City to help Pacers financially

January 27, 2009
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fieldhouseIt’s official. The Indiana Pacers are hemorrhaging financially—and looking for city aid. Though franchise officials have no interest in discussing it, the situation has become so bad, the team is now seeking help from the city’s Capital Improvements Board. That aid will likely come in the form of a subsidy or a renegotiated lease—or both. It’s not entirely clear, and aside from a statement, which you can read in an IBJ story published this afternoon, Pacers officials are shedding little light on the situation.

This much is clear. Even though the CIB is crumbling beneath its own budgetary problems that include a huge operating deficit at Lucas Oil Stadium, board members have agreed to absorb $15 million in Conseco Fieldhouse expenses in 2010. The CIB hopes to pull themselves out of the red by increased operations and revenue at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts’ and Pacers’ long-term future might both depend on how well LOS does. Here's hoping the $70 million retractable roof brings in the business it is supposed to. CIB officials said they believed the Conseco Fieldhouse move is needed to save the Pacers—presumably from moving, or I guess going out of business. Meanwhile, the CIB itself is facing an annual budget in excess of $45 million in the not too distant future.
  • Do the Simon's continue to receive the rent from concerts, rodeos, etc. from Conseco Fieldhouse? If so, I don't see a reason for them to get anything from the City.
  • The Pacers organization got themselves into this mess by the years of poor decisions made in the front office. As much as people trash Irsay for the deal he got the city to agree to the Pacers have it even better. The team manages everything that goes on at the Fieldhouse. They choose which events will be held, how much to charge and keep all the cash. The Simon's should be embarrassed to ask for money from taxpayers in this current economy. They have no one to blame but themselves.
  • It is interesting to think about Lucas Oil Stadium saving the Pacers -- never thought of that. I don't see how it can save the Colts considering every NFL team makes a profit off the TV deal alone (that's assuming Irsay isn't snorting it away).

    And in response to Mr Sandman, you're obviously unaware of the striking difference between the Conseco and Lucas Oil deals. The Colts got away w/ murder -- they don't have to run the building nor do they choose the events, yet they still get a good portion of ticket sales and concessions. The CIB wouldn't be so far under budget if it wasn't for them negotiating a horrible deal w/ Irsay and paying $70MM more for a retractable roof that won't ever retract because the building isn't waterproof.
  • The Pacers pay $15 ml to operate Conseco but still need ANOTHER $15 ml?? Is that to pay Jermaine?? Something doesn't add up.
  • The Pacers WANTED TO RUN THE FIELDHOUSE. They negotiated for it. And they did not contribute one penny to the construction.

    This is unbelievable.
  • Wonderful! Another group of millionaires looking for a bailout!

    One question that continues to boggle my mind with regard to LOS; what competent group of professionals put this deal together without making any reasonable provision for the cost of operating that facility on a day to day basis!?!
  • The team manages everything that goes on at the Fieldhouse. They choose which events will be held, how much to charge and keep all the cash.

    This itself is not a bad structure because most municipal-owned arenas hire an outside entity to manage. The problem is when revs are down - the team looks for a handout. What has the team done to increase revs?

    Also, look at all the bad deals that the Pacers have made over the past few years . Walsh was very good for a time but made some huge mistakes with long-term, GUARANTEED deals to questionable players both on and off the court.

    Also, what events are attracted to LOS because of the retractable roof? Answer - not enough to pay the $70M for it.
  • When will player compensation be directly tied to attendance, better yet, gate revenues?
  • When will player compensation be tied directly to attendance, better yet, gate receipts?
  • Bob Grand is crazy if he thinks taxpayers are going to cough up $15 million in annual operating expenses on Conseco Fieldhouse to match the stupidity of the deal Glass made with the Colts.

    Taxpayers will not accept giving Billionaires tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for bad behaving millionaires to play in.

    Don’t think this problem could possibly justify Grand’s back room lobbying for an Indianapolis casino in JW Marriott or Union Station. Conflicts of interest everywhere with Grand.
  • I heard this blogger say tonight on the radio, that part of the onus must fall on the Pacers for not bringing in more non-basketball events to raise needed revenue. It's interesting how this cathdral of basketball has been a failure at attracting concerts and other cash-generating events. It does have great sight lines though.

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