Sports Business

Wheeler Mission backers to kick off fund drive: Push to address building needs, ease financial strainRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
In February, Indianapolis' Wheeler Mission Ministries cut non-residential programming to stave off a budget shortfall as donations flat-lined and more homeless people came through its doors. Now the mission is facing more tough times, projecting as much as a $500,000 shortfall for the fiscal year that begins June 1. To help close the gap, supporters are kicking off Operation Restoration, a fund drive they hope will raise $11 million to help the mission expand, pay building debts, and build a...
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Overshadowed by Patrick, Fisher fights to keep racingRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
A group of motorsports journalists stood open-mouthed along the wall of the Texas Motor Speedway in 1999 as they watched 19-year-old Sarah Fisher, fresh from the sprint car and dirt track circuits, zip past veteran open-wheel racers Buddy Lazier and Billy Boat. What happened to Fisher over the next nine years is equally amazing--and mystifying--to those same motorsports experts who watched her in Texas.
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SPORTS: In retrospect, the Dome's utility can't be deniedRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Bill Benner
The roof has closed for the first time on Lucas Oil Stadium, and we now have a timetable for the demolition of its predecessor, the RCA Dome. Its last general event, the Fire Department Instructors Conference, has come and gone, as has its last sporting event, Supercross. Bit by bit, its innards are being dismantled. The pace will quicken throughout the summer. In August, the Teflon dome will disappear from the city skyline and shortly thereafter, the walls and the...
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Local firm signs landmark sports events deals: Providing five-star services seen as key to growthRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
A local company that sells ticket and event packages associated with major sporting events has secured groundbreaking deals with the Ryder Cup and Churchill Downs Inc. Indianapolis-based Sport Events Ltd. will be one of the first two companies to sign an official deal with Churchill Downs to sell ticket and hospitality packages to the Kentucky Derby, run this year May 3. Previously, the fabled racetrack had chosen to run everything-including corporate hospitality-in-house. "In many cases, these properties have realized that...
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Have Colts already outgrown new stadium?: Team has long waiting lists for suites, season ticketsRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Escalating demand for corporate entertainment space during Indianapolis Colts home games has team owner Jim Irsay wondering whether Lucas Oil Stadium should have been built with more luxury suites. "Quite frankly, I wish we built 30 or 40 more suites," Irsay told IBJ during a recent interview. There's good reason to think the Colts have outgrown the stadium-even though it's still four months from completion. The Colts long ago sold all 142 suites for the venue, and have a waiting...
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Commentary: Do we need a disaster to wake us up?Restricted Content

April 28, 2008
Tawn Parent
About 20,000 historic properties were damaged in the storm, and Gay, executive director of Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, has led the charge to save them. "We never felt like throwing up our hands," Gay said. "We don't do that." The Preservation Resource Center contacted owners of the nearly 4,000 historic properties that were condemned after the hurricane. About 600 of them have been spared to date. The PRC also has been helping review the planned demolition of buildings...
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Irsay sees Polian son as heir apparent; other teams come callingRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Beyond his last name, little is known here about Indianapolis Colts Vice President of Football Operations Chris Polian--even though it's likely he represents the future of the franchise. In National Football League circles, Polian's stock has skyrocketed as league owners have realized there's more to the 36-year-old than his famous last name.
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Patrick victory scores for series, sponsors: Historic triumph earns more attention than unificationRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Almost everyone involved with the Indy Racing League expected a firestorm of publicity after Danica Patrick won her first open-wheel race. But few predicted just how hot a commodity the 26-year-old driving diva would become following her April 19 win in Japan. "It's not like we got caught unprepared. We had a plan in place for over a year," said Terry Angstadt, president of IRL's commercial division. The victory blueprint included a list of contacts to be made, interviews to...
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SPORTS: How big was Patrick's win? Let the debate beginRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Bill Benner
Like most of the rest of the sporting world and to some extent beyond, I had awakened on that Sunday morning to the delightful news that, overnight in faraway Japan, Patrick had broken through to secure her first Indy Racing League victory in 50 tries. She now is something more than a pretty face and, to some, a sexual object who also just happened to drive race cars. She is a champion. Now this isn't, as one gearhead suggested, along...
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SPORTS: Indiana's 'Mount Rushmore' will try to fix PacersRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Bill Benner
The first time Herb Simon ever met Jim Morris, it was to ask him for money. Fifty grand. To be fair, it wasn't Morris' money. It belonged to Lilly Endowment Inc. Simon was at the endowment, which Morris directed at the time, to ask for a grant to support the Jewish Community Center. He got the money. This past week, Simon had another request of Morris ... to replace Donnie Walsh as president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Again, Morris...
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VIEWPOINT: Lest we forget, 'solid and stable' is goodRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Tim Kern
"I moved to Indiana on purpose," I've been telling people since the move from Florida last August. The Indianapolis area attracted me and my business for a number of reasons-reasons which, I'm more convinced each day, Hoosiers take for granted. Someone might want to consider the good that's right in front of our collective noses: Unlike Florida, whence I emigrated, people here know who can get things done, where businesses are, and whose reputation is good. A state full of...
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Making Hoosiers more educated is a tricky task ECONOMIC ANALYSIS:Restricted Content

