CIB pondering ways to aid Pacers

August 19, 2009
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fieldhouseThe cityâ??s Capital Improvement Board, which owns Conseco Fieldhouse, is still trying to figure out what to do about the Indiana Pacers' request for financial aid to the tune of $15 million for the upcoming year.

The money is not allocated in the CIB budget approved by the City-County Council earlier this month, but the issue is not dead yet.

â??Weâ??re dealing with things one at a time,â?? said CIB member Pat Early, who has been the point person in dealing with the Pacers. â??To say absolutely, positively, the Pacers are on their own is not an accurate statement. As we work through this, we are hopeful we can be creative.â??

Iâ??m not sure what â??be creativeâ?? means, and Iâ??m not sure Early does either. But Early added that thereâ??s no thought that the financial problems facing the small market Pacers â??will simply go away.â??

â??The Pacers are desperate to seek solutions to get themselves closer to break even,â?? Early said. â??Weâ??re not closing the door on anything.â??

Early gave no indication where the funds would come from, but he did say the possibility of the Pacersâ?? folding or moving if this situation isnâ??t eventually addressed is a real one. He said the teamâ??s ownership has not made any threats or comments about moving or folding the franchise, but the teamâ??s financial challenges dictate city leaders consider that possibility.

â??Then we still have all the costs associated with owning and operating that facility and no one left to occupy or operate it,â?? Early said.

Forbes magazine estimated the Pacers lost $6.5 million last year, $1 million in 2007, and $12 million in 2006, but Pacers officials have said their losses are far greater than that, with financial losses coming in nine of 10 years at Conseco Fieldhouse.
  • Oh great here we go again...

    Don't get me wrong I'm a strong fan of both the Pacers and the Colts but some of the stunts they pull are absolutely ridiculous! The Pacers get all the proceeds from ticket sales and parking in that area. Not only that but, the Simon's are making hoards of cash despite this recession. Instead of using some of the cashflow to help finance THEIR team. We do need both the Colts and Pacers for a healthy city but we do NOT need them to leech the blood out of the city coffers.
  • It is outrageous that the Pacers claim that they have never made any money should go unchallenged.

    Releasing partial and unaudited financials to a few friendly insiders, who are forced to sign non disclosure agreements, is NOT enough to convince anyone with ANY brains to believe this fairy tale that the Simons are not making money on their Pacers entertainment enterprise.

    Public disclosure of audited financial statements from the Pacers and all other related entertainment companies along with legal affidavits from the team owners, accountants, auditors, and bankers would be a good start to legitimacy and creditability.

    Anything less should be disregarded as fantasy and possibly a crime.
  • Now that I think of it, it sounds like extortion.
  • Let me get this straight.

    After receiving a huge CIB taxpayer bailout, which covered Pat Early's earlier approval of a completely one sided Colts contract and a series of disastrous financial hedges, he wants to break the Pacer's contract 10 years early, so he can pick up an additional $15 million a year of Pacers expenses through an insolvent CIB to match the public subsidy parity of the Colts?

    Most accountants get fired for much less cause.
  • Why is that the CIB personnel, including Pat Early, have not been fired or relieved of their duties? They are the ones who made the AWFUL deal for the city in the Colts/Lucas Oil Stadium agreement. What right-minded individual signs off on building a huge stadium without any forethought as to how to fund the operating costs? I just don't get it. All they had to do is see how much the Pacers' staff had to increase once they moved from MSA to Conseco Fieldhouse - mainly because of the buiilding's size! Last time I checked, I believe Lucas Oil Stadium is much larger than what the RCA Dome was, so duh on the staff increasement thus higher operating costs! Let alone all the utility bills to run the mammoth venue. Stupid, stupid people.

    The Pacers' issues wouldn't be such a big deal if:
    1. they were winning
    2. the city/state had money to OPERATE Lucas Oil Stadium

    Remember, the Pacers are just excersing their option to re-negotiate their lease...something they have the right to do per the agreement signed 10 years ago! Has anyone looked into the re-negotiating option in the Colts/Lucas Oil Stadium deal?

    And remember, the Herb and Mel Simon OWN the team. Simon Property Group does not, so you can't equate revenue that Simon Property Group generates with what Herb/Mel have. Don't get me wrong, I know they are billionaires, but the two entities do not go hand-in-hand. It's simply owning two different companies.
  • Don't listen to or believe anything these jokers at the CIB say. First they told us they were going to close Lucas Oil Stadium and now the Pacers are going to leave town. Typical Republican move. Make threats instead of finding a solution.
  • I am beginning to think the Pacers could go by the way of the Indiana Firebirds, and like the Firebirds, no one would much care. The team needs to get on the ball and start some effective community outreach and marketing if they are going to ever get themselves out of this bind. And the team's future doesn't look much better. What are they doing to reach kids? It's not enough. Most in this city couldn't even tell you with assurance what the name of our NBA team much less who plays for it. This team took its eye off the ball a long, long time ago.
  • I have to agree with Adam and take it one step further: any private entity, such as the Pacers, who wants any sort of aid from the city or state (i.e. taxpayer $$$$), should be subject to opening its books for a public audit. If we are going to be asked to support them financially, we should be allowed to see what they REALLY make - or don't make as they claim. Only then can they hope to build public support.
  • Many posters here are extrememly ignorant of the facts.

