State employees lucky enough to snag a ticket to the 2012 Super Bowl might have counted on having free parking in the state government garages just a short walk from Lucas Oil Stadium.
But free parking turns out to be even more impossible than getting a game ticket, as the state is letting the NFL use the government center's two parking garages and one surface lot when Indianapolis hosts the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.
Fans who park in them will be paying an undetermined fee, with the money going to the NFL.
Connie Smith, spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration, said it's the first time the state has not kept the fees collected when the public uses the state garages for special events. But, she added, the state thinks the tax revenues the game will generate make it a worthwhile trade-off . . .
While the deal is not expected to impact state government workers in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, as volunteers and staff will be using only a small number of the 6,113 spots, all of the spaces will be used for fans, the media and officials on the day of the big game.Yes, state employees will be bounced from their normal 24/7 access to their assigned parking spaces and for the first time in state history, parking revenues for special event parking in the state-owned garages will not belong to the taxpayers. State officeholders, including the governor, all state legislators and judges, however, will get free use of their parking spaces at the State House according to Schneider. You can bet they will get free tickets to the game as well. Those of us who live, work and pay taxes in Indianapolis will be told to stay the hell away unless we have a pass to attend any of the events. For security reasons, access to a significant area of the downtown will be blocked to average citizens. Based on the parking fees charged for similar parking during the Super Bowl in Dallas, state taxpayers will lose close to a half million dollars to the NFL owners, who have already been given an unprecedented state tax break that exempts the Super Bowl event from state and local taxes that would normally be collected.
I am totally convinced that there will be no net economic benefit to the City of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana for hosting the Super Bowl when it's all done and said. It is imposing an extremely costly burden on state and local government at a time neither has money to spare for the entertainment of the country's wealthiest citizens. While the budgets for basic city services are being slashed, funds are being moved around in a complicated shell game to cover the tens of millions of dollars in costs the event will wind up costing the city. The host committee throws out absurd economic impact numbers of $150 million or more that will occur. My guess is that the gross economic impact is way less than half of that amount, particularly when you factor in the large amount of the money generated by the Super Bowl that never enters the local economy.