There’s never been a better time to be a professional sports franchise operator in Indianapolis. Season-ticket renewal rates and attendance are near record levels. But some observers wonder whether too much of a good thing could turn into a bad thing if spending on sports outruns growth in the local economy.
The seemingly endless yellow brick road to Oz, or what residents of central Indiana have come to accept as privately owned professional sports franchises seeking financial sustenance to build and upgrade, is nearing a tipping point of practical expenditures.
The Indianapolis Colts are playing defense as city leaders move to hike a ticket tax on downtown events by 67 percent. The team says raising the tax on tickets from 6 percent to 10 percent will harm its bottom line and that of local businesses that rely on Colts fans.
For the season, the city's minor-league baseball team drew 580,082 fans to Victory Field over 71 home dates. The franchise has posted year-over-year attendance increases in four of the last five seasons.