Imagine our embarrassment! In a front page article in the morning paper about the possible re-naming of Conseco Fieldhouse we found the following information. "Conseco Fieldhouse, built by Mel and Herb Simon, opened in 1999 when the Pacers moved from their former home, Market Square Arena."
All this time we’ve been finding fault with the city subsidizing the Pacers, under the misapprehension that public funds had been used to build the palace in which they perform.
Our apologies to all concerned. The next time the Pacers say they are losing money and want more tax dollars, we’ll try to remember not to complain when the city’s response is, "How much, and do you want that in small unmarked bills?"
The second item also concerns sports dollars. In the IBJ, under the headline, "NFL’s new TV deals big score for Colts," the first paragraph reads as follows: "National football League owners on Dec. 14 announced a package of network television deals that should assure the Indianapolis Colts and the league’s other franchises will be financially viable through 2021 without selling a single ticket, suite or sponsorship."
We suggest the city very quickly get to the head of the line here. Before the fans start asking for lower ticket prices, someone representing the taxpayers should start demanding that the Colts/CIB contract be reopened immediately.
At the very least, operation and maintenance of the stadium should be the responsibility of the football team for which it was constructed. The new TV money should also preclude the awarding of any non-football revenue to the team. And there are undoubtedly other less apparent areas available for audit.
Naturally, the team will suggest that a contract is a contract, and that any move to cost it revenue might cause it to consider a move. In which case, it would be appropriate to give the owner the telephone number for the Mayflower Transit Co..
Of course, he may still have that in his Rolodex!