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Thread: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

  1. #1

    Default Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    The Star's editorial board has taken a hard stance on the CIB / Pacers negotiation.

    And by "hard" I mean anti-Pacers.

    ----------


    http://www.indystar.com/article/2010...feit-to-Pacers



    Extreme situations call for extreme measures, and the Capital Improvement Board certainly has taken them. Can its prize tenant say the same?

    Facing a deficit of $47 million last year, the quasi-governmental body that owns Conseco Fieldhouse and operates Lucas Oil Stadium pulled out all the stops.

    In partnership with the mayor's office, the CIB petitioned the legislature for new ways to raise local taxes and for a state loan. It also slashed $33.5 million from its budget, sacrificing arts and cultural programs as well as employees. Not all of those cuts can be made permanent, so the problems remain.

    How, then, can the city justify publicly laying out $15.4 million for the Indiana Pacers, who indicate no intention of taking a hit in return?

    Even granting that we would hate to lose the Pacers and the CIB would have to finance operation of Conseco Fieldhouse if they were to leave, this is a strange way to go about making a deal.

    The Pacers' ownership won't even say how much "help" it needs with the operating cost of Conseco, which the team agreed to take on a decade ago in exchange for a free $180 million palace. For the city, in the person of CIB member Paul Okeson, to tell the world it is "seriously thinking about" shouldering the entire $15.4 million while the Pacers say they'll think about it is mindboggling. The city isn't even ruling out letting the team continue to rake in proceeds from non-Pacer events.

    The Pacers have a contractual right to renegotiate the operating expense issue, but how is this negotiation? Where is the "give" from the other side?

    Forgive us our dredging up of the proposed library closings, the teacher layoffs and the disintegrating streets, but even part of the $15.4 million would be too much to ask of taxpayers. For the business that uses this public building to offer none of the sum in question is a rank insult.

    Owner Herb Simon says he has lost $200 million in 27 years on the franchise. The taxpayers are not responsible for that. Nor should the taxpayers begrudge the fact that Simon Property Group was able to offer $2.5 billion for a bankrupt shopping mall company just this week.

    The Pacers are part of a business empire at whose capabilities the people of Indianapolis can only guess. They might guess that Simon could sell the team, if it is an intolerable burden, to someone who would keep it here.

    They also might guess that the team can spare more than the people can in the current crisis. They don't have to guess how the game is going 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)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    There's not a word about "the Pacers are a vital part of downtown" or "the state of basketball" or any positive spin.

    It says straight out that "the taxpayers are not responsible" for Pacers loses, but there's only a vague admission that the taxpayers are responsible for CIB properties.



    The editorial really seems quite hostile.

    The Star is taking the side of the city administration, which has neither the will nor the way to solve this problem. It is going to take help from the state, perhaps.
    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)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    The Pacers' ownership won't even say how much "help" it needs with the operating cost of Conseco, which the team agreed to take on a decade ago in exchange for a free $180 million palace.
    That is not true at all. The Simons paid a % of the cost to build Conseco. I forget how much, but I think it was more than $40M of the $180m price tag. I tried to find the actual figure, but I couldn't.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-17-2010 at 09:18 AM.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    One problem I've always had with Gannett is that they have no clue as to the local flavor of the markets they cover. Had Gannett been here prior to the Colts showing up, they would have seen a downtown that was nearly ghosttown. Of course, Gannett missed the saving of the Pacers in the '70s when the town raised cash to keep the Pacers here and began a renaissance of downtown. Ask Bert Servaas of the value of these two professional franchises that add to the vibrance of downtown and its businesses.
    It has always bothered me when an out of the area owner drums up support for dissing local businesses. Gannett finally reported a profit after how many profitless quarters and this is the stance they take?
    Eddie White has been talking all week how the Pacers are tied to a 4 million $ ransom to the former owners of the St. Louis Spirits for the life of the NBA franchise. Bad business deal but a necessary one that the NBA needs to undue (somehow) to free up cash for this and the other former ABA franchises stuck with it. That would go a much longer way to solving some inequities financially for a city that needs this franchise to move ahead than playing "hardball" with it.
    Once a pro franchise moves, its at least twice as hard to recoup. I can't disagree more with Gnnett on this one, and I've seen a lot of things to disagree with over the years! C Jamaal Horton...for one. Gannett solved that hire...Why can't they take a fresh approach to the Pacers deal with the city?

