State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, makes a valid point that the various Central Indiana hotel, restaurant, ticket and car rental taxes enacted to build the stadium were not represented as a discretionary funding source for day-to-day operations. The first obligation is to make sure construction is covered. But Kenley and other state leaders are wrong to toss off the looming shortfall as the city's problem when, after all, the state took control of the stadium as part of the financing process.
Kenley's position is absolutely correct, and the Star's is wrong. The state only assumed responsibility for construction of the facility because it is funded by a tax levied on the entire region, not just Marion Co.; it was up to the city and the Capital Improvement Board to ensure a lease agreement that provided adequate revenues to cover the stadium's operating costs. As the Star's Sunday story pointed out, other cities have required team owners to pay for the stadium's operating costs, or they have used concessions and other nongame events to cover those costs. That included the $121.5 million naming rights sold to Lusas Oil! The CIB chose to give away those revenue sources to Jim Irsay. That's their mistake, and they should be tasked with going back to Jim Irsay and saying, "we screwed up."
It's about time the taxpayers' interests prevailed over the interests of Jim Irsay. He can cough up the extra dollars. Remember Fred Glass, you represent the taxpayers, not Jim Irsay. Now do the job you failed to do right the first time.