Thursday, January 24, 2008

Misplaced Priorities Continue Under Ballard

Indianapolis' elite establishment has convinced Mayor Ballard that one of his number one priorities in the opening months of his administration should be the landing of a Super Bowl for our city at some date years off into the future. The Star's John Strauss reports:

Mayor Greg Ballard is expected to announce the city's plans for a Super Bowl bid next week. And Mark D. Miles, whose sports experience includes the 1987 Pan Am Games and 15 years as head of the ATP Tour, a men's professional tennis circuit, has been talking to the mayor's team . . .

Miles said exact roles were still being worked out, but a member of Ballard's transition team said Miles will lead the effort.

"He's an outstanding choice," Melissa Proffitt Reese said. "His connections here are so deep and varied that he's a natural choice."

Ballard spokesman Marcus Barlow said the mayor likely would have an announcement regarding the Super Bowl bid next week, possibly Tuesday . . .

Backers secured $25 million in private pledges. But there is no guarantee how much of that money will be available for a new bid. And the NFL has changed the bid requirements, which now say the host city must accommodate a fan and community event for 50,000 people.

Recall that the NFL Commissioner specifically promised the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis that it would be given the opportunity to host a Super Bowl at the soonest possible date if taxpayers would only pony up $700 million to build a new palace in which the Indianapolis Colts could play. Our state and city foolishly fell for the promise and learned last year that the NFL owners care more about their own personal greed than keeping promises. The City's bid lost out to Dallas because it is building a new stadium which holds more people than Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium.

Beyond the NFL's greed, this is simply a misplaced priority of the worst order. With the City of Indianapolis' neighborhoods afire from rising taxes and out of control crime, it is simply unimaginable that a group of elitist would have the audacity to expect us to ignore these more pressing problems so they can plan a party years off into the future to which 99.9% of Indianapolis residents will not be invited. Super Bowl plans calls for creating a Green Zone around Indianapolis' downtown area ala Baghdad for the exclusive party and shutting everyone else out.

If these business people have $25 million in their pockets which they are just itching to spend, why not donate that money to the City to combat the growing problem of abandoned homes? Indianapolis has close to 10,000 abandoned homes scattered throughout its neighborhoods, creating blight and pockets of high crime activity. That's more than the City of Chicago, a city several times our size. Our residents are having to resort to self-help to deal with this growing problem because the City of Indianapolis doesn't have the leadership or the money to deal with this problem. Many people are simply giving up and moving out to the suburbs. Let's get our priorities straight, Mayor Ballard. We voted you into office for change. Cowtowing to Indianapolis' elite establishment is no way to endear youself to the people who worked hard to elect you.


Anonymous said...

Will you stop it Gary? Why be all over the Mayor? The mayor is not spending any of the cities cash so why blast him? It makes me wonder if every city that has hosted the Super Bowl had to put up with these arguments. I am glad they did not listen or noone would host the big game. I am sure it is the same story everywhere that 99.9% of the people in the host city will not attend.

Anonymous said...

A nice rant, but some calm needs to follow here:

We have mroe abandoned homes than the City of Chicago? I was just there, and that cannot be true. The definition needs altered if it is true.

We have too many abandoned homes. But the condemnation process is costly and time-consuming. Perhaps the legislature, in its monkey wisdom, could shorten condemnation timeframes for abandoned homes? Or are they too busy with marriage and navel lint?

A Super Bowl would be a tremendous boost for the city. If it can be staged with the kind of support that was mustered for our original bid last year, I'm all for it.

Yeah, I do wish someone would generate $25 mil for other things. Our United Way, for instance, has not yet met its 2008 goal.

But you cannot penalize folks who do step forward to donate money to a Super Bowl bid.

We lost out to Jerry Jones, and he is a classic tool.

Anonymous said...

If the private sector picks up the total cost it would be a waste of money but there is no law against foolish expenditures. They could begin with picking up the cost of any City staffers needed to "co ordinate". As far as the Mayor goes on this, I don't recall him saying he was for frivolity when the actual needs of people have been so long neglected.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gary. You show what is most important to you by the order in which you do them. Many, many, many appointments to important boards have not yet been named - something that should have taken place before January 1. The legality of the decisions made by improperly seated board members has been called into question.

Gary brings up abandoned houses. There are a lot of issues worth tackling BEFORE addressing the SuperBowl. But, Ballard prefers to talk with the money folks first. Other issues will just have to wait, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Gary, for continuing to fight on these issues. Abdul abandoned the cause as soon as Greg Ballard was elected. He spends his morning show sucking up to all-things Ballard and Republican and proving what a phony he has been all along.

The Amazing Abdul said...

Anon 12:13,

Thanks for the love and free publicity. :-)

Anonymous said...

anon 12:13 here, Abudl. You need more free publicity than I can offer you. A friend of mine in radio told me you are the lowest paid radio talk show host in the Indianapolis market, which matches the lowest rating your show checks in with in this radio market.

Anonymous said...

Get em', Abdul. It's Wilson Allen.
You're smarter than he is.

Hopefully Miles will be able to get the Super Bowl that Peterson boy, Glass, couldn't.
It would show the entire world what a schmuck that Peterson was.

Anonymous said...


That would explain why he has to pick up so many menial contract jobs.

Anonymous said...

$25 million would be better spent attracting an organizations headquarters like the NCAA and have a multi-year agreement to hold events in Indianapolis.

Maybe the U.S. Olympic Committee which is looking for a new headquarters?

Maybe a soccer organizations headquarters and its regional, national, and international finals each year?

Maybe U.S. Basketball's new headquarters?

Maybe the World Cup?

Anonymous said...

Did you ever wonder how Ruth's Chris or St. Elmo can charge what they do for a steak you can buy at Kincaid's for $10 or less and cook for yourself?

It's called marketing...selling the sizzle, not the steak.

Cities have to do it too.

Spending an amount equal to 2.5% of one year's city budget ONE TIME to market Indianapolis on a world stage...and NOT EVEN TAX MONEY...makes perfect sense when we are trying to fill up new hotels and a new convention center and a new airport which WERE built for with city money.

Does anyone pay attention to the sales reports at Circle Centre Mall? A significant percentage of sales are to out-of-town shoppers. Does anyone wonder why we have all those high-end restaurants downtown? Lobbyists and lawyers don't support all of 'em.

Conventions and visitors are big business in "Our Town Indy" (apologies to the late Fred Heckman) and $25million to pump 'em up is money well spent.

Anonymous said...

Show me a steak you can buy at Kincaid's for $10!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If we get the bid for the Super Bowl that is awarded this year, it will be because of the efforts of the CIB and Mayor Peterson.