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    as I was searching for how much the Simons paid of the cost to build Conseco i found this

    Pacers would owe the city $50m if they move. this is a much better read than that stupid editorial
    http://www.ibj.com/pacers-would-pay-.../article/19345


    Pacers would pay big if they moved
    April 17, 2010
    Moving the Indiana Pacers from Conseco Fieldhouse to another city would impose serious financial hardship on the franchise, according to one interpretation of the team's 10-year-old deal with the city.
    Moving the Indiana Pacers from Conseco Fieldhouse to another city would impose serious financial hardship on the franchise, according to one interpretation of the team’s 10-year-old deal with the city.

    The Pacers are asking for $15 million annually—or $150 million over the last 10 years of the lease deal for Conseco Fieldhouse—to operate the 18,165-seat venue. The Pacers began asking for the money almost two years ago, but city officials—dealing with their own fiscal crisis—have been slow to comply.

    If team officials don’t get a deal ironed out with the city’s Capital Improvement Board by June 30, Pacers officials confirmed that they will begin examining all ways to remain financially viable—and intimated in an April 14 Indianapolis Star story that moving the team was among their options.

    CIB President Ann Lathrop did not return calls seeking comment for this story, but told IBJ March 30 that city officials are continuing to work with the Pacers to resolve the issue. She was noncommittal in her support of funneling cash to the Pacers and didn’t indicate any deadline the city is working under.

    Sources close to Mayor Greg Ballard said the mayor seeks more control of Conseco Fieldhouse operations, and is resisting merely writing a check to the Pacers and letting the team continue to manage the facility on its own.

    Attorney Paul Ogden has written extensively about the Conseco Fieldhouse lease deal.

    The notion of having Conseco Fieldhouse sit vacant in the heart of downtown is a dire scenario for Indianapolis. To prevent such a situation, city officials who negotiated the lease included several clauses to discourage the franchise from moving.

    The lease for the city-owned fieldhouse stipulates the Pacers organization would have to pay at least $50 million to the city if it vacated the venue, which opened in 1999. Pacers officials have been reticent to discuss the buyout, and declined to comment for this story.

    Though the voluminous contract between Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the city is difficult to understand, local attorney Paul Ogden thinks the organization could be on the hook for more than $150 million if it decides to break the lease before it expires in 2019.

    “I’ve spent two-plus years trying to interpret that one paragraph about contract termination,” said Ogden, who works in the local Roberts & Bishop law office and has written about the subject extensively for his Web site, Ogden on Politics. “The Pacers and city are largely insulated from [local media and citizens] looking at this contract because the average attorney, let alone layperson, can’t understand it. Nothing in this contract is clear.”

    What Ogden was able to discern is that the Pacers must sell the team to break the lease, and the penalty to break that lease is tied to the sale price. Plus, the Pacers would be on the hook for part of utilities expenses CIB paid dating back to the team’s days in Market Square Arena.

    The lease, Ogden said, stipulates that an “application termination percentage” will be multiplied by the net sale proceeds to come up with the biggest chunk of the penalty.

    “That applicable termination percentage starts out at 50 percent in 2009 and declines about 3 percent to 6 percent every year,” Ogden said.

    Forbes magazine valued the Pacers franchise at $281 million in December 2009, which, according to Ogden, means the penalty would be $132 million. Factor in $15 million in unforgiven MSA utilities expenses, and the figure reaches $147 million.

    There’s another penalty provision that kicks in after 2010 that Ogden says would cost the Pacers $234 million if the lease is terminated. But that provision is to be used only if it is less than the first penalty.

    CIB Treasurer Paul Okeson said, “When you peel it all back, the penalty isn’t as substantial as you might think.” Ogden disputes that. Even officials within Ballard’s administration concede that the penalty will be in the “tens of millions of dollars” range.

    City officials don’t think the penalty would be big enough to impede the sale of the team to an out-of-state group, but said penalty proceeds would be enough to operate the fieldhouse without the Pacers for at least three or four years.

