The Star favors a ticket tax on fans to erase most of the deficit. Just so you know, that counts as the Colts' contribution to erasing the deficit. I'm not kidding. The Star is sympathetic to picking up the $15 million in costs now absorbed annually by the Pacers, but it wants the team to wait until better economic times to make that request. At any rate, this argument is going to the State House. Contact your legislators and tell them to just say no to a bailout for the CIB.
Speaking of useless, Matt Tully has a column today in which he says:
[Bob] Grand is exactly the guy you'd want handling the behind-the-scenes negotiations. Managing partner at the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, he is one of the state's most influential backroom dealers. When it comes to matters such as this, he's exactly the kind of influential tough-guy negotiator the city needs.
A tough-guy negotiator for his own clients and self-interests, maybe. Bob Grand could give a damn less about the taxpayers based upon his view that the Colts should not be expected to give up some of their revenues from the stadium. Either Tully is just trying to suck up to Grand or he's the dumbest guy in town. Tully then goes on to make the case for a downtown casino. What a joke. Matt, take the rest of the day to read John Kass' political columns for the Chicago Tribune as of late. Maybe you'll learn something.
UPDATE: I just saw Bob Kravitz interview with billionaire Pacers owner Herb Simon. It will really get your blood boiling. Kravitz says not to mention the "B" word, or bailout, when you're in the same room as Simon. Simon tells Kravitz that "things have changed dramatically" and he has "a right" to renegotiate the lease and intends to do that. He says he is nervous talking about more handouts for his family because he doesn't want people to think it is a "public cry for help." What if we don't give Simon the tens of millions more in public subsidies that he is demanding from the CIB? "Can we stay? Yes,'' he said. "Is it prudent to stay if economic conditions keep deteriorating? No. . . . We're here, not to keep the team here for as long as I can afford it, but to keep the team here even after someone else . . . takes over this team. We want this team to be here forever.''
Oh, did I mention that Simon recently filed a federal lawsuit against a real estate construction firm and one of Simon's former top executives, accusing the two of colluding to defraud his giant shopping mall company out of millions of dollars? So why are the Pacers losing money? The franchise recruited a bunch of thugs to play on his basketball team who got into all kinds of trouble and the fans stopped attending their games. Now the taxpaying public is expected to pick up the slack? Real nice, Herb.