Sports Business

SPORTS: Our new playground is much more than a stadiumRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Bill Benner
Now, I feel like the unlucky one. For the past two years, I've been privileged to be part of monthly media tours of Lucas Oil Stadium. I was there as the concrete bowl began to take shape, and as those steel trusses that would frame the retractable roof were put into place. I was there as the brick exterior began to climb, and when the concourses were little more than freshly poured concrete and empty spaces. I was there when...
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SPORTS: Games are-or should be-all about the athletesRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Bill Benner
At the same time, those same athletes, thrust into the spotlight, will find their failures magnified along with their successes. Media who normally shun gymnastics, or aquatic sports, or track and field, or cycling, or rowing, or even Taekwondo, will suddenly become instant experts, lifting up the victors and damning the vanquished. How well I know. It was my good fortune to cover three Olympics for the local daily: Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992, and Atlanta in 1996. The...
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Stadium's flexibility should help attract extra events: But some experts say stadiums are still a hard sellRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
Lucas Oil Stadium can be a jack of all trades. Hang rigging from its ceiling, lower built-in sound-absorbing curtains over most of the seats, and it can host a fairly intimate 20,000-seat concert. Roll out the temporary floor to cover the turf, part and pack away one side of the bleachers, and it can stretch to be a convention hall, boasting 183,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space plus 12 meeting rooms, a welcome plaza and party deck. But the...
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$720 million stadium will open with big operating deficitRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Jennifer Whitson

Cleaning crews are wiping construction dust from the 63,000 seats in Lucas Oil Stadium, prepping for the public's first peek at the $720 million venue Aug. 16. But the hard work is only beginning for the city's Capital Improvement Board, the entity charged with operating the stadium. The fumbling point: CIB is anticipating a $20 million operating deficit for Lucas Oil Stadium in 2009.


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Stadium scores Colts 30-percent sponsorship increase: Entertainment in 14 themed areas starts four hours before kick-off; strategy gains notice from other NFL teamsRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Colts will score almost $18 million annually through their new stadium's title sponsorship and deals with 14 founding sponsors, each of which has its own themed area of the stadium's interior. Including sponsor agreements for two massive video boards at each end of the stadium, a narrower video board circling the upper reaches of the lower bowl, and other in-stadium deals, the Colts should bring in $20 million, 30 percent more than in the RCA Dome, according to...
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SPORTS: NASCAR ill-prepared to race on hallowed groundRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Bill Benner
It would be piling on if I were to join the chorus of displeasure and disapproval following the 15th running ... and stopping ... and running ... and stopping ... and running ... and stopping ... and running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Aw, the heck with that. Clear the way while I pile on. For the second time in three years, the good folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway-without throwing a punch-received a black eye from a...
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Racquet Club Pro Shop continues record growth: Team sales pushing specialty retailer's expansionRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
In the midst of a down economy and tepid interest in tennis, the only problem the Indianapolis Racquet Club Pro Shop has is where to expand next. Pushed by double-digit-percentage sales growth in nine of the last 12 years, the IRC Pro Shop has expanded from a 750-square-foot shoebox to become an industry giant in the specialty tennis category. Most tennis club pro shops are breakeven operations, but IRC officials said they have seen profit grow each of the last...
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Hotels feeling travel slump: City occupany rates fall, but downtown operators performing well this year thanks to convention bizRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Scott Olson
Staggeringly high gasoline prices and a sputtering economy are preventing scores of would-be travelers from packing up their thirsty sport-utility vehicles and heading to their favorite vacation destinations. Nationwide, hotel occupancy rates slipped to 68 percent through June of this year, down from 71 percent the same time last year, according to the most recent data from Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research. For the most part, local hotel operators are feeling the same pain. Through the first six months of the...
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SPORTS: NASCAR: Good for the city, not so fun to watchRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Bill Benner
Depending upon when IBJ lands in your hands, the 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will be either coming to or going from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So let's talk racin'. Let me begin by saying how pleased I am that Tony George took that giant leap in 1994 and welcomed NASCAR to the hallowed openwheel grounds of IMS. By most accounts, the Brickyard 400 instantly became the second-most-coveted prize on the NASCAR circuit and it has remained in that...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Stock investing means navigating emotional mind fieldsRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Shirley M.
This has been a dizzy stock market, maybe even ill, but it isn't terminal. Learning how to manage one's own emotions while investing is an important part of success. And, the most crucial factor is practicing realism over optimism, instead of the reverse. Hope is helpful in most areas of life because it gives us optimism and a reason to live, but in the investment arena, it can quickly drive our portfolio into negative territory. Our desire for excessive investment...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Taking the con out of economicsRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
Morton Marcus
A marketing professor at the Kelley School of Business used to proclaim he could teach all one needed to know about economics in a week. That was back in the days when faculty would spend a few minutes of the morning hours in the coffee room engaged in friendly banter as well as serious discussion. The coffee room and my friend are both gone, but to me, a teacher of economics, the insult remains. Imagine-denigrating my calling, my faith, with...
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SPORTS: In hiring as in knee surgery, timing is everythingRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
Bill Benner
Of this, that and the other: Timing, as they say, is everything. The University of Notre Dame lost its athletic director, Kevin White, to Duke University on June 1 and has been actively engaged in identifying his successor. A couple of weeks later, Indiana University announced its athletic director, Rick Greenspan, would resign but serve in lameduck status until the end of the year. Somewhere in the middle of those circumstances was Indianapolis attorney Jack Swarbrick, a Bloomington native but...
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Once-thriving tennis tournament struggles to stay relevantRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
A dearth of name players, slumping attendance and an outdated venue have some in the local tennis community wondering if the Indianapolis Tennis Championships--formerly known as the RCA Championships--needs some serious re-stringing. Attendance at the nine-day event, which ran July 12-20 this year, was on pace through July 16 to be at a 20-year low. But attendance is far from the tournament's only challenge.
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CMG Worldwide takes tussle over vintage baseball cards to courtRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig died in 1941 of a disease that came to bear his name. Six years later, second baseman Jackie Robinson famously broke through baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, earning the league minimum $5,000. He died in 1972. Mark Roesler believes the best earning years still lie ahead for both legendary players, as well as many others like them. But first he must untangle their image rights in federal court in Indianapolis.
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A&E: Icarus rises after ISO program