    City officials also could potentially go after $3.45 million annually the Pacers have not paid for parking in a city-owned garage adjacent to Conseco Fieldhouse, though Pacers officials could be exempt from that if they demonstrate they’ve not met revenue thresholds while operating the arena.

    Another important point, Ogden said, is that there is no stipulation within the contract to renegotiate it.

    “There is only a stipulation if the Pacers don’t meet certain revenue thresholds to terminate the contract,” he said.

    Bad time to sell

    There’s another barrier to the Pacers’ moving out of town, said Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based SportsCorp Ltd., which counts NBA and NFL teams as clients.

    In this economy, with the average value of National Basketball Association franchises declining, the number of buyers who could absorb the penalty and pay enough for team owner Herb Simon to recoup anywhere near his losses over the years is extremely limited, Ganis said.

    According to the contract, the sale of the Pacers is subject to CIB’s right of first refusal. But city officials said, due to time constraints outlined in the contract and also due to the fact that they have no expertise running a professional sports franchise, a purchase by the city is unlikely. The city would have 45 days to react after Pacers ownership receives an acceptable purchase offer.

    Morris told IBJ earlier this year that the Pacers lost $30 million during the 2008-2009 season and he expected another big loss for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which ends June 30. A financial loss this year would mean the Pacers have lost money 10 of 11 years in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    Morris said the Simon family has lost more than $200 million since buying the franchise in 1983.

    “I don’t think Herb Simon is the type of guy who will sell low,” Ganis said. “Besides Kansas City and maybe Las Vegas, I can’t think of any other markets that would have much interest in an NBA franchise right now.”

    According to studies conducted by Forbes, the Pacers’ value declined $22 million in the last year. In Charlotte, N.C., this year, the Bobcats sold for $275 million to $290 million, according to NBA officials. That’s less than the $300 million Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson paid for the franchise in 2003. Johnson told reporters he lost another $80 million in operations expenses during that time.

    Labor unrest

    Another factor that will impede a sale is an uncertain labor situation and a faltering NBA business model, Ganis said.

    The contract governing NBA players’ pay expires at the end of next season, and the 30 team owners are threatening a lockout unless players agree to massive pay cuts.

    The Pacers are far from the only NBA team in financial distress. NBA Commissioner David Stern said during all-star weekend in Dallas that the league stands to lose $400 million this season, and has lost at least $200 million each of the last four seasons. He said as many as nine teams are in serious financial trouble.

    Stern is calling for reducing the players’ take from 57 percent to 43 percent of the league’s total revenue, with an individual player salary cap of $13 million per season.

    It’s a pretty radical shift, but Stern realizes he needs to act before teams begin to fold.

    To no surprise, Billy Hunter, the NBA players’ union boss, scoffed at Stern’s suggestions, but Ganis thinks eventually he’ll have to play ball or teams like the Pacers might not survive.

    “There’s a fundamental problem with the NBA,” Ganis said. “The players are making way too much money for the size of business it is right now. The teams are being forced to squeeze their markets for cash, and when the corporate markets won’t wield what they need, they’re forced, as the Pacers are doing, to try to enlist government support. And that hasn’t gone down well with taxpayers.”

    Sources close to the Pacers said Simon—who took over as the team’s sole owner when his brother, Mel, died in 2009—is beginning to have serious reservations about the future of the team.

    In previous interviews, Simon and Morris have been steadfast in saying the Simon family has interest in retaining the team long term. But Morris’ recent public pronouncements that Pacers’ brass would examine all possibilities casts doubt on that.

    “The Simon family has poured millions and millions of dollars into this franchise,” said Milt Thompson, president of Grand Slam Cos., a local sports marketing firm. “If you’re in business, you want that business to be self-sustaining. If you can’t get it to that point, you start to consider other options. I think we’re at the point where Herb Simon realizes he can’t continue under the current circumstances.”•

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Owner Herb Simon says he has lost $200 million in 27 years on the franchise.
    Can anyone explain to me how that is possible?

    I mean, it's not like the Pacers have always been as bad and unpopular as they are today? They've had seasons of sold out arenas, reached the playoffs and Eastern Conference Finals for consecutive years, many many national TV appearences etc.

    How come that they have not made any profit at all with this team?
    Thank you Jeff.

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by 31andonly View Post
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    Can anyone explain to me how that is possible?

