Tuesday, December 08, 2009

If The Indians Can Turn A Profit . . . .

The Indianapolis Indians may just be a small minor league baseball franchise, but the organization still returns profits for the shareholders of the franchise. Despite a hit on income in 2009, the Indians are paying a $250 per share dividend to the franchise's shareholders. According to the IBJ's Anthony Schoettle, the Indians' profit fell from $1.23 million in 2008 to $459,603 in 2009. The franchise took the biggest income hit in advertising. The team was also hit by five rained out games, including the 4th of July, which Schoettle reports is typically a sold out game. The team's operating expenses were only slightly higher this year, $7.48 million this year compared to $7.48 million.

The biggest impact of the economic downturn for the team has been its decision to stop buying back stock in the company. There are 757 issued and outstanding shares. The company had been buying back those shares for a whopping $21,323 per share. The franchise says it has $1.2 million in checking and savings accounts.

What is fascinating about this story is how much disclosure you get from the Indiana about their financial status. The CIB is considering a $15 million a year additional subsidy for the Simon-owned Indiana Pacers franchise. The Pacers provide no similar accounting of their financial standing to the general public. The Simons are demanding additional taxpayer-financed subsidies but have always been very secretive about the Pacers' actual financial statements. It seems to me that the Simons owe it to the public to provide audited financial statements on the Pacers' franchise, including the entertainment arm of the organization, to prove the team is actually registering the massive losses it claims. People familiar with the Simons know that they never hold on to businesses that are failing. If the Pacers have been losing as much money as Jim "Rent-A-Civic-Leader" Morris is claiming, then let's see the proof.

1 comment:

dcrutch said...

Absolutely. Thank you. What's most galling about hospitals, school districts, Congress, libraries, etc., is the universal pursuit of asking us for more money without showing us ALL the "books", "proposal", "cash flow", or legislation (see 2000+ pgs of health care "reforms", constantly churning, that MUST collectively be passed NOW or we all turn into pumpkins).

Of the relative necessities or at least usual amenities of government listed above, professional sports teams are way, WAY down the list. Yet, we seem to think they're near essential and give them near carte blanche (as in Colt's receiving non-football stadium revenue).

When will we respect, slate, and vote for those that will serve all taxpayers instead of near-exclusive service to particular parties or businesses - sharing with voters the knowledge of what's really going on, with any issue? When will we have candidates listening to the viewpoints of vested constituency, but still doing what's best for all citizenry in the end? We had a hole in the ground for, what, 10-15 years downtown? Somebody had to say,"No" for awhile. Times got better and finally something got built. That's a lot different method than the Wishard "build it anyway" mentality.

Improvement is an impossibility? You look at the example of mixed results from our current mayor, coming into office with few political debts- and wonder. Government is destined to descend further into this inscetuous, Putineque, multi-layered oligarchy - basically serving the rich and powerful? Or, (Duh!) this is just how it's always been, always will be, and the current crop is just a little less slick than usual?