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Colts? pitch short on horse sense - politics


The biggest chat in the Indianapolis media over the planned $500 million Colts sports ground is how to fund it, not over the wisdom and aptness of taxpayers going into debt to build it.

Apparently the leaders of both major biased parties in Indiana have signed off on the concept, together with a poor edifice design, and are at ease to confine their conversation to who's option up the tab.

Come hell or high water on White River, Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson has vowed not to lose the Colts for the duration of his administration. His plan in part is to raise $13 million annually because of advanced car rental, innkeeper and admissions taxes in Marion County, as well as with twelve-monthly having a bet profits of $46 million from 2,500 pull-tab gaming apparatus in business district Indianapolis.

Regional Republicans have their own plans to fund a new stadium. Rep. Luke Messer of Shelbyville proposes bountiful Indianapolis $30 million in once a year revenue from 2,500 slot equipment at the Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs horse tracks. Marion Region GOP chairman and state Rep. Michael Murphy has a analogous plan that would allocate the slot android profits differently, benevolent Indianapolis $48 million annually.

Here are three tribulations with these major party proposals, anyway any issues that readers might have over funding the arena with having a bet profits.

First, they do not attend to the issue of sports ground obsolescence. Taxpayers cannot allow to again let command build a pitch that the NFL outgrows, above all one that is three-times the real cost of the first one. Proponents ought to assure that the arena will be costly for 50 years, or assure to bond the lives of their kids and grandchildren at bend the rate of our servitude.

Second, their proposals treat businesses unequally. They fund rich millionaires at the deprivation of lesser or more deserving businesses. Likewise, they treat businesses such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway fraudulently by difficult them to endorse their sports competitor. It's a slap in the face to the Speedway, which funds itself.

And why be supposed to we bond each Indianapolis citizens with more than $1,000 in debt for eight regular-season football games each year? If betting revenue projections are not met, are residents of Indianapolis disposed to be on the hook for the balance? I'm definitely not.

But here's the real crux. The RCA Dome is absolutely good as it is, apart from for one basic flaw. No, the flaw is NOT the size of the Dome. While it is the nominal in the league at 57,900 seats, the Colts barely sell the Dome out even with permit prices just below the league's be in the region of of $54. 75.

The conundrum with the RCA Dome stems from how NFL teams share revenue. Owners keep their revenues from clandestine luxury suites. At the Dome, Colts owner Jim Irsay has 104 suites. The league's most profitable franchise, the Washington Redskins, has 280.

Irsay seeks a sports ground with an adequate amount of suites to give him a shot at a average profit next of kin to the rest of the league. He would have by now moved his authorize to Los Angeles had that city promised him a arena with a sufficient amount suites, which it could not come up with the money for to do.

So he and his authorize are leveraging Indianapolis and our state control into shop him a sports ground by 2008 that just gives him more profit potential. Ironically, Irsay's best advertising point is that he will not also hold the city convict by creation it assurance that the suites it builds him will be sold. Huh? Until then, the city expects to pay him at least $36 million to keep the Colts in town.

Compare this to the real costs of a new stadium. Its $500 million price tag can triple by the time its bond is paid. For the 400 eternal jobs that the pitch creates and the hundred or so new suites that are created, that amounts to a civic investment of over $1 million per job and $3 million per luxury suite. Plus, we will build a arena with no more ability than the creative Hoosier Dome and, from the looks of the design, one with lousy viewing for NCAA basketball.

That's maddening. Our designated officials are about to build a new obsolete pitch with narrow capacity, a poor configuration and an inflated price tag. They will again lumber us with community debt that is tall on opinionated play and short on horse sense.

2005 Open-minded Writers Bureau

Attorney, check journalist and past chair of the Democratic Party of Marion County.


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