    I mean, it's not like the Pacers have always been as bad and unpopular as they are today? They've had seasons of sold out arenas, reached the playoffs and Eastern Conference Finals for consecutive years, many many national TV appearences etc.

    How come that they have not made any profit at all with this team?
    Creative bookkeeping...
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    I agree with the Star. The city shouldn't be funding the operating costs of Conseco Fieldhouse unless they get something in return.

    If for some reason they get talked into funding the operating costs then they should get 100% of the profits in non-Pacer events held at Conseco and get to hold events there whenever they want on days that the Pacers aren't using it.

    Where could the Pacers move to in this financial crisis? What cities have the funds available to build them a stadium? They would likely have to go to a city that already has a stadium and there's probably a reason those cities have empty stadiums. I think it's just an empty threat by the Pacers so they can get their way.

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Creative bookkeeping...
    Like paying Jermaine outrageous buck$ to be the face of the franchise? Drafting Haskin first? Paying Tinsley his long term? Extending OB's contract one more year?
    Bad business decisions add up but still...this city needs what the franchise brings to it, IMO.

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That is not true at all. The Simons paid a % of the cost to build Conseco. I forget how much, but I think it was more than $40M of the $180m price tag. I tried to find the actual figure, but I couldn't.
    Thank you!

    I'm slightly horrified that this lie is in the press. A lot of locals are going to not know better and think the Simons were just given a "free arena". That's such bull****. It could really damage public opinion if that falsehood spreads.

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

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    Where could the Pacers move to in this financial crisis? I think it's just an empty threat by the Pacers so they can get their way.
    Ask Seattle how they miss their Supersonics. And KC is missing their Royals....
    Again, lose a franchise and double the bucks (at least) to get one in return.

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Sources close to the Pacers said Simon—who took over as the team’s sole owner when his brother, Mel, died in 2009—is beginning to have serious reservations about the future of the team.

    In previous interviews, Simon and Morris have been steadfast in saying the Simon family has interest in retaining the team long term. But Morris’ recent public pronouncements that Pacers’ brass would examine all possibilities casts doubt on that.

    “The Simon family has poured millions and millions of dollars into this franchise,” said Milt Thompson, president of Grand Slam Cos., a local sports marketing firm. “If you’re in business, you want that business to be self-sustaining. If you can’t get it to that point, you start to consider other options. I think we’re at the point where Herb Simon realizes he can’t continue under the current circumstances.”•

    http://www.ibj.com/pacers-would-pay-.../article/19345
    This team was badly managed for a large chunk of time. The chickens are coming home to roost. I'm not sure Simon hasn't put too much trust into people who actually didn't deserve it.

    The team has been poorly marketed, made some bad personnel decisions, and been very slow to address problems.

    While I might doubt claims that the Pacers only made a profit in 1 year of Conseco I can easily believe they've bled more red than blue and gold for some time now.

    And we can't forget that absurd but required ABA payment.

    There's a very serious question to be asked and that is- If the Pacers aren't viable how is it they are a valuable economic development piece to downtown?

    I do agree part of the problem is the flawed NBA business model.

    Obviously the economy is now a problem as well.

    I think it's fair to question whether Simon really got into this business for the right reasons... at least the type of reasons that would've had him better watching and understanding what his basketball people were doing right... and wrong....
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Hicks,
    You and Unclebuck might want to rethink the part about the Simons directly chipping in for Conseco:

    Fieldhouse myths

    The city's strategy in building Conseco Fieldhouse was to wean the Pacers off public subsidies by giving them a brandnew facility with luxury suites. The fieldhouse lease allows the team to keep all venue revenue in exchange for paying for its operation.

    To that end, the city funded almost every dollar of the $183 million fieldhouse. The team was credited with a $50 million contribution for agreeing to forgo subsidies it had received at Market Square Arena, but it contributed nothing in cash. The team also was allowed to keep $40 million Conseco Inc. paid for naming rights.

    CIB also built the $25 million, 2,400-space Virginia Avenue Parking Garage east of Delaware Street primarily for use by the Pacers, along with WellPoint Inc. and various city departments.

