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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

Welcome to The Score, your place for hard-hitting sports business news, fast-breaking updates and fuel-injected debate.  Buckle up.  I'm your host, Anthony Schoettle, IBJ sports reporter.

Sports Business

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

November 13, 2009
KEYWORDS Sports Business

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.

 


 

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