For Colts, better to be lucky than good

November 9, 2009
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Sitting at yesterday’s game it occurred to me—again—just how financially fortunate the Indianapolis Colts are.

Colts officials are cashing checks from their 20-year, $121.5 million title sponsorship deal for Lucas Oil Stadium while Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is still hunting for a title sponsor for the eighth wonder of the world down in Texas.

The Colts have multi-year (most of them seven years or longer) leases for all but a handful of 137 luxury suites, while the Jets and Giants recently hired an outside firm to help sell suites in their soon-to-be-open new home.

Colts officials didn’t sell five or so suites on a multi-year deal so they could sell them on a game-by-game basis. It’s good business to have a broad crowd sampling the stadium’s most expensive product. With all the other suites sold out for years, it creates a real feeling of exclusivity people want to be a part of.

Those multi-year leases deals bring in between $40,000 and $275,000 annually for the Colts, and that’s before you figure in parking, food and other ancillary sales.

The economy has indeed hit the once iron-clad National Football League. But the Colts have almost completely sidestepped the financial blitz.
 
Indianapolis is one of 11 franchises in the 32-team NFL that so far this season is averaging at least 100 percent capacity at its home games. Through the first half the season, the Colts are averaging 104.7 percent of capacity, bringing in just under 66,000 per regular season game.

On a percentage basis, the Colts are second to only Dallas, who is stuffing 122.3 percent of capacity into its behemoth facility. They must really be jamming them in those luxury suites. New Orleans is third on a percentage basis, filling the Super Dome to 102.8 percent of capacity.

All 32 teams on average are filling to 96.1 percent capacity. Hardly a crisis to jump up and down about, but still it’s a nearly 3 percent decline from last season, and for the NFL, that’s pretty eye opening. And remember, the Cowboys' ridiculous numbers in their new stadium are skewing everything up at least a couple percent.

Yes, it’s true big-market teams like Washington and New York still bring in 10,000 plus more fans per game than the small-market Colts. But all in all, the Colts are doing just fine.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. And I’m not saying the Colts sales staff isn’t good, because I think they’ve played all the cards they’ve been dealt just right.

But if Lucas Oil Stadium is built  just a year later, there’s likely no stadium sponsor, there’s probably a lot more vacant suites the sales team is hustling to sell on a game-by-game basis, that air of exclusivity would deflate faster than the old RCA Dome roof, and the financial fortunes of this team look a whole lot different.

 

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  • For the Colts it was both. Good and lucky. Good product on the field, coupled with good and lucky in the sales office. The story of Zupancic pitching to Lucas Oil even though he did not think they would bite is a great story that any salesman should think about. You may not think your customer can afford what you are selling, but give him your best pitch and you might be surprised.
  • Colts rules
    Colts rules and they're going to win the superbowl! lamination montreal

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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