    In its 1999 lease deal, the team agreed to pay CIB $3.45 million per year for the use of 1,400 spaces in the garage. On game days when pass-holders don't take all the spaces, the team gets 60 percent of the revenue from its unused spaces. But since the team has failed to reach a prescribed 18-percent profit margin during its tenure at the fieldhouse, the contract allows the Pacers to offset the fee against its operating expenses.

    "Technically, they are in compliance with the contract," said CIB Vice President Pat Early.

    Though the Pacers never made the annual garage payment, they still collect the 60-percent share of game-day revenue from the 1,400 spaces. In 2008, the team earned $233,000.

    The notion that the team covers all its own maintenance is a bit of a myth. CIB already pays for major expenses at Conseco Fieldhouse including new carpet and maintaining the HVAC systems. And in 1999, when the arena opened, CIB spent $62,600 on uniforms for the Pacers staff, including 580 button-down shirts, 472 pairs of pleated khakis, and 15 blazers. It also spent more than $15,000 on six NBA Fastbreak Pinball Machines.

    Another misconception is that the fieldhouse contract gives the team the right to renegotiate its lease after 10 years—it actually gives the team the right to cancel the lease after the first 10 years if it doesn't reach certain profitability targets.

    Voiding the lease, though, would cost the team dearly. It would be obligated to pay CIB a termination fee "based on a formula sufficient to reimburse the city for the economic effects of such early termination," the contract says. The minimum penalty is $50 million, but the contract says the Pacers' cost for terminating the lease in 2012 could be as high as $144 million.

    "No one has exercised that right or given us any indication they're going to," Early said. "Rather than put our head in the sand, we've chosen to enter into discussions with them."
    Much more:
    http://www.ibj.com/simon-familys-int...S/article/2315
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Indiana Alliance for Democracy

    Fieldhouse Myths & Facts
    By Jack Miller & Lou Campagna
    Updated 1999


    “I don’t think it’s right for an entrepreneur to ask another entrepreneur for a gift”,1 intoned Herb Simon in a 1997 interview explaining his reluctance to ask other businesses to help fund the new fieldhouse. Sadly, his shyness has never extended to Hoosier taxpayers who have been tapped royally to build and maintain the Conseco Fieldhouse (known briefly as the Indiana Fieldhouse during the early financing stage).

    The Alliance for Democracy has been closely following the progress of the new Conseco Fieldhouse and we would like to challenge the myths about this so- called Public-Private Partnership (Translation: Public risk and cost-Private gain).

    v Myth: The Simons are spending $57 million of their own money on the Fieldhouse.

    v Fact: The $57 million comes from: The Simons’ “renting” 1300 parking spaces for luxury suite and club seat owners @$3.5 million for ten years2 (This is the only revenue that isn’t diverted straight to the Simons and amazingly is still considered Simon money toward building costs!)

    $20 million from an “expanded ticket tax”3 (That’s a tax on the fans which counts toward the Simons’ share of the building costs!).

    The Simons did invest $2 million of their own money to “prime the pump” and get the idea accepted. (NOTE: This $2 million is to “be reimbursed if the project is allowed to go forward”4).


    v Myth: Private investors are chipping in $37 million to help taxpayers build the Fieldhouse.

    v Fact: The Circle Center Investors will loan $37 million to the CIB to be repaid with interest on or before December 31, 2017.5 If downtown workers don’t rent enough parking spaces to pay back the investors, the taxpayers must. James Snyder, Goldsmith’s special counsel, said, “If we can’t lease the spaces, the City is in trouble.”6

    v Myth: The final contracts and lease arrangements were signed in 1997 before construction began.

    v Fact: As of the last Freedom Of Information (FOI) reply from the Capital Improvement Board(CIB) on (2/18/99) “The lease documents have not been executed at this time.”7

    v Myth: The City will benefit financially from renting the Fieldhouse out for rock concerts, hockey games, and other non-Pacer events, plus share in advertising and broadcasting revenue.

    v Fact: All proceeds from any rental of the Conseco Fieldhouse go directly to the “The Pacer Basketball Corporation or a subsidiary of the Pacers” including “signage, advertising, and broadcasting revenue income.”8 This includes a recently announced deal in which “seven elite sponsors agree to 5-10 year deals” at up to $1 million each (annually).9

    v Myth: The sale of naming rights for the Fieldhouse will offset some cost to taxpayers.