    1. The Pacers are very involved with the community and youth. If you don't know that you are not paying attention.
    2. The idea that people don't know the team is ludicrous. It was not that many years ago that the team was #1 in Indy. Larry is working dilligently to get them back to their former lofty status.
    3. You can't demand because you think it should be so. The Pacers are a private enterprise and the city negotiated for their deal in good faith.
    4. The team and the city are trying to find common ground for a workable solution. There is no leaching attempted or going on. To suggest such a thing shows ignorance.

    No one said they were going to close Lucas Oil. How absurd to even post that! The Peterson administration gave up a lot, but don't forget that their full revenue stream won't be realized until the convention center is completed and until the economy rebounds. These are factors that had significant impact on where the problem lies. The recession wasn't taken into account at all. Remember that.

    Let's look for calm, intelligent thoughts into the long-term solution that is favorable to all parties. Stop defaming the Pacers. They have and will continue to mean a lot to the city.
  • The Simons did not get rich by being dumb. The entire CIB should be replaced with competent people who do not have connections with Indy political families. What a CROCK.
  • BerwickGuy is right that the Colts, not the Pacers, should be the object of the public's outrage over the taxpayer bailout of the CIB.

    The Pacers are just adding insult to injury by demanding taxpayers take over there operating costs like the Colts.

    Neither team is showing any gestures of public goodwill to resolve this mess.
  • The problem is with David Simon. He is a rich fat-cat jerk wad. When herb and Mel controlled Simon properties and assets they worked with the city, (got rich) but never strong armed the city. And would not think to do so in the current economic monsoon the city is in now. David, if you read are pond scum.
  • If Pat Early is such a sharp accountant , then why did he have the CIB drop its INDEPENDENT Financial Audit prepared by a Professional Accounting Firm at its last meeting, leaving only a brief financial review by the State Board of Accounts?

    Seems pretty fishy considering so many people are questioning the accuracy of the CIB books, that the current checks and balances are dropped leaving only the State Board of Accounts, which has failed to read the Independent Financial Audit and Red Flag huge problems for over 17 years, to check CIB's books.

    Bring Back The Professional Independent Financial Audit With State Board of Accounts Review!!!!!
  • It seems many people posting here have not lived in Indy very long or are younger than 40. The Pacers have history in this town. Deep history. Sure, the ABA were glory days - and that's in the past. But we can't talk so trivially about the Pacers. The Simons saved this team from moving to Sacramento in the early 80s. Heck, there was a telethon to raise money to keep the Pacers solvent when Sam Nassi was the owner. Professional sports has become too much business and not enough fun. I'm sorry it's gotten to be so ugly. The money being spent is ridiculous. And the taxpayers shouldn't be asked to shoulder the burden. But we can't just kick the Pacers to the curb. They are a part of our city's history. Everyone needs to check the egos at the door and get it done. I know -fat chance.
  • Where is the audit? Aren't the Simons making enough off of every single event that is held in the Fieldhouse? The Pacers might not be making money, but the Simons are netting a profit because of their sweetheart deal for Conseco Fieldhouse. This is corporate welfare of the worst kind.
  • David has the personailty of a sack of potatoEs. He's no Mel, and he's certainly no Herb.

    However, he is very smart, and outwitting Mayor Dullard will be a walk in the park for him. :lol:
  • A few things to consider:

    The Pacers current lease does not give them the right to renegotiate.
    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.

    If they threaten to move, where would they go?
    It’s laughable to think there are other markets waiting with open arms and sweeter deals for beleagured teams. We all see how that is working out in Oklahoma.

    The Pacers financial situation is more of a league issue than a city issue, as more than half of NBA teams are losing money.
    Saying that less than half the teams in the league made a profit last season, Stern spoke at length Tuesday about the financial difficulties facing the league's 30 franchises

    The NBA has actually offered some assistance to their struggling teams but he Pacers turned it down.
    12 of the league's 30 franchises plan to borrow between $13 million and $20 million a piece.

    As the Pacers seek ways to cut their losses, have they considered how much they are losing each season on the Fever? Could letting the Fever go save several million dollars?
    The Indiana Fever have not turned a profit during their 10-year stint in the WNBA.

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  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.