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CIB approves $33.5 million deal to keep Indiana Pacers

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The Indiana Pacers likely will stay put in their current home of Conseco Fieldhouse for at least the next three years, thanks to a deal approved Friday afternoon by the Capital Improvement Board that provides the franchise at least $33.5 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, the CIB will give Pacers Sports & Entertainment $10 million per year for three years, specifically to defray the costs of operating Conseco Fieldhouse. The CIB also has agreed to pay at least $3.5 million for capital improvements at the venue.

The Pacers' lease at Conseco Fieldhouse extends through 2019, but the team has the right to opt out. In negotiations with the city, Pacers officials said they lost money every year but one since moving into the fieldhouse and could no longer afford to pay the $14 to $18 million required annually to operate the facility.

“This deal has the benefit of taking uncertainly off the table for three years,” said CIB member David Shane during board discussion of the agreement.

Shane raised the possibility that franchise owner Herb Simon might sell the team after tiring of shouldering losses. And, echoing sentiments from several other board members, Shane noted that both the city and the Pacers’ financial futures could be clearer in three years’ time.

“I don’t want to tempt fate,” Shane said. The agreement was approved by a 6-1 vote.

The sole voice of dissent belonged CIB member Douglas Brown, who acknowledged the Pacers’ value to downtown Indianapolis but preferred that the city and team craft a longer-term deal now, rather than delay for three years.

“I don’t think the environment for a long-term deal is going to get any better [than it is currently],” Brown said. “I think we need to strike while the iron is hot. … It took us two years to get this agreement. I would hate to think that we’d be perpetually in negotiations with the Pacers.”

As part of the deal, the Pacers must repay at least part of the $33.5 million if the team leaves before 2019.

A CIB-commissioned study concluded that the Pacers along with the Indiana Fever contribute an estimated $55 million a year to the Indianapolis economy.

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  • Penalty For Moving
    Yet another article that fails to mention that the Pacers were looking at a $150 million penalty if the Simons tried to sell the team and break the lease.

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  1. This is a terrible idea. I have an enormous amount of respect and appreciation for all the men and women who wear a uniform and serve the Indy Metro area. They don't get paid enough for all the crap they have to take. Low Pay and Benefits. Every thug and crazy taking pot shots at them. The statistics, demographics, and data that we have accumulated for umpteen years DO NOT LIE. Let's focus on making sure that the politicians that are "mandating" this crap are living where THEY are supposed to be living. Let's make sure that the politicians are not corrupt and wasting resources before we start digging into the folks on the front lines trying to do a difficult job. Since we are "hip" to "great ideas" Let's round up all the thugs in the Indy Metro area who are on parole violation as well as those in Marion County Jail that are never going to be rehabilitated and ship them down to Central America or better yet...China. Let's see how they fare in that part of the world.

  2. Once a Marion Co. commuter tax is established, I'm moving my organization out of Indianapolis. Face it, with the advancement in technology, it's getting more cost effective to have people work out of their homes. The clock is running out on the need for much of the office space in Indianapolis. Establishing a commuter tax will only advance the hands of the clock and the residents of Indianapolis will be left to clean up the mess they created on their own, with much less resources.

  3. The 2013 YE financial indicates the City of Indianapolis has over $2 B in assets and net position of $362.7 M. All of these assets have been created and funded by taxpayers. In 2013 they took in $806 M in revenues. Again, all from tax payers. Think about this, Indianapolis takes in $800 M per year and they do not have enough money? The premise that government needs more money for services is false.

  4. As I understand it, the idea is to offer police to live in high risk areas in exchange for a housing benefit/subsidy of some kind. This fact means there is a choice for the officer(s) to take the offer and receive the benefit. In terms of mandating living in a community, it is entirely reasonable for employers to mandate public safety officials live in their community. Again, the public safety official has a choice, to live in the area or to take another job.

  5. The free market will seek its own level. If Employers cannot hire a retain good employees in Marion Co they will leave and set up shop in adjacent county. Marion Co already suffers from businesses leaving I would think this would encourage more of the same.

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