Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Indy Named Finalist For 2018 Super Bowl: Get Ready For New Taxpayer Subsidies

Get ready to bend over and take another rusty knife up your collective butts. Indianapolis has just been named one of three finalists to host the 2018 Super Bowl, along with New Orleans and Minneapolis. There is one thing for certain that this news will bring. Colts billionaire owner Jim Irsay has already informed local organizers that Indianapolis' weak point is the lack of quality hotels in its downtown area. Even though Indianapolis has more hotel space downtown than either Minneapolis or New Orleans, we will be told that it is critical that we subsidize the construction of a new downtown luxury hotel at the Pan Am Plaza site and you can bet it will happen. At least $25 to $30 million of your property tax dollars diverted into the TIF slush funds will be tapped to finance construction of the new hotel that one of Mayor Ballard's large campaign contributors will be selected to build. You know the drill. Been there, done that on multiple prior occasions.

That will be just one of several public expenditures totaling in the tens of millions that will be required to host another Super Bowl. Despite the city being unable to fund basic city services, we will be assured that hosting a second Super Bowl is that silver bullet we need to ensure the continued viability of our city. They were just pulling our legs the last time when they told us that hosting it just once would prove to be the magical silver bullet to take our city to new levels. Hah. We're still waiting for the windfall that never materialized but a second opportunity will definitely be the charm, if not the third time.

New Orleans has hosted several Super Bowls, including last year's Super Bowl. Minneapolis has recently approved construction of a new Vikings Stadium that is expected to cost $975 million, about half of which will be contributed by the Vikings, a stark contrast to the deal CIB officials reached with the Colts for construction of the more than $700 million Lucas Oil Stadium shouldered entirely by taxpayers. Unlike the Colts' one-sided deal, the Vikings will pay $8.5 million in rent and $1.5 million for capital improvements. The Colts get rent-free use of Lucas Oil Stadium and pay no rent or capital improvement costs. The Vikings will also pay for game-day expenses. The NFL has promised NFL owners and cities which build new stadiums the opportunity to host a Super Bowl soon after its opening. As long as the billionaire owners are happy, the hell with the rest of us.

UPDATE: True to form, the IBJ's Anthony Schoettle claims economic impact numbers that have no basis in fact:
Officials likely are emboldened by the financial results of Indianapolis’ first time hosting of the NFL championship game, which produced a direct economic impact of $176 million, according to a study by Rockport Analytics. When considering “supply chain” spending by businesses to stock up for the game, in addition to spending of extra wages on overtime, the $176 million impact figure rises to $277.9 million, according to the study.
Other findings from the study showed that 116,000 visitors outside Indianapolis came to the city for the game or related events, and the NFL Experience drew 265,000 visitors.
That drove area hotel occupancy rates to about 93 percent for the four days leading up to the game, and to an eye-popping 99 percent for downtown hotels. The strong capacity lifted daily room rates to $290.
These inflated numbers ignore the displacement impact that showed up in tax revenues collected by the government, which showed little more than a blip on the radar screen, and the tens of millions that were diverted from other expenditures for this useless endeavor. Corporate sponsors are already being asked to pony up $30 million to put on another Super Bowl, $5 million more than raised and spent during the last round. Just think how those dollars could be invested much more wisely in a way that would benefit far more people, in particular, people who actually need the help.


Anonymous said...

Tax and Spend....and sooner or later you run out of other people's money to spend.

-and the rich get richer at the expense of the common people.

Anonymous said...

Let me be then first to say, Indy please bend over again...

Anonymous said...

-Can I get an "Amen" from the 10 Point Coalition???

Grab your ankles, Indianapolis!

(Carmel will probably just chuckle at you...really!)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Pence will back a statewide "temporary" tax to fund this?