We’re all supposed to cheer aren’t we? This morning’s paper devoted about one full page to an article headed, "Pacers home is having a huge year for concerts." We wonder.
The last two column inches of the story refer to "...millions spent on meals and lodging." The very last sentence gives us this bit of misdirection. "It’s bringing what we’re charged to do as stewards of this CIB building: bring economic development."
As usual, we’re not told the basis for the "estimate" of millions of dollars handed over by the patrons of these events. Nor are we told why 74 years of taxpayer subsidy for this entertainment business for the purpose of "economic development" have still left the city with a "structural budgetary deficit." (In plain language, that means a lot more going out and not enough coming in. The real hub of the problem being complete attention on the latter while ignoring the former.)
In case anyone has forgotten, the Pacers have a lease paying the city $1 - one dollar - per year. To offset that rigorous financial obligation, the team retains ALL revenues. Specifically including those from the golden year being presented today.
But wait! - as the TV sales pitch goes. There’s more! The city’s involved in a separate annual gift to the team of $16 million for operation and maintenance of the building, which will total $160 million eventually.
A recent story let us know that the team owner is already talking about a new contract, including the need for a "major redo" of the building and, undoubtedly, a continuation of the annual donation.
There is apparently no end to this financial millstone hung on the neck of the taxpayer by the governmental agency known as the Capital Improvement Board (CIB).
An honest and substantive study of the situation would, we believe, result in a wonderful Christmas present for the taxpayer. But we’re a little too old for the Santa Claus story, and not holding our breath - despite the fact that he does still come to a favored few via the CIB.