    v Fact: Steve Hilbert has agreed to pay $40 million over 20 years to put his company’s name on our public fieldhouse plus $55 million more to sponsor and all of that $95 million goes to the Simons.10

    v Myth: With the taxpayers of Indiana paying $100 million in diverted income and sales taxes for the Fieldhouse, the Pacers will certainly pay the cost of maintenance, utilities, and incidentals.

    v Fact: Unless the Pacers turn at least a whopping 18% profit, the City will continue to reimburse them up to $3.45 million a year for these costs.11

    v Myth: Having this new sports arena will provide many new jobs and boost the economy in Indianapolis.

    v Fact: Mark Rosentraub, PhD., a leading analyst of economic impacts of sports, says sports teams “Produce few jobs, little tax revenue, and negligible positive impact even on their own immediate neighborhood.” Rosentraub concludes that “Sports are relatively ‘small potatoes’ when their importance to a region or city’s economy is considered.”12

    Aside from the money they invested in key politicians ($20,000 to Goldsmith13 and $20,000 to O’Bannon14 in 1996 alone), our study of the available news reports, documents acquired through FOI requests, and talks with CIB officials has failed to turn up any evidence that the Simons have invested a dime in this venture. This lends a certain irony to Mayor Goldsmith’s statement that he “wanted to be careful not to overburden the Simons because the point of building a new arena is to keep the team here and stem the Simons losses.”15

    The good news is that since the lease remains unsigned, there might still be a way to stem taxpayer losses. This assumes however, that the negotiators have the public interest in mind and so far there’s no indication that they do. In all probability the Simons are holding out for even more “freebies” (If there could possibly be any!) and with the Fieldhouse nearly complete, they hold all the trumps.

    The Roman poet Horace said, “Semper avarus eget” (The greedy man is always in need). Twenty centuries later, the greedy man is alive and well in Indianapolis.
    http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2009/...ls-pacers.html
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    If they contributed $50mm, they contributed $50mm.

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Just taking the facts presented in this thread, it looks like bad business decisions are at the root of why the Pacers are begging for money. Imagine if Eli Lilly (or some other cornerstone entity in Indianapolis) tried to right their wrongs by begging for money or threatening to move to greener pastures. Of course, it's oranges to apples in the eyes of "die-hard" fans--but it's a point presented just to show the absurdity of it all.

    Worst case scenario: In the 3 or 4 year window afforded by the Pacers buying their way out of town, I would be looking for an NHL team to move here. Certainly not desirable, but better than letting the building rot.
    Spoiler Spoiler:

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    If they contributed $50mm, they contributed $50mm.
    Aside from the money they invested in key politicians ($20,000 to Goldsmith13 and $20,000 to OíBannon14 in 1996 alone), our study of the available news reports, documents acquired through FOI requests, and talks with CIB officials has failed to turn up any evidence that the Simons have invested a dime in this venture.

    The 50M was just a reshuffling of papers. A way to put some spin on it to think exactly the way you and Unclebuck are thinking right now.

    Taxpayers built Conseco....
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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  24. #18
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    All of government's open arms and checkbooks might be a huge contributing factor here. Both in why Simon would unashamedly expect more, and why better operational decisions weren't made long before now.

    This is pure corporate welfare.
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Another question:
    Is 15M even going to matter? Isn't this franchise simply done if they are really bleeding this kind of money at this point and have been even during what we thought would've been good years?

    If the numbers are to be believed 15M would just be throwing good money after bad.
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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  27. #20
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    The "business" of sports today really amounts to nothing but corporate welfare.

    You and I, the taxpayers, provide the overhead for these huge palaces, which are then chocked full of advertisements and luxury suites paid for by big businesses to enhance their profits and in some cases line the pockets of the owners of the franchises, who really should be just called "the guys who cover the payroll" since they certainly do not own the venue built by taxpayers. Now have absolutely no problems with corporations making money, in fact I think that is definitely a good thing. I don't think it is a such a good thing, however, when the taxpayers are the ones who have to provide all of the overhead for such transactions to take place. And you can't equate this to other things that facilitate commerce in Indiana like roads, airports etcetera since these are of great benefit to the public at large. The public financing Conseco is tantamount to the public funding some private road that can be used by Lilly Executives only.

