We first hear from CIB Chairman Fred Glass that at least $15 million will have to be raised to pay for costs associated with hosting the big party for the rich and famous. Then there was talk that Indianapolis would have to come up with a second practice facility as a condition to meeting the site selection requirements. The Colt's existing practice facility just won't cut it. The $50 million public subsidy for a 1000-room Marriott Hotel we're told will help us shore up the minimum hotel room requirement for hosting the event.
Apparently, the generosity of Indianapolis taxpayers to greedy NFL owners is still not enough. Our esteemed legislature is now considering extraordinary tax breaks specifically for the Super Bowl event. The AP is reporting on efforts to extend sales and income tax breaks for the NFL and the two football teams competing in the event:
State lawmakers could consider giving tax breaks to football teams and the NFL in an effort to bring the 2011 Super Bowl to Indianapolis.
A Senate bill would give a sales tax exemption to the NFL and the two teams that would be in the Super Bowl, said Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville. Lawmakers might also consider amending the bill to include an income tax exemption as another incentive.
"It's part of this cat-and-mouse game," Kenley said.
Not all lawmakers are enthused about giving teams the tax breaks, Kenley said, and the bill could change as it moves through the legislative process.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis officials have been sounding out business leaders' willingness to donate cash and services if the city makes a bid for the 2011 Super Bowl in the new Lucas Oil Stadium, which is being built to replace the RCA Dome.
Indianapolis has until April 2 to submit a bid, a challenging process that requires securing 27,000 hotel rooms, lining up locations for dozens of events and detailing how it would accommodate thousands of fans as well as media that would descend on the city.
The 32 NFL team owners likely will choose the location for the 2011 game at their spring meeting, scheduled for May 21-23. Dallas and Arizona also are considered serious contenders.
So as the legislature for the umpteenth time debates whether to fund full-day kindergarten or provide free textbooks for the children of low-income families, it finds yet another way of subsidizing billionaire NFL team owners. Will this state ever get its mind off all-things sports and start focusing on what really matters?