City officials are exploring redevelopment options for the former Central State Hospital—including creating a 150-acre sports complex that could include facilities for everything from soccer and baseball to tennis and ice skating.
In preliminary discussions, Mayor Greg Ballard’s administration envisions the venue serving recreational athletes as well as elite athletes who would be housed on the grounds while training for national or international competitions.
“We’ve done a lot of research on that site and we’ve discussed a lot of things with neighbors out there,” said Paul Smith, real estate manager for IndyParks, the city’s parks department. “One idea that’s been discussed has been a sports complex, but it’s just an idea right now.”
City officials have taken the step of putting together preliminary drawings. And people close to the city’s sports movement say Ballard has indicated he likes the idea.
It’s not clear how much such a venue would cost, though sports business experts say it easily could surpass $10 million—a big obstacle at a time the economy is sputtering and property-tax caps are squeezing city revenue.
"Right now, there’s just no money for things like this,” Smith said. “The economy has not been a friend to what’s going on.”I know exactly how Ballard plans to pay for it. He will use part of the hundreds of millions of dollars the City will be borrowing on the backs of the sewer and water users as part of his utilities deal with Citizens Energy to fund this completely needless project. There isn't a city in America as stupid as Indianapolis when it comes to diverting taxpayer assets to support sports-related activities at the expense of other basic services that government provides. We have the worst public schools in the country, and all our leaders can envision for our future is building yet another sports facility. We have a skating rink downtown at Pan Am Plaza, which we just had to have in order to host the Pan Am Games back in the 1980s, that will be demolished to make room for new development. We're also demolishing that world class Indianapolis Tennis Center we just had to have to make room for an expanding NCAA. You guessed it. That new facility could replace both of those losses and then some. Schoettle writes:
It could replace the Indianapolis Tennis Center, which is slated for demolition on the southeastern edge of the IUPUI campus in August. It also could house the Indiana World Skating Academy, which expects to get evicted from Pan Am Plaza when its owners redevelop that site.The logic in this town is sickening beyond belief. Our leaders are terminally stuck on stupid.
The site also could include facilities for baseball, soccer, track and field, and other sports, and offer housing, dining and training.