Put out the d-CON and let's get ready for prime time

November 13, 2009
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This Sunday is the National Football League’s gift to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Co. So let’s hope mouse poop-gate doesn’t ruin it.

I have opined before in this column that Indianapolis and the company that paid $121.5 million to put its name on the city’s stadium are getting short changed by the NFL.
The Indianapolis Colts are one of the NFL’s marquee team’s playing in one of the league’s newest stadiums, and it gets one prime-time home game this season.
Compare that with the three prime-time games the Dallas Cowboys scored this year to showcase the shiny new Jerry Dome. A Sunday night, Monday night and Thanksgiving to have the NFL stage all to themselves.

Six of eight Colts home games have a kick-off time of 1 p.m., when NFL TV viewership is at its lowest. Then there’s this Sunday’s showdown against the New England Patriots and a 4:15 p.m. game on CBS against the New York Jets Dec. 27.
Meanwhile, the league is using the high-octane Colts as bait to draw fans and TV viewers to other cities. The Colts play/played in prime time four times on the road this season; at Miami, Arizona, Tennessee and Jacksonville.

Anyone want to bet on how many prime-time games the Giants and Jets score next year when they open their new $1.6 billion stadium. I’d say it will be at least four—two for each team, with a good possibility of a third for each team thrown in. Gotta keep those large markets happy.

So here’s hoping the Circle City shines Sunday night. And here’s hoping NBC shows no clips of rodent droppings in stadium kitchen or concession areas.

Of all the lousy timing. The NFL prime-time spotlight is about to beam bright here, and the November sweeps predicate at least two local TV stations lead their newscasts this week with coverage of dead mice and mouse doo in stadium kitchens.
And I’m not blaming local TV stations for this one. If the problem was first discovered in December and is still a problem, then it should be reported, or re-reported.
South Carolina-based Centerplate, which has a five-year deal to run food service at the stadium, and the Colts and Capital Improvement Board, who seem to be doing a very good rendition of three blind mice right now, should have taken care of this a long time ago.

Adding to the storyline is that some of the footage was shot in a food service area that prepares food for Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s luxury box and the rest of the high-rollers in the mid-level stadium suites.
No one wants mouse manure in their popcorn, least of all the good folks paying $275,000 annually for a penthouse view.

So put the d-CON out and let’s get ready for some football. Sorry, wrong network.



  • At least the Colts are on primetime
    As a Colts fan, I'm just glad the Colts are playing in primetime. It doesn't really bother me that we have more road games in primetime than home. I'd say it's more of a slap against Lucas Oil than it is to the Colts organization for the scheduling. As a fan, I know that the nation is watching the Colts - I don't think it matters quite as much that you're not watching a home game.
  • explainer
    It should bother the Colts that they don't have more home games in prime time. That is a tool they can use to sell advertising. All in-stadium advertisers will look at the TV exposure they are going to get from a deal before they sign an expensive multi-year deal. And the numbers of a Sunday or Monday night game are far greater than a Sunday afternoon game.
  • I am not sure comparing our season two to Dallas's season one is fair. For one thing, our season one had two Sunday night home games and a Thursday nighter and one 4:15 game. Of course we get screwed on flex games because our end of season is usually not that interesting when most years you win your division by 2 or 3 games. So we match the number of evening games in LOS's first year that Jerry's palace gets in its first year and pretty favorable two your prediction on the two NY teams.

    Also do not forget that Dallas and Detroit are guaranteed Turkey Day home games due to tradition.

    The other side of the coin is I think it is a compliment to the success and popularity of our team that it is used as bait to fill other teams stadiums in prime time. Dallas may be Americas Team, but the Colts are extremely popular and well loved throughout the country.
  • d-Con
    This is just the tip of the iceberg when expenses have to be cut to the bone. Apparently pest control cannot even be afforded. No money from the politicians to maintain the $750 million monstrosity - this is only the beginning!!

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.