Articles

Lucas says please don’t call stadium ‘The Luke’

Officials for Lucas Oil Products Inc. are imploring fans and media not to refer to the team’s new stadium as The Luke,
a nickname that has cropped up on sports talk radio shows and been repeated in print and on TV. The nickname
seems to be gaining momentum, and that doesn’t sit well with Lucas brass already playing defense against
New Jersey-based Lukoil Co. California based-Lucas Oil signed a 20-year, $121.5 million naming-rights deal
for the Colts’ new stadium.

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$720 million stadium will open with big operating deficit

Cleaning crews are wiping construction dust from the 63,000 seats in Lucas Oil Stadium, prepping for the public’s first peek at the $720 million venue Aug. 16. But the hard work is only beginning for the city’s Capital Improvement Board, the entity charged with operating the stadium. The fumbling point: CIB is anticipating a $20 million operating deficit for Lucas Oil Stadium in 2009.

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Q&A: Herb Simon takes charge, says family is committed to Pacers

Herb Simon is taking a new hands-on approach
with the Indiana Pacers, which he co-owns with his brother, Melvin. In response to a string of losing seasons and off-court
mishaps involving players, Simon is transforming himself from a behind-the-scenes owner into a visible figure intent on reconnecting
the franchise with the community that once adored it.

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Irsay sees Polian son as heir apparent; other teams come calling

Beyond his last name, little is known here about Indianapolis Colts Vice President of Football Operations Chris Polian–even
though it’s likely he represents the future of the franchise. In National Football League circles, Polian’s stock has skyrocketed
as league owners have realized there’s more to the 36-year-old than his famous last name.

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Simons won’t discuss succession plans for Pacers ownership

Recently announced changes to the Indiana Pacers’ front office leave questions about the team’s long-term ownership unanswered.
While Larry Bird, Pacers director of basketball operations, is set to take over for CEO Donnie Walsh at season’s end, there
is no indication what succession strategy, if any, exists for replacing team owners Mel Simon, 81, and Herb Simon, 73.

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NCAA, NBA forging youth hoops pact

Professional and collegiate basketball are on the brink of a landmark agreement that hoops insiders said will change the landscape
of the sport in this country. Proponents say it would be good for basketball, but others say it’s an attempt to further commercialize
the sport.

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Oprah’s beau advises struggling Pacers on image management

Best-selling author Stedman Graham says professional athletes should think of themselves as “a corporation unto themselves.”
Graham–perhaps best known as television star Oprah Winfrey’s boyfriend–brought that message to the Indiana Pacers during
a three-hour private seminar in late January designed to get the players to rethink the importance of their individual images.

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Colts’ suite holders devise ways to maximize boxes’ value

In a meeting that had more X’s and O’s than Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy’s game-day war room, FedEx District Sales
Manager Doug Knowles and his lieutenants decided which clients and prospective clients would be invited to the FedEx suite
which game, which FedEx employees would accompany them, and what ancillary activities would be planned.

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Colts build reputation for mastering salary cap

The Indianapolis Colts lost a slew of popular players in the off-season who were key to the team’s Super Bowl run. The defections–though
unusual for a championship team–were business as usual for a franchise that has gained a reputation around the league for
its bold personnel moves.

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Architect of Colts’ success worked his way to the top

Bill Polian, the multi-sport schoolboy athlete from the Bronx, never had the advantage of an inside track. So he broke into
the National Football League the only way he knew how: by outworking and outsmarting the competition. By all accounts, Polian,
64 and now president of the Indianapolis Colts, is still at it.

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IRSAY’S ODYSSEY: Owner learned from life in NFL to build winning team

The Indianapolis Colts' evolution from perennial patsy to Super Bowl favorite is a body of work with a seldom-told—and often misunderstood—history. It's easy to see the hues all-pros Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James painted on this masterpiece season. President Bill Polian and Coach Tony Dungy certainly colored the landscape. And Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore added his creativity. But theirs aren't the only signatures on this canvas.

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