April 21, 2008
Mike Hicks
One thing that virtually every bit of serious research on education has revealed is that parents play the biggest role in educational outcomes. My own work in this area found that more than 90 percent of the differences in regional educational attainment can be attributed solely to the educational history of parents. Families play a far bigger role in educational success than any differences that occur across schools. So, what then does this mean for public policy? In my last...
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Commentary: Jim Browning, a champion of the cityRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
Tom Harton
It was probably 15 years ago when Jim Browning called and invited me to lunch for the first time. I don't recall why he extended the invitation, but I remember from the lunch that he was interested in what I had to say. And that surprised me. I didn't know Jim then, but I knew of him through his architecture firm, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf. I also associated him with the group of bold civic leaders who came up with...
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SPORTS: Free throws, future Final Fours remain importantRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
Bill Benner
Thoughts about this, that and the other after a much-delayed return (yes, my bride and I were among the thousands caught in the American Airlines travel fiasco) from San Antonio for the Final Four. I've related this story before-possibly in this space-so if I'm repeating myself, I apologize. I'm taking the chance that, if I don't remember, you don't either. In my driveway, I have one of those adjustable-height basketball goals. Years ago, several of the local neighborhood kids would...
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Colts could struggle with $9 billion NFL debt: Revenue hikes by big teams could skew salary capRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Small-market teams like the Indianapolis Colts could find themselves straining under the pressure of the National Football League's recently disclosed $9 billion debt, which is three times higher than Major League Baseball's and estimated to be double that of the National Basketball Association. Made public last month as part of a court filing, the NFL's debt encompasses all league and team obligations. Sources close to the league said it is tied closely to stadium building projects. The Colts, for example,...
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Building opportunities: CREW Careers offers girls a glimpse into the diverse world of commercial real estateRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
Della Pacheco
While one college basketball team just completed its journey to a national championship, CREW Network's women hope they're on a similar winning path-a path to scoring parity in the male-dominated field of commercial real estate. The Commercial Real Estate Women Network is a national member organization dedicated to the advancement of women in commercial real estate. It has 66 chapters, including one in Indianapolis. In 2005, CREW Network completed the industry's first comprehensive study of the status of women in...
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Tampa Super Bowl looks to local firm for software: High-profile client could help Simply HospitalityRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
Event-planning software developed by a local firm has been the backbone of volunteer efforts for the Men's Final Four, the Indianapolis 500 Festival and the USA Track & Field Championships. Now it will add a Super Bowl to its resume. The Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee, which is staging the 2009 NFL championship, will use Indianapolisbased Simply Hospitality's TRS software to recruit and coordinate the 6,000 volunteers it expects to use for the big game. Officials looked at eight...
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NASCAR ponders following IRL's lead with ethanol: Green marketing a major motivator for race seriesRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
The Indy Racing League was the first North American race series to use an alternative fuel to power its cars. Now it appears NASCAR might follow suit-news that has the attention of race fans and sponsors alike. "We're looking at eight or nine different alternative fuels," said Andrew Giangola, NASCAR director of business communication. "Ethanol is one of the alternatives we're looking at." NASCAR has put no timetable on adopting an alternative fuel. Because the league switched from leaded, petroleum-based...
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SPORTS: Maybe Crean can help IU fans turn the pageRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Bill Benner
But a mess it is, one that won't be quickly eradicated. And we all know how patient IU basketball fans are. But an eight-year contract acknowledges that a quick fix is not the expectation. It also says-if those same fans are willing to listen-that the constant upheaval needs to be replaced by a consistency of voice-and excellence. "Indiana has always stood for class ... integrity ... and for doing the right thing," Crean said. Well, before it hired Kelvin Sampson,...
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Super Bowl bid committee solicits input through Web siteRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
The city's 2012 Super Bowl bid committee set up a Web site, www.our2012sb.com, in mid-February to encourage input from the community--adopting a more inclusive approach than organizers did last year when bidding on the 2011 game.
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SPORTS: Anyone glad to see Walsh go has a short memoryRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Bill Benner
Twenty wins in 1982-1983. Twenty-six wins in '83-'84. Twenty-two wins in '84-'85. Twenty-six wins in '85-'86. You think the Pacers are having a tough time putting butts in seats today? Today's problems aren't even close to those curtained-off Market Square Arena days of the early '80s when the average crowds dipped to as low as 4,800 in the '82-'83 season. It began to rebound only after Walsh took a chance on a marketing whiz-and exsportswriter-named Ray Compton and adeptly began...
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Simons won't discuss succession plans for Pacers ownershipRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Recently announced changes to the Indiana Pacers' front office leave questions about the team's long-term ownership unanswered. While Larry Bird, Pacers director of basketball operations, is set to take over for CEO Donnie Walsh at season's end, there is no indication what succession strategy, if any, exists for replacing team owners Mel Simon, 81, and Herb Simon, 73.
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Legislators tackle range of business-related measures:Restricted Content

March 24, 2008
Property tax reform took center stage during the just-completed session of the Indiana General Assembly. But lawmakers also grappled with a host of other measures with business implications. A roundup appears below. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT One of the session's most divisive issues-whether to penalize companies that hire illegal immigrants-died during the waning hours. Under the legislation, introduced by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, companies could have had their business licenses suspended, or revoked after three instances. The Senate and House passed...
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SPORTS: 'The Luke' and its potential are finally real to usRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Bill Benner
And in less than five months-if, as we used to say in Center Grove, the Good Lord's willing and the cricks don't rise-it no longer will be just that mammoth structure rising between West and Missouri streets. It will be ours, and in that personal pronoun, I mean, sincerely, that Lucas Oil Stadium will belong to all of us, not just residents of Indianapolis and the contiguous counties who have pitched in on the funding, but to all Hoosiers who...
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NCAA, NBA forging youth hoops pactRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Professional and collegiate basketball are on the brink of a landmark agreement that hoops insiders said will change the landscape of the sport in this country. Proponents say it would be good for basketball, but others say it's an attempt to further commercialize the sport.
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