Elected Officials and Super Bowl and Lobbyists and Government & Economic Development and Government and Sports Business

Colts won't disclose which legislators got game tickets

February 9, 2010

Indianapolis Colts officials don't think the team should have to make a public disclosure about which state legislators bought Super Bowl tickets, which the team made available to elected officials at face value.

Colts lobbyist Michael O'Connor, principal with Bose Public Affairs, said the team will not file a transaction report with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission as it did in 2007.

"We looked very closely at the law this year and determined there is no gift," he said.

O'Connor said the team sold tickets to 26 state lawmakers, 27 members of the Indianapolis City-County Council, 10 members of Mayor Greg Ballard's office, six other state officials, and four members of Congress. Each of the officials paid $800 per ticket. 

Those are the same terms available to certain season ticket holders, who are chosen through a lottery. The tickets were readily available to the general public, however, and cost about $2,800 or more each on the secondary market.

When the team last went to the Super Bowl in 2007, the Colts filed a report on its transactions with state lawmakers at the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission. Sarah Nagy, general counsel at the ILRC, said she expected the Colts to file similar reports within seven days of the transactions this year.

It's true that the Super Bowl tickets aren't "gifts" under Indiana's lobby law, Nagy said via e-mail. She added, however, that the tickets are "purchases," which are still reportable under the law.

"The question is whether the Colts organization is making reserved tickets to the Super Bowl available to the entire general public, at cost, rather than at market value?" Nagy said. "The answer is 'no.'"

ADVERTISEMENT

Recent Articles by Kathleen McLaughlin

Comments powered by Disqus