That’s the basic subject matter of the article in this morning’s paper concerning the further pampering of our local football "heroes." For a mere $2 million - at the "request" of the team - the CIB is adding two more suites for additional revenues. That’s additional revenue for the team. Of course!
This travesty, in itself, has already been (almost) covered by the media. But one sentence in this article raised some questions. "CIB leaders said the project would keep the stadium at a ‘top-notch level’ to attract events besides Colts games."
We got curious and went to the internet to check on the "Upcoming Events / Lucas Oil Stadium" website. Just what events are taking place in the football palace? It turned out to be pretty interesting.
As of today’s date, through May 3, 2014, the stadium will be in use 33 days. That’s out of ten and one half months. Of those 33 days, 11 will be Colts football activities and 2 more will be other football games. That’s 13 out of 33.
Of the 20 remaining days, two 3-day events will be the only usage for more than one day. Of the 14 days left, at least 8 events are fairly readily identified from attendance estimates as capable of being held in any of the leading downtown hotels.
We are guessing that most taxpayers are probably unaware that the stadium structure contains a number of meeting rooms other than the arena itself. Each of these 8 events shows an estimated attendance of 400 or less.
How’d you like to be paying the bill for a wedding reception for 65,000 people? Well, don’t worry. While being listed as an "Upcoming Event" for the stadium, attendance will only be 200. Even luckier is the guy responsible for the "retreat" listed as an "upcoming event" for the stadium. Total estimated attendance - 6. (No, we have not doctored or mis-quoted the figure.)
We’ve been hassled a little for calling the stadium just a football field. We tend to think the numbers cited above justify our terminology. How many suites will be in use for the rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, corporate gatherings, and retreats which seem to make up a significant part of the list of days in use by "Upcoming Events / Lucas Oil Stadium?"
We just have to ask one more question. At the time of construction, it was estimated that the addition of a movable roof, at the demand of the Colts, was costing something between $50 and $70 million.
Does anyone know how many times the roof has been opened in these first five years? And for which events? We think we remember one concert where the reporter covering it wrote that it sounded better from outside with his early departure. And football fans were terribly uncomfortable - and complaining - when it was opened on a sunny afternoon. Too hot!
What black magic does the franchise owner have that turns political "leaders" to fiscal "jelly fish" when he "requests" another $2 million - and gets them - while tragically underfunded municipal public safety operations are fighting soaring crime rates against the taxpaying public?
Surely there is an end somewhere. Isn't there? Please??