Sports apparel maker planning to add 192 workers at local plant

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BSN Sports LLC plans to spend $2.4 million to improve its sportswear production facility on the city’s northwest side, adding 192 employees over the next six years.

The improvement plans are contained in tax-abatement request that Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development staff members are recommending for approval by the Metropolitan Development Commission.

BSN, the largest distributor of team sports apparel and equipment in the nation, acquired a 195,000-square-foot manufacturing plant at 5379 W. 76th St. in Pike Township in early 2016.

The Dallas-based company said investments in new manufacturing, tooling, logistics and IT equipment would turn the facility into a regional headquarters for production design, manufacturing and distribution. The project would help BSN retain 291 employees at the site in addition to adding the new ones.

Average wages for the new and existing positions are about $14.50 per hour, the company said.

BSN is seeking an eight-year personal-property tax abatement on the new equipment that would save it nearly $112,000, or 61.6 percent, over the abatement period. The company would still pay about $69,500 in personal property taxes on the equipment over that time period and about $18,700 annually after the abatement ends.

DMD officials said BSN would consider adding the equipment at facilities in either Dallas, Memphis or Columbus, Ohio, if it didn't receive the tax break from Indianapolis.

BSN is a division of Memphis, Tennessee-based Varsity Brands Co., the owner of class ring maker Herff Jones, which was founded in Indianapolis in 1920.

Last year, BSN acquired the Lids Team Sports division from Indianapolis-based Lids Sports Group . Lids said it wanted to shed the sports-uniform division to focus on its core retail businesses—Lids, Lids Locker Room and Lids Clubhouse.

A public hearing on the BSN tax break is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Public Assembly Room of the City-County Building.

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