Organizations hosting events at Lucas Oil Stadium already expected to pay more than they did at the RCA Dome, but some fear the Capital Improvement Board’s financial difficulties could drive costs even higher.
The concern is greater for not-for-profits operating on tight budgets that likely will pay at least 25 percent more to use the stadium compared with rates at the RCA Dome. In addition, some are receiving fewer grant dollars from the CIB, further straining financial resources.
Music For All, the former Bands of America Organization that relocated to Indianapolis from Chicago in 2003, will conduct its November Grand National Championships in Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time. CEO L. Scott McCormick anticipates that stadium costs will be higher than at other venues hosting Music for All events, such as the Georgia Dome in Atlanta or Alamodome in San Antonio.
“It has clearly become the most expensive of all the [stadiums] we use around the country, and that clearly was not the case with the RCA Dome,” McCormick said. “The challenge in this economy is, how do you navigate those waters?”
The Indiana High School Athletic Association did so by raising ticket prices. In 2007, the last year it held football championships in the RCA Dome, the IHSAA paid $152,000 in rental fees. Last year, in the new stadium, those costs climbed more than 40 percent, to $261,000, according to the IHSAA . . ,
The ICVA markets the CIB’s venues. ICVA Director of Communications Bill Benner declined to discuss the not-for-profit’s contract concerns.
To step up city marketing efforts, ICVA requested up to $5 million in additional yearly funding from the CIB that it has not received. The ICVA’s $10.5 million budget ranks below many of its competitors’. Only Minneapolis’ $9.6 million is less. In contrast, San Antonio’s visitors association receives $20 million.
Nice little shell game the CIB guys have going on, eh? The Colts demand and get one half of the non-game event revenues. Fees for these events are jacked. The groups that pay these fees come running to the CIB asking for additional grant money to offset the higher fees. The net effect is that the CIB uses its revenues from non-game events to pay for these grants. The Colts get to keep the extra money. The CIB doesn't have sufficient funds to pay the operating and maintenance costs for LOS. You're asked to pay higher taxes and use more of your tax revenues to finance their little shell game.