Nobody has more reason to smile about Indianapolis winning the bid to host the Big Ten Football Championship than Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Indianapolis’ victory to host the game for the next five years means Irsay’s Colts will reap $10 million to $15 million over the period—2011 to 2015—while making little if any capital outlay to make it happen. That’s because the Colts lease with the city’s Capital Improvement Board stipulates the Colts get half of all revenue from non-Colts related events while the city picks up the tab for operations.
The $10 million to $15 million could be conservative. Lucas Oil Stadium holds 63,000 but is expandable to 70,000. If the game puts 63,000-plus fans in the seats—which most football followers believe it will—that will generate more than $3 million in ticket revenue alone. Add the Colts’ share of $1.5 million in ticket sales to the concessions, parking and other ancillary revenue, and the Colts’ total annual take easily eclipses $2 million.
The annual city-wide economic impact of the game is estimated at $20 million. The Colts should net more than 10 percent of that.
And it’s an unforeseen revenue stream for the Colts. When the stadium opened in 2008, there was little discussion of even having a Big Ten Football championship, let along Indianapolis hosting such an event.This is another example of why taxpayers must demand that the Capital Improvement Board re-negotiate its lease with the billionaire Irsay. It is utterly criminal that this man can pile up huge profits from the efforts of the CIB and ICVA to win these events for the City, while he doesn't contribute one dime to the maintenance and operating costs on Lucas Oil Stadium built entirely with our tax dollars. Our elected officials should be imprisoned for allowing this fleecing of the taxpayers to take place. We pay an exorbitant tax every time we buy food and drink in this damn town to fund these operations, while this selfish man who has never had to work a day in his life piles up a massive fortune for himself. Meanwhile, the taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression that has no end in sight. The so-called civic leaders celebrating the landing of the Big Ten championship all receive tickets, food and drinks to all of the events, while you and I have to dig deep into our pockets to attend any events at these publicly-financed facilities. They should all be holding their heads in shame at the sleazy arrangement they've brokered with this billionaire. When will someone say enough is enough?
UPDATE: Too much honesty for Irsay and the Downtown elites? The IBJ has pulled Schoettle's blog post from earlier today discussing the potential windfall to Irsay from hosing the Big Ten football tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. It's obvious someone reached his boss at the IBJ and ordered the blog post pulled. One of the comments posted on Schoettle's blog before it was pulled accused him of taking a cheap shot at Irsay.
UPDATE II: Colts' owner Jim Irsay responded with anger to Anthony Schoettle's blog post via Twitter:
IBJ n little anthony, r u incompetent and irresponsible,or just plain STUPID! So eager 2 spew venom,u play the retractable fool . . .If the revenue sharing provision is what it appears to be, Irsay takes $3.5 million annually whether the City hosts the Big Ten championship or not. In other words, he would have pocketed $17.5 million over 5 years regardless of whether the Big Ten football championship is played at Lucas Oil Stadium. That may explain the reason Schoettle's blog post was pulled. Of course, Irsay doesn't have to pay any of the $20 million in annual operating and maintenance costs on LOS. The taxpayers pick up that tab.
Notice how little anthony brings my name into false negative light,while leaving my friend Herb Simon out of his misrepresentation.
UPDATE III: Schoettle has posted his correction, which essentially confirms what I write in the immediate paragraph above:
Eating crow once in a while is good for you. It may not be tasty, but it keeps you humble.
Making mistakes, on the other hand, is never good. Especially in my line of work, when mistakes reach thousands of people.
In my blog post Monday, I wrote that the Indianapolis Colts could make $10 million to $15 million from the Big Ten Football Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium over the next five years.
It’s true that the team does get about half of the stadium’s non-Colts revenue. But what I failed to mention is the Colts’ take is capped at $3.5 million annually. And according to Colts and city officials, the team already receives its maximum share from other non-Colts events. So, in actuality, if the current number of events keeps rolling into the stadium along with the Big Ten Championship, the Colts won’t receive a dime from the Big Ten Football Championships.
The game proceeds, then, will be split between the conference, its teams, and the city, which owns the stadium.
One more thing also needs clearing up. Monday’s post (which has since been removed in light of the error) said the Colts will make no capital outlay to host the game. In actuality, the Colts agreed to pony up $400,000 as part of the bid package to host the game from 2012 to 2015.