Add the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County as one more prognosticator giving the Indianapolis Colts low odds of making—let alone hosting—playoff games.
The city entity that owns Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play their home games, budgeted $1 million less in admission-tax revenue for 2013 for one reason: The board does not expect the Colts to host a playoff games like the team frequently did over the past decade with quarterback Peyton Manning under center.
“I think we got spoiled,” Chief Financial Officer Dan Huge said of the Manning days, when the Colts regularly hosted at least one home playoff game annually and often hosted two.
Manning spent the entire 2011 season on the bench with a neck injury, and the Colts tumbled to a woeful 2-14 season. The Colts cut Manning loose this spring and then drafted Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck to replace him.
Luck impressed everyone in his first preseason game Sunday, even seeing his first pass—a short screen to running back Donald Brown—turn into a 63-yard touchdown play.
But when CIB officials gathered Monday afternoon to consider the 2013 budget, Huge stuck with his prediction.
“Any adjustment after yesterday?” Leonard Hoops, the CEO of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, jokingly asked Huge.
“No, not yet,” Huge said, sparking a chuckle from Hoops. He added later, "I'd rather be conservative."
He’s not alone. For example, Bleacher Report gives the Colts a 24 percent chance of making the playoffs—but only as a wild card team, which usually play its playoff games on the road.
The CIB charges a 6-percent tax on all sporting event tickets at Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as the other facilities it owns: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Victory Field and the Indiana Convention Center.
Huge expects those venues to sell enough tickets next year to generate $5.7 million—$1 million less than he budgeted a year ago, before Manning got hurt.