Sunday, May 31, 2009

CIB Still Has No Plan B

CIB leaders are so confident of their ability to wield control over Indiana lawmakers to get what they want--a $47 million bailout--that they needn't bother with a contingency plan. "There is no Plan B," [CIB President Bob] Grand said. "I won't talk about those scenarios until I face them. I don't have the time or money to pay lawyers to figure that out. If it falls through, there will be plenty of time for that." One thing that will not occur, regardless of what the legislature does next month during its special session, is the closure of Lucas Oil Stadium, a point I've made repeatedly on this blog. The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy writes, "The state would take over operation of Lucas Oil Stadium, because the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority holds the roughly $1 billion in bonds for the construction of the stadium and expansion of the Indiana Convention Center."

The simple solution to the CIB's current funding woes is to return LOS to its rightful owner, the State of Indiana. "If the CIB stops operating the stadium, another operator would be put in its place," Kitchell said in an e-mail. "We could do this very quickly without interrupting scheduled events." What we'll discover after the state assumes control of LOS is that the CIB deliberately lied about the true extent of the higher costs of running the new stadium. The Daniels' administration will discover those costs to be well below $20 million. Significantly, the state will be able to tap existing revenues from the regional food and beverage tax, which are currently running ahead of expectations by millions, to offset some of those costs. O'Shaughnessy's article notes the reluctance of city leaders to discuss this possibility. As I've stated on previous occasions, the lure of having free tickets to dispense to local politicians for Colts games and other events at LOS is intoxicating.

O'Shaughnessy's story also discusses Sen. Mike Delph's suggestion that the CIB file for bankruptcy, an idea touted by fellow blogger Paul Ogden. "Delph said the threat of bankruptcy -- a scenario that could include a judge reworking contracts -- would change the balance of power with the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Pacers, who have so far not agreed to contribute the $5 million asked of each as part of several bailout scenarios," O'Shaughnessy writes.

Incidentally, I think O'Shaughnessy has been reached. No longer does he use the term "bailout" when discussing the CIB's efforts to get approval for tax increases and revenue enhancements to the tune of $48 million a year. He now calls it a "rescue plan." Hmmm.

If Gov. Mitch Daniels proposes a bailout plan for the CIB when he announces his new budget proposal tomorrow night, I believe this is one of those things that will not go unnoticed among the conservative blogs across this nation. Maybe that's of little concern to him, but if he is truly interested in a White House bid some day, that's not the sort of news he wants coming out of the Hoosier state about his administration. The best solution is for him is to tell the CIB to return LOS to state control and pledge to operate it smarter and more efficiently than the CIB. Asking taxpayers to dig deeper into their wallets to provide more subsidies to the billionaire sports team owners will not play well in the Hoosier state or among the Republican faithful across the country to whom he would look for support in a potential presidential bid.


Downtown Indy said...

Is not Bob Grand a lawyer? Is not Pat Early a CPA? Is not their job to figure out things like this?

I would think either filing for bankrupcty or handing the facility back to the state would serve the same purpose, namely tearing up the existing lease contract. The contract is between the CIB and the Colts. Although it's been awhile since I looked at it, I do not recall anything in there spelling out transfer of the agreement should CIB give up control of the facility.

Whether Grand, Ballard, O'Shaughnessy (or any of the other playes) continue to deny it or not, that contract is the root cause of the CIB's financial problems.

And I do believe Grand has a 'Plan B' - depart the CIB and let someone else clean up the mess.

Jon said...

I couldn't agree more with the statement that the best thing is to give LOS back to the state. At least then someone will finally look into the finanacial quagmire that this has become and it will remove all of the locally vested interests from the process.

Dana said...

You know, I ran across a girl at the Shell station at Washington and Emerson hooking today. She looked ill and undernourished. Washington and Emerson...

While the city, run by rich, privileged white plutocrats worries about how to run a giant barn for more rich people to play in (and how to finance a worthless I-69 extension) the poor are getting poorer, jobs scarcer, food less safe and schools are going into the tank.

We need taxes (but not to pay for barns that hulking steroid plastered monsters can play in). We need progress away from auto parts manufacturing and coal power plants. We need schools with a logical disciplinary structure and less emphasis on standardized robot tests. We need data networks at least as fast as Japan has.

We need to be honest with ourselves and we need to take care of our kids. While Indianapolis was slobbering all over the NFL to get a Superbowl, the real business of this city was forgotten. Humanity IS OUR BUSINESS.

Meanwhile, kids are hooking on our streets because there is nothing else for them. We should be ashamed.

Dana Curtis Kincaid

Paul K. Ogden said...


You had me until that I-69 comment. I used to drive to Evansville on a regular basis. This state desperately needs that road.

Jon said...

Side note on I-69 extension, I agree we need one but not through the Hoosier National Forest at an additional 600-800 million dollars more than the alternate route. At this point in time how can we afford it? The alleged difference in time between the two routes is trivial compared to how long it takes now.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I don't for a second buy the argument that it is an "alleged difference in time." It is a real difference in time. The direct I-69 route will cut nearly 70 miles off the I-70/U.S. 41 route to EVansville that passes through Terre Haute, which is well over 200 miles I know people ahve said there will only be 5 or so minutes diference between the routes. There is no way. You're talking 70 miles less traveling plus you're traveling at interstate speed all the way. I would bet it will cut off 45 minutes off the commute.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I take that back. Since it now takes 3 1/2 hours to get t Eville, a straight shot down a 135 mile long intrestate might take 2 1/2 hours. That's an hour's difference.

Dana said...

20 minutes... An hour... How many acres of forest and fields is an hour of your life worth.

There is more to life than the time measured on another super highway.

4 bN dollars, unavoidable damage to forests, etc etc etc. It isn't worth it.

"Travel time will also be significantly reduced -- by nearly a half-hour -- between Indianapolis and Evansville."

HALF a BLOODY HOUR!!!! Four Billion DOLLARS FOR HALF AN HOUR! Yes, we REALLY need that. Bull pucky.