, including the scoreboard, kitchen equipment and furniture. He said venue also needs wi-fi throughout the building to meet Big 10 and NCAA requirements.

    The CIB which recently reversed a $47 million shortfall still faces its own challenges.

    Asked about the board's ability to help the Pacers, CIB member Paul Okeson said, "It's hard without a doubt. We've continued to see a slight drop-off in hotel revenue. Things just aren't where they need to be, but with improvements in the economy and some luck, we'll make ends meet."

    Morris insists owner Herb Simon wants to keep the team in Indianapolis.

    "Herb Simon has said steadfastly the team is not for sale. The object is to keep it in Indianapolis. The only reason he bought it was to give Indianapolis a big league team in the NBA," Morris said.

    But if the city were unable to pick up the tab for Conseco? Morris said, "I think that would mean we'd have to explore all our options. The fact of the matter is there are a lot of cities in North America and around the world who would love to have a big league team."

    Asked if the city can afford to keep the Pacers, Okeson said, "I think the question is can we afford not to have the Pacers? We need to have them here, they're an important part of downtown."

    At O'Reilly's, just a stone's throw from Conseco, a couple of fans said it was hard to get to a game this season.

    "There's just no excitement - no motivation to go to one," said Jordan Spellmeyer.

    John Baker agreed, but like Spellmeyer, said he'd hate to lose the team.

    Baker said, "To Indiana - it's huge, we are a basketball state."

    Bartender Kate Gindro said, "Even though attendance is not doing so well, it's still helpful. We still get good business [when the team plays.] Just to have a pro team is definitely good for the city."

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Well this is the first time I can recall that an official for PS&E has hinted at "exploring all options" (i.e. moving the team) if the CIB couldn't step up and help.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Asked if the city can afford to keep the Pacers, Okeson said, "I think the question is can we afford not to have the Pacers? We need to have them here, they're an important part of downtown."

    Rephrasing the question is the last refuge of a scoundrel.




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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    Well this is the first time I can recall that an official for PS&E has hinted at "exploring all options" (i.e. moving the team) if the CIB couldn't step up and help.
    That's what I thought, too. Ugly negotiating tactics are about to happen, I'm afraid, and I doubt that the city and CIB are willing to budge much.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Morris said, "I think that would mean we'd have to explore all our options. The fact of the matter is there are a lot of cities in North America and around the world who would love to have a big league team."

    But, is this or is this not the clearest threat to move (if not the first and only clear threat so far) that we've heard of so far?
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    The city cannot afford to lose the Pacers and the decision should never come down what the current and temporary situation is with the team.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    This is why I am convinced every "Big League City" should have a 1-time, consistent "Sports Tax" and the city should it when needed. This should apply Especially to Indianapolis!

    With the multiple events we host (all the NCAA related events, NFL/Colts, NBA/Pacers, IRL/NASCAR...) there are always needs/ issues. We built this city on being a "Armature Sports Mecca", and we have reaped the benefits. Sports are this cities "children" (off-spring of the culture we desired to have). We need to have to support "the children" we have established, & although the Pacers are not "armature sports" (no jokes please), they add to our credibility as a bit-time sports city. Sports is this cities CULTURE, and we can not turn our backs on that now!!!

    Now, this said, I am NOT in favor of adding another tax!!!!!
    We created a tax when we built the Hoosier Dome, and that never went away - it was "reallocated" Well, it's time to "reallocate" it back!

    Hoosiers are some of the highest taxed cities - especially when it comes to our entertainment related services (restaurants, hotels, rental cars, events), and if we don't watch it we will choke the golden goose w/ greed. We, as a city, need to support the Fieldhouse. It is NOT the Pacers fault the CIB gave away the farm on the Colts deal (shamefully good for them!). The city made their bed, not they need to lay in it. Suck it up, take responsibility for the sin's of the past & do the right thing.
    Last edited by PacerGuy; 04-13-2010 at 11:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The city cannot afford to lose the Pacers and the decision should never come down what the current and temporary situation is with the team.
    Exactly, because every team goes through a slump.

    ...unless you're the Clippers.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    The city should step up and pay for Conseco operating expenses.

    The Pacers were here for us when the Colts were not. Basketball is OUR sport, we cannot lose our franchise. IF we do, we won't get one for a long time. Just ask Cincinatti, Kansas City, St. Louis.... All Midwest small markets....

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The city cannot afford to lose the Pacers and the decision should never come down what the current and temporary situation is with the team.
    Hopefully the city will see it that way despite the cash strapped taxpayers who are currently appathetic towards the Pacers to start with, let alone with the Pacers asking for upgrades in a facility that is only about 11 years old, although that would enable the city to host other events there due to some of those upgrades. That said, though, many would argue that those same events can be held at Lucas, and perhaps more efficiently.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    A new scoreboard? Last time I went to a game it appeared to serve its purpose. It sounds like, "while the wallet's open, we'd like..." If it's not up to par technologically, then Mr. Simon should buy himself a new one. Give it 10 more years and they'll be saying the whole place needs to be demolished because it just doesn't have the amenities of other NBA arenas. This crap will never stop. It's the price a city pays to have pro sports.
    Last edited by DocHolliday; 04-13-2010 at 11:31 AM.
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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    We are only talking about $15M per year, do you know what the pacers bring to the local economy per year, do you know how much bad publicity the city would receive if the pacers leave. In real dollars the loss of the pacers would hurt the local economy a lot more than $15M per year and the negative publicity alone would cost the city a lot more than $15M.