    I don't want Indiana to lose the Pacers, and the city standing up to the Pacers and causing them to move will do no larger good in the long run, however, because some other city will be enticed by the prospect of a team and compel their taxpayers to dole out the welfare necessary to attract them over. No matter what happens, the culture ain't changing.
    Last edited by idioteque; 04-17-2010 at 10:53 AM.
    Already stoked for 2013-2014.

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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Good post, dcpacerfan.


    Some people look at this issue and start around the circle one direction with what's wrong with the sport or the Pacers or the Simons. Others look at the issue and go around in the other direction with what's wrong with the community or the government or the economy or Indiana. You have closed the circle by observing that pro sports'role in the economy is just very irrational altogether.

    If women's flat-track roller derby got as much corporate and public aid as the NFL has gotten, roller derby might be as big as football. Most will say that's ridiculous, but there's no way to separate the true popularity of football (or basketball) for its own sake from the whipped up interest that comes from hero worship on Wheaties boxes, palatial arenas to play in, and a thousand other corporate and tax-funded boosts.

    The Pacers franchise and the city of Indianapolis are both reckoning with the effects of an absurdly optimistic projection of the team's economic impact and revenue potential. It is a shame. I don't like the Ballard administration, but I feel sorry that they've got this dumped in their lap.
    Last edited by Putnam; 04-17-2010 at 11:08 AM.
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    But they never had much use for me
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  31. #22
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Yeah, I don't feel real sorry for the Pacers needing that 15m a year when they wouldn't need it if they hadn't have made half of the absolutely attrocious business decisions they have over the years. I know some of those decisions looked good when they were made, but they came back to bite them regardless. Hiring JOB, a coach who 99% of your hardcore fans, the ones who actually BUY tickets, hate with the white hot fire of a thousand suns, and then compounding that with a baffling extension and repeated votes of confidence? Awful. Tinsley extension and eventual buyout? Horrible. Letting Bender and his balky knees practically STEAL Brad Miller's money, only to see him return to the NBA three years after he could supposedly barely walk? Awful. Standing behind Artest for one season too long? Franchise changing bad. Giving Croshere a joke of a contract based on ONE playoff series that cast a black cloud over the salary cap for the better part of a decade? Bad. And let's not forget about signing the contract they are now trying to get out of, that's just another example of a bad business decicion. You can get away with one or two minor bad decisions, but when you have a string of bad decisions like that without making some good ones to offset them, eventually it's gonna haunt you. In fact, if 16 teams hadn't handed Granger to the Pacers on a plate this would be one of the true disasters in all of sports. When you shine the light on that kind of decade long multiple regime incompetence, it's VERY hard to feel sorry for the Pacers needing $15m yearly, which by the way is a completely insignificant amount of money to a BILLION dollar company like Simon's.
    Last edited by travmil; 04-17-2010 at 11:29 AM.

  32. #23
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Swingman View Post
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    I agree with the Star. The city shouldn't be funding the operating costs of Conseco Fieldhouse unless they get something in return.

    If for some reason they get talked into funding the operating costs then they should get 100% of the profits in non-Pacer events held at Conseco and get to hold events there whenever they want on days that the Pacers aren't using it.

    Where could the Pacers move to in this financial crisis? What cities have the funds available to build them a stadium? They would likely have to go to a city that already has a stadium and there's probably a reason those cities have empty stadiums. I think it's just an empty threat by the Pacers so they can get their way.

    I agree with the above. The NBA is where the real work needs to be done. They have
    an unworkable business model. I love the Pacers but at some point enough is enough.
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Another question:
    Is 15M even going to matter? Isn't this franchise simply done if they are really bleeding this kind of money at this point and have been even during what we thought would've been good years?

    If the numbers are to be believed 15M would just be throwing good money after bad.
    I thought the $15 mil was going to cover the expense of running Conseco Fieldhouse, and not going toward the team itself.

  34. #25
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    Default Re: Star Editorial: City should stand up to Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickRelease View Post
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    I thought the $15 mil was going to cover the expense of running Conseco Fieldhouse, and not going toward the team itself.
    True... but they are saying they are bleeding money overall in Conseco and a large reason is the team is so unprofitable and so they can't afford the operating costs on the building.
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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