July 14, 2008
Lou Harry
This week, a visit to Symphony on the Prairie yields an unexpected treat. Plus, tips for making the most of your evening on the lawn. The crowd was already thick when I arrived a good hour before show time for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's "Glorious Fourth" concert at Conner Prairie. And so rather than squeeze my blanket onto one of the small patches of available space, I opted to sacrifice sight-lines, staking a claim instead at the upper fringe. There,...
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Events facing higher costs at Lucas Oil Stadium: Venue managers also bracing for additional expensesRestricted Content

July 14, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
Local big-draw events are itchy to make their first-ever runs in the $675 million Lucas Oil Stadium, in hopes the roomier venue will let them draw more attendees who want to kick the tires and enjoy the new stadium smell. But there's a trade-off-a bigger price tag to cover security guards, ushers and cleanup. And at least one event is weighing higher ticket prices as a result. "I don't think there's any doubt [Lucas Oil Stadium] will cost more based...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: What we can learn from our kids' summer activitiesRestricted Content

July 14, 2008
Mike Hicks
Summer is at its midpoint, and with it comes the end of youth baseball, scout camp and a seemingly endless string of swim meets for the Hicks household. Like many of you out there, I welcome a few more quiet evenings at home. But during those long third-inning stretches and sleepless evenings in a tent, I spent some time calculating how much we value these youth sports and activities. You might be surprised what this math tells us about ourselves....
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Ice Miller attorney departs, takes sports practice with himRestricted Content

July 14, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Sports agent Andrew "Buddy" Baker has left locally based law firm Ice Miller and is taking with him the firm's sports division, IM Sports Services, which he wants to develop into a giant agency with a national reach. Baker's new firm, Exclusive Sports Group, starts with a list of high-profile clients.
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SPORTS: Pacers are walking a tightrope-and doing it wellRestricted Content

July 14, 2008
Bill Benner
The Indiana Pacers, abandoned by so many, are re-establishing their relevance. Given up for dead, the Pacers have a pulse. Leading them out of the wilderness is the hands-on owner, Herb Simon; the thoughtful, prudent and brilliant community leader, Jim Morris; and our Indiana basketball icon, Larry Bird. The draft-night wheeling and dealing created an instant buzz about the Pacers, the most positive since the brawl in 2004. It showed that, if I may lean on the cliché, there is...
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Sports Corp. made city a sports giant, but real estate plans fell shortRestricted Content

July 14, 2008
Cory Schouten
Construction of Pan Am Plaza in the mid-1980s was a major step in the evolution of Indianapolis into a sports town worthy of hosting a Super Bowl. But the office building, parking garage, skating rinks and public gathering place came up short over the years in other ways for both taxpayers and developer, the Indiana Sports Corp.
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Major moves to keep more patients on home turf: Hospital hires two ortho surgeons, changes nameRestricted Content

July 7, 2008
J.K. Wall
Nearly three-quarters of orthopedics patients in Shelby County have gone to an Indianapolis hospital to receive care. Now, Major Hospital in Shelbyville wants to keep more of those patients at home. By next June, the hospital will build a $7 million orthopedics center that will house two orthopedic surgeons. They will begin building their practices in Shelbyville next month. The play for orthopedics patients throws Major into a pitched battle among Indianapolis-area hospitals. Surging numbers of patients need new hips...
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SPORTS: Lamentations-and a recommendation-for old IURestricted Content

July 7, 2008
Bill Benner
Adam Herbert, who may go down as the sorriest presidential hire in the history of the Big Ten, is nowhere to be seen, those velvety crimson jumpsuits disappearing about the same time Sampson was shown the door. Certain members among the IU trustees-who so violated the trust part of their duties, first in hiring Herbert and then in bringing in Sampson-are not about to step up and take responsibility for their actions. I guess it will all come out some...
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Candidates surface for IU's athletic director jobRestricted Content

July 7, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Well-known names are bubbling to the top as speculation heats up about who will replace embattled Indiana University Athletic Director Rick Greenspan and how much money the job will command. Greenspan announced June 26 that he'll step down at the end of the year. The decision came after the NCAA added to the list of charges facing IU's men's basketball program over rules violations under former Coach Kelvin Sampson.
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Q&A: Herb Simon takes charge, says family is committed to PacersRestricted Content

June 30, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Herb Simon is taking a new hands-on approach with the Indiana Pacers, which he co-owns with his brother, Melvin. In response to a string of losing seasons and off-court mishaps involving players, Simon is transforming himself from a behind-the-scenes owner into a visible figure intent on reconnecting the franchise with the community that once adored it.
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SPORTS: A 40-year hacker tries playing golf the right wayRestricted Content

June 30, 2008
Bill Benner
Every December, my wife and daughters ask the inevitable question, "What do you want for Christmas?" I always reply, "world peace." Otherwise, I've been blessed with an abundance of stuff. No sense adding to the pile. But this past December, I actually got something that transcended a want. It was a need. Golf lessons. Like, from a pro. I've been chasing the little white pill around the pasture for 40 years. I'm selftaught and it shows. I picked up a...
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