Saturday, January 27, 2007

Super Bowl Tickets For Legislators Raising Ire Of Some

Hey, the Indiana legislature made it possible for the Indianapolis Colts to get a $700 million stadium built courtesy of the taxpayers. So why shouldn't every lawmaker have an opportunity to purchase two tickets to the Super Bowl? Because there are a lot of long-time Colts season ticket holders who were denied a chance to purchase tickets despite their support of the team during some pretty low times in the past. As the Northwest Indiana Times Patrick Guinane writes:

Twelve-hundred bucks and a little clout will get you a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLI.

The Indianapolis Colts have given state politicians, including legislators, congressmen and local officials around Indianapolis, the chance to cut in front of season-ticket holders who didn't get a change to buy tickets to the Feb. 4 game in Miami.

An e-mail from the team late Thursday offered each lawmaker the chance to purchase a pair of tickets at the face value of $600 apiece . . .

Gov. Mitch Daniels on Friday told reporters he will be in Miami for Super Bowl weekend and is trying to set up a reception that would allow him to network with business leaders interested in bringing jobs to Indiana. The governor said he didn't know if he will be going to the game as a guest of the team or if he'll have to shell out for tickets.

House Speaker Pat Bauer told WTHR's Kevin Rader yesterday he couldn't afford to go to the game. He figured the total cost of the trip to be at least $3,000--the tickets being $1,200 of that cost. My understanding is this same ticket offer was extended to Indianapolis' city-county council members. Those who take advantage of the deal will no doubt defend the offer because they had to pay face value for the tickets. The reality is they are being offered a benefit not extended to the general public, or even the Colts' own ticket holders. Without the offer, lawmakers would have to purchase the tickets for the price they are fetching from scalpers, which runs into the thousands of dollars. So in that sense, the offer is really a gift to lawmakers worth potentailly thousands of dollars. Making matters worse is the timing of the gift while legislation is currently making its way through the legislature to provide unprecedented income and sales tax breaks for NFL team owners participating in a Super Bowl game to enduce the NFL to select Indianpolis as the site of the 2011 Super Bowl.

My fear is that some unscrupulous lawmakers will use the chance offer to make money off the tickets. They could purchase the tickets for face value, and then turn around and triple their money by scalping the tickets. If you think that would be beneath lawmakers, think again. I've heard several stories in the past of lobbyists giving Colts or Pacers tickets to legislators, only to later learn they were scalped for more money. I specifically recall a trade group giving one legislator two courtside tickets to a Pacers game a number of years ago. When the lobbyist for the trade association arrived at the game, there were two other men sitting in the seats the lobbyist had given to the legislator. When the lobbyist ask the two men where they got their tickets, they told him they had purchased them from some guy in a bar in Anderson .

13 comments:

angryseasontixguy said...

Wow, so as a season-ticket holder, I was told I couldn't get tickets because I didnt win the lottery to get them. Let's see 24 years times about $3100 a year, I guess the legislators who don't even live in Indpls are more important than I am and can get tickets to the Super Bowl. Once again, it's who you know and who you blow to get things in the world of politics. I know one thing for sure, if any legislator in my district takes these tickets, they lose my vote.

Kenn Gividen said...

angryseasontixguy...

For $3100 you can buy a giant screen TV.

:-)

angryseasontixguy said...

I already have one thank you. And it doesn't come with the atmosphere of a Super Bowl. My living room, albeit toasty with the fire going, isnt quite the same as what 3100 buys me for a few days in South Beach in the dead of Indiana Winter

callme-ishmael said...

Hopefully there will be a list of those legislators taking advantage of this quid pro quo (buy my stadium, give us tax breaks and a 2nd practice field and we'll give you something at a huge discount). Perhaps this is a gift that by law is required to be reported. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Even under Indiana's ridiculous lobbying and gift reporting rules, these tickets will have to be reported.

So we'll see who got them.

Anonymous said...

The tickets won't be reported because they will be bought at face value directly by the legislator. According to the rules, only gifts over $100 have to be reported. Since the tickets are purchased and not a gift, nothing has to be reported.

Anonymous said...

While this whole thing angers me (it really isn't fair treatment of long-time Colts season-ticket holders), I did see something else today that is nice: Colts owner Jim Irsay is taking all of the employees and a spouse/SO to the Super Bowl: two game tix, airfare and 4 nights in a hotel in Miami. I think that is pretty classy, because you know there are plenty of people who work there who couldn't afford to pay their own way.

Anonymous said...

City Council members probably won't see any conflict or ethics problems because their own leader is an ethics-challenged goofball. And a sorry one at that.

Catch p-1 of today's Star for an excellent article by Brendan O'Shaughnessy if you have any doubt.

I'll give Mr. President this: at least he was trying to earn some private sector money for a change. by forming his own concrete company to do public-sector work. It's not a full-throttle private sector attempt, but it's a sputtering start.

Monroe Gray claims that almost a half-million in pension/wage judgments against his concrete company, are because a bookeeper used the wrong wage charts to calculate deductions. Riiiiiight.

He uses improper grammar in one quote, and mis-spelled Councillor on his official ethics form.

This guy is am embarrassment to my party and the city, and he's leading the council. So, why would any council member see anything wrong with accepting these Super Bowl tickets?

And, just to dodge the inevitable: go away Wilson.

Wilson46201 said...

Go away, anonymous loudmouth - if you are so proud of what you have to say, why do you hide your face? Ashamed?

Do you think John Hancock signed as "Anonymous" with a flourish?

Anonymous said...

Did I say I was proud, Wilson? Far from it. The antics of some of these public officials is embarrassing to me as a lifelong resident of this city.

Anonymity, for some of us, is required.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, so as a season-ticket holder, I was told I couldn't get tickets because I didnt win the lottery to get them."

So what? You got your new stadium thanks to these hacks. The least you owe them is your superbowl tickets. Bwahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

No, they owe their new stadium to the taxpayers of Indiana. A 700M, publicly funded stadium? Wow, that sucks.

Anonymous said...

We will have differences come Sunday but we share the same argument. My family has been loooong time Chicago Bears season ticket holders. We did not get picked in '85 and once again got snubbed this year. Can you believe the bears do use seniority in their lottery? They say it cause of a fire in the '60's the destroyed their records. Sounds like bull. I can feel for you, legislators should not be involved. I think more should be done for use life long fans!