Simons don't need our financial help

February 23, 2009

[In response to a Feb. 9 story on Conseco Fieldhouse] The most important piece of leverage Mayor Ballard has in negotiating with the Pacers is being willing to let them go.

Incidentally, let's not feel too sorry for the Simons. According to Forbes, the Simons bought the Pacers in 1983 for $11 million, and in late 2008 Forbes valued the franchise at $303 million. Even with some recent diminution in value due to lousy management, that represents a compounded 14.2-percent return over 25 years. Not a bad run for a couple of self-described white knights.

If demanding that the citizens of Indianapolis come up with an additional $15 million per year in this economy is the Simons' idea of philanthropy, it brings new meaning to the old saw, "Charity always comes with a price tag."

Dave Harstad

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