That’s how much the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) agreed to hand the Pacers basketball team, over a period of ten years, just three years ago. Supposedly for operation and maintenance of the fieldhouse. Still seven years to go on that bounty.
Last year the CIB approved the use of $2.8 million of that annual gift for converting parts of the fieldhouse to very plush surroundings for fans (with corporate funds available to pay much of increased ticket prices?).
This morning’s paper tells us the team owner now wants a "Major redo..." of the fieldhouse for "...what he needs for a long-term commitment to Indianapolis." (Our emphasis.) He’s asking for a new lease to be approved.
The reader should keep in mind that the current lease is for $1 (one dollar) per year, with the Pacers retaining all basketball and non-basketball revenues.
Astonishingly, - well, not really - CIB president Ms. Kennedy "...said she ‘takes no offense’..." at the re-introduction of extortion into demands for public money by a private, for-profit business.
"If you want me to commit to stay in Indianapolis, hand over the dough!"
No dollar amounts are mentioned in the story but we have a warning about what is ahead. It will be more of the same outrageous disregard for the poor beat down taxpayer who will never be able to afford to see the inside of the fieldhouse. The last paragraph of the article is a quote of Ms. Kennedy.
"I suspect that in the near term we will probably want to hear more about what his (team owner) vision is and how to ensure their continued long-term success."
Subsidy of the team began in 1974 with the construction of Market Square Arena. That’s 43 years of inability to make a profit - and to sponge off the taxpayer.
What constitutes "continued" long-term success?