According to the CIB's 2008 budget, operating expenses rose by about $14.9 million, or 26 percent, when the new stadium opened. Meanwhile, operating revenues decreased: The new contract with the Colts forced the CIB to give up about $3 million in game-day concessions revenue, $1.3 million in advertising income (when the Lucas naming rights went to the Colts) and $2.5 million in labor reimbursements because of an agreement that calls for the CIB to pay all game-day security costs. And the light bill went up about $1 million.The sidebar to the story suggests some of those costs were offset by capital contributions from the Colts of $102 million. That's bullshit. The Colts kicked in nothing for the new stadium. Half of that money came form the break-up fee for the old lease, which taxpayers had to cough up and then the Colts graciously agreed to forgive, a little shell game the CIB played to make it look like they were contributing something. The rest of the money came from the NFL, not the Colts. The sidebar also suggests the CIB is getting more revenues to pay for those expenses from the taxes that were raised to build the new stadium. Something doesn't add up there. When the stadium deal passed, the state legislature and the governor refused to agree to allow any of those new revenues to be used to pay for operating expenses; all of the revenues were to be used exclusively to pay down the debt on the bonds.
The sad part of this saga is that taxpayers are financially better off if the stadium sits empty all but those 10 days a year the Colts are playing in it. Even worse for local groups is the near-doubling of rental charges for using the stadium, 13 cents per square foot versus 24 cents per square foot. McFeely's story also fails to discuss the subsidies taxpayers pay to groups through the ICVA to host their events in Indianapolis because our costs are too high. For some reason, the Star doesn't want its readers to know this dirty little secret.