Still no lease deal done for 2010 Final Four

January 6, 2010
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It’s less than three months until March Madness tips off, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association still doesn’t have a lease deal finalized with the city’s Capital Improvement Board to hold the 2010 Final Four in Lucas Oil Stadium April 3 and 5 as scheduled.

The CIB’s new president, Ann Lathrop, said the undone lease deal is “not creating too much alarm,” though she did say the issue would be top of mind when the CIB convenes Jan. 19.
 
In September, Butler President Bobby Fong told IBJ he was concerned that negotiations could become protracted due to CIB’s fiscal woes and its need to maximize revenue. Butler is playing the part of hosting school for the event.

Former CIB President Bob Grand insisted the hold-up with getting a lease deal signed has nothing to do with the CIB’s recent fiscal woes. Much of last year, the CIB struggled to deal with a $47 million budget shortfall.
 
Grand promised in September to get the deal done, saying, “I’m going to find the money to put the NCAA there.” I wonder if he’s still looking. I doubt it, since Grand is no longer a CIB member.
 
Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president of basketball and business strategies, said the deal needs tweaking because Lucas Oil Stadium was in the conceptual stages when Indianapolis won the bid to host the 2010 Final Four. The Final Four was last held in Indianapolis—in the RCA Dome—in 2006.

Shaheen said details regarding the placement of ancillary events—usually held in the Indiana Convention Center—are also being worked out.

Negotiations may be slowed by the transition of the CIB. Late last year, Mayor Greg Ballard announced an overhaul of the CIB, which owns Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, Victory Field and the Indiana Convention Center.
 
The mayor replaced four of his six appointees on the nine-person CIB, including Grand. Long-time member Pat Early also is gone. In all, the CIB will have six new members at its next meeting.

Lathrop, an executive with Oak Brook Ill.-based public accounting firm Crowe Horwath LLP, had previously served as CIB’s treasurer. Her prior career included a stint as Indianapolis city controller under Republican Mayor Steve Goldsmith.
 
As treasurer, Lathrop was a key figure in helping the CIB dig out of its financial hole, but she said she had little dealings with the NCAA-LOS lease deal.

“I’m still getting my arms around that,” Lathrop said. “It’s safe to say, when we meet, that will be something that’s on the front burner.”

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  • Colts
    Why is that in most of the articles that are written about this the word COLTS is obmitted? They are the reason there is no agreement. The COLTS got the best deal from a city they could get. If I was the NCAA and had planned to get half the revenue from the event and now the COLTS are getting it I wouldn't want to sign the deal either. So much for Lucas Oil drawing big events into the city. If the COLTS do not become a community player and flex for big events like these...the more money Irsay is putting in his pocket for his own selfish spending. Help the city COLTS you are the major part of this problem. Congrats to Irsay that got the best deal from a city too bad it was a political stunt by the Peterson campaign...and you see how that panned out.
  • No $$$ for Jim
    My understanding is that the Colts income from non-football revenue is capped at a fairly low amount. That cap will be reached well before an event like the Final Four is factored in, thus the Colts aren't getting any money from this event.
  • I think the reason the word COLTS is not included in this and other blogs and articles is because the Colts have nothing to do with this. The 50% in revenues they get as part of their investment in the stadium comes out of revenue the City earned. The NCAA revenue stream is unaffected by the deal.

    It sounds to me the issues are taking care of the details for not only a brand new venue for the final four, but also dealing with a convention center under construction. I am sure they are trying to figure out what parts are available for use and moving events to other areas. Something tells me that many of the details could not be wrapped up until close to the event due to being unsure what areas of the CC would be available.

  • something is not right
    Something is not right with this picture. The things that Grand says don't square with what the NCAA says. I hope the current CIB members can get a clue quickly. But likely, they'll have to take the advice of current legal counsel. How could they come up to speed otherwise.

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