    Even if you hate the pacers, the NBA, basketball and Conseco fieldhouse, for the city the Pacers need to be kept.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-13-2010 at 11:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
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    A new scoreboard? Last time I went to a game it appeared to serve its purpose. It sounds like, "while the wallet's open, we'd like..." If it's not up to par technologically, then Mr. Simon should buy himself a new one. Give it 10 more years and they'll be saying the whole place needs to be demolished because it just doesn't have the amenities of other NBA arenas. This crap will never stop. It's the price a city pays to have pro sports.
    No it will never stop, and yes it is the price a city pays to have a professional sports team and conventions, and Superbowls, and final fours. if the city doesn't believe those things are important we can close down the downtown area and go back to the early 80's when the downtown shut down at 5 everyday.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    The future's uncertain and the end is always near.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    No it will never stop, and yes it is the price a city pays to have a professional sports team and conventions, and Superbowls, and final fours. if the city doesn't believe those things are important we can close down the downtown area and go back to the early 80's when the downtown shut down at 5 everyday.
    Downtown is electric whenever the Pacers play, isn't it? I'd prefer not to lose the Pacers, but let's not act like Indy hasn't grown enough (yes, thanks in part to the Pacers) to continue as a thriving city, even if the Pacers were to leave.
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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    It should be fun to see the reaction when the city tells the people they are going to raise their taxes for the Pacers, but then try to hide the fact we cut school budgets. That should be fun to watch.

    I think covering the operating costs of Conseco would have been much easier to take had the tax payers not got screwed over in the deal for LOS. How in the world could the government give Irsay revenue for non Colts events, but yet not put in most of the investment?

    Seattle might get a team sooner then they thought.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The city cannot afford to lose the Pacers and the decision should never come down what the current and temporary situation is with the team.


    "The city cannot afford to lose the Pacers" is an unfortunate turn of phrase. I join you in hoping the Pacers stay and the Ballard Administration can get some good advice from somewhere about how to manage this.

    But there is really nothing the city "can't afford to lose." It can lose Navistar. It can lose its Aaa bond rating. It can lose its best schools. It can go right on losing indefinitely.


    So, again, what does "the city can't afford to lose the Pacers" really mean?

    The best argument is that the city owns Conseco Fieldhouse and without an NBA tenant the Fieldhouse becomes even more of an albatross than it will be with one.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    im not even sure why the PAcers agreed to take on the Stadium costs to begin with.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
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    Downtown is electric whenever the Pacers play, isn't it? I'd prefer not to lose the Pacers, but let's not act like Indy hasn't grown enough (yes, thanks in part to the Pacers) to continue as a thriving city, even if the Pacers were to leave.
    Without professional sports, Indianapolis is basically Columbus, OH.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    im not even sure why the PAcers agreed to take on the Stadium costs to begin with.

    It's because they envisioned a lot of Justin Bieber concerts and monster truck rallies that would increase their revenues. By operating the facility, the Pacers thought they'd be raking in money from those other events.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    All sports franchises have these potential "what if" thoughts and think about if the city wants their franchise there.

    Indianapolis has an advantage because of the history of basketball in Indiana.

    Times are tough for everyone and rebuilding takes some time.

    I don't see the franchise moving and mainly because the city won't allow it. I think they'll help out with a few of our financial problems.

    As a team, we need wins and playoffs to show fans that we've entered a new era and that the rebuilding has paid off.

    The fanbase is returning. We've had good crowds in the past month of success.
    Last edited by Trophy; 04-13-2010 at 11:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    im not even sure why the PAcers agreed to take on the Stadium costs to begin with.
    Because they wanted to take the profit from non-basketball events. Which they did not have at Market Square.

    (Along with no concession revenue, no parking revenue, and other unfavorable terms at MSA. The Indiana Fieldhouse lease was supposed to "right some of those wrongs" but perhaps has other flaws being exposed now.)
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
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    Downtown is electric whenever the Pacers play, isn't it? I'd prefer not to lose the Pacers, but let's not act like Indy hasn't grown enough (yes, thanks in part to the Pacers) to continue as a thriving city, even if the Pacers were to leave.
    ask those businesses that depends on the Pacers and Conseco, ther whole se section of downtown depends on it, so ask those business owners, and their employees, if they want to keep their jobs. it has nothing to do with electricity (you brought that up, although it was pretty good 1994-2000

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    "

    [bThe best argument is that the city owns Conseco Fieldhouse and without an NBA tenant the Fieldhouse becomes even more of an albatross than it will be with one[/b].
    That is what I meant when I said the city cannot afford to lose the Pacers. it will still costs probably $15M per year to run Conseco

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    Default Re: Pacers face uncertain future at Conseco Fieldhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
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    All sports franchises have these potential "what if" thoughts and think about if the city wants their franchise there.

    Indianapolis has an advantage because of the history of basketball in Indiana.

    Times are tough for everyone and rebuilding takes some time.

    I don't see the franchise moving and mainly because the city won't allow it. I think they'll help out with a few of our financial problems.
    I certainly hope you are right about that.

    But, my fear is that in the end it always comes down to money, money controls just about everything, and in these negotiations you're going to hear the taxpayers and everyone ***** and moan that they will have to pay more possibly, even if it's for the best interest of the city of Indianapolis in the long run.

    My level of worry: Elevated
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