But here’s where the conflict comes in, and it doesn’t pertain specifically to the Colts and Pacers, but to the overall culture of professional and major college sports: Even as the economy spirals downward, no one gives a thought to bringing some kind of fiscal sanity to the overall enterprise.
Is there anyone—commissioner, owner, executive, coach, athlete, agent—willing to be part of a shared sacrifice in these tough times? Other than eliminating lowlevel jobs, virtually nothing has been done with regard to the continued escalation of costs, salaries and the burden they place on the communities and fans.
It’s business as usual. The way some Major League Baseball teams have spent for free agents, you would think these are the best of times. We should expect no less as the NFL prepares for its offseason, and there will be plenty of second-guessing if the Colts don’t spend big to shore up weaknesses. The NBA has handcuffed itself to guaranteed contracts that make it possible for a bum like Jamal Tinsley to get $7 million from the Pacers for sitting on his duff in Atlanta (and yes, bad on the Pacers for striking that deal in the fi rst place) . . .
In the meantime, the stadium and fieldhouse aren’t going away and CIB has to deal with today’s economic realities. Despite what a Colts executive says, it’s not “ludicrous” to wish for a cooperative solution to unforeseen circumstances on an international scale.
I don't agree with Benner's last comment that the CIB's financial woes were caused by "unforeseen circumstances on an international scale." The CIB would be facing a $20 million shortfall regardless of economic circumstances because the business model created by the CIB under the lease agreement with the Colts ensures that there are inadequate revenues to pay for the stadium's operating and maintenance expenses. The CIB leaders and Mayor Bart Peterson made the decision to go ahead and build the stadium before this funding gap had been resolved, believing that creating a crisis that demanded a solution was the preferred route to getting what they wanted. It is refreshing, however, to hear someone from the ICVA crowd take the side of the taxpayers for a change. His comments are going to upset a few people used to having their way at the taxpayers' expense.