Thursday, April 10, 2014

Unbelievable, CIB Agrees To Give $160 Million Over Next Decade To Billionaire Pacers Owner

The greedy billionaire and his trophy wife
Indianapolis may be short of money to pay for public safety or to maintain its streets, sidewalks and parks, but there's a $160 million pot of money the city's Capital Improvement Board is prepared to release to the Pacers' billionaire owner, Herb Simon, to subsidize the operations of a business from which only he derives any economic benefit. This is in addition to the nearly $60 million in additional subsidies you've paid out to the Pacers over the past several years and the original $175 million price tag on the Fieldhouse with interest compounded over the 25-year life of the bonds issued to pay for construction costs. You see, it's your civic duty to make sure that this selfish, greedy billionaire is able to purchase as many $25 million homes scattered around the world that he and his trophy wife desire. If you want better streets and sidewalks you can use without fear of being gunned down by the City's plentiful supply of roaming gang bangers, you'll just have to dig deeper into your pockets and start paying more in property taxes, income taxes and every fee or assessment your corrupt Indianapolis leaders can dream up to pick your pockets. You have to suspend disbelief in these times to see the laundry list of things the members of the Capital Improvement Board are prepared to give away to Simon's Pacers. The Indianapolis Star provides the following summary of the one-sided deal that takes taxpayers to the cleaners once again:
  • $3.7 million annually to subsidize the Pacers' operating costs;
  • $7.1 million annually for managing the Fieldhouse with a 3% annual escalator;
  • $26.5 million paid directly to the Pacers for improvements to the Fieldhouse;
  • $7 million paid directly by the CIB to replace the basketball floor, upgrade the building's cooling tower and improve the facility's steam pressure control system; and
  • $8 million to pay for the scoreboard and sound system, which was paid for by earlier subsidies the CIB paid to the Pacers and under which the Pacers were allowed to keep all of the additional advertising revenues generated from the digital scoreboard. We're supposed to be happy that we'll get title to the scoreboard and sound system that will no doubt be outdated and require replacement at the end of the 10 years, if not sooner.
What do the taxpayers get? Herb promises he won't move his team to another city during the next 10 years, and if he dies and his succession planning for new ownership is unable to secure financing for the team, the CIB would have the right of first refusal to purchase a team Forbes magazine currently values at $475 million, which Herb and Mel Simon acquired back in the 1970s for a paltry sum of $11 million. This agreement is written in stone as good as the original deal that supposedly locked him into a 20-year lease with the City. It's a living, breathing document that must adjust to changing conditions necessitated by the personal tastes of a greedy billionaire. Oh, and you will get the $208 million fabricated economic impact claim the lying scumbags claim that the Pacers generate for the benefit of the local economy.

Hell, the public would have been much better off if the CIB had bid adios to Herb Simon and forced his Pacers organization to pay up the $50 million minimum break-up fee the original lease agreement provided that he would have to pay if he decided to go back on the original one-sided, 20-year lease agreement he negotiated with the CIB. The Pacers will continue to pay no rent and collect all of the revenues just like they do currently, but as Mayor Ballard says, that's all fair because poor Herb Simon has been operating that Fieldhouse on his dime all of these years.

One thing we know for certain, Herb Simon never operated a business for a loss. He won't release his audited financial statements because he doesn't want to see how outraged the public would become if they saw his actual financial numbers for operating the Pacers and Pacers Sports & Entertainment and at what a variance they are with the figures he shares with the CIB with the traditional wink and a nod. Believe me, the Pacers are a huge cash cow for the billionaire. He's laughing his ass off all the way to the bank about how easy it is to roll Hoosier rubes.

The members of the Capital Improvement Board should be sent to prison for the rest of their lives for the public crimes they have committed to line the pockets of the billionaire sports team owners. Nobody will convince me that these people aren't getting paid under the table to negotiate these one-sided deals. But they can count on our useless local media to pat them on the back for a job well done because anything that's good for the billionaire sports team owners has to be good for Indianapolis taxpayers. And we sure as hell know that neither our federal nor state prosecutor will investigate the massive theft of public funds that are happening in plain sight on an ongoing basis to fuel the organized crime racket that runs this city. Until people take to the streets and begin protesting and getting in these politicians faces and making them fear for their political lives, you will continue to see your quality of life diminish so the one-percent club can enrich themselves and further enslave you.

UPDATE: I surveyed the local TV news reporting on the Pacers' $160 million score. Not one TV station could find any local resident who opposed this taxpayer giveaway. As I reported a few years ago, a dirty little secret got out about how the Pacers take a bunch of local "media" folks, business leaders and PR types on all expense-paid trips to exclusive resorts in places like Cancun, Mexico where they shower them with the finest of dining and expensive gifts to remember their trip. This is one of the many reasons that you will get nothing but propaganda from the local media on these sports deals. They've all been bought off, and their reporting is nothing but lies as a consequence. Don't forget this item former Star columnist Ruth Holladay blogged about in the past:
"Why then did the Pacers just return from entertaining more than 60 people with a five-day excursion to an exclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico? The team's guests, along with their spouses, were corporate sponsors -- Indianapolis businesses that have supported the team financially over the years.
"Included were guests from Finish Line, WISH-TV, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Star, etc.The trip serves as a thank you with the hope that the sponsorships continue.
"The group was flown to Cancun, wined and dined at le Blanc Hotel and Spa, an oceanside resort that is all inclusive -- all the food and drink one can possibly consume at one hefty price. How exclusive? Each room sported its own hot tub. And no little airline liquor bottles in those rooms. Full liters -- at no extra charge. The trip included side excursions for every one in attendance.
"And to add icing to the trip, the women were given expensive jewelry and the men fancy sport watches. Special arrangements were made to watch the two West Coast Pacer games that were played during the trip.
"Of course, some guests took advantage of the Pacers generosity. The Star was issued four invitations. John Cherba, the paper's director of display (retail) advertising, and his wife took advantage of the free trip to invite personal friends along. Wouldn't want to share the spoils with just anybody now would you?"


Anonymous said...

I'm moving. Find the money from another sucker.

Anonymous said...

Sending the CIB to prison would be far too easy on the CIB members; I would go for public flogging and tar/feathering for every member.

Indianapolis should set an example on how to negotiate with these sports owners who have gotten rich at the tax payers expense.

16 million in taxes per year to raise maybe 4 million in additional sales tax.

Anonymous said...

Just another nail in the coffin for the idiots wanting to propose a commuter tax on people coming into Marion County to work. Marion County has plenty of $, they just spend it on all of the wrong things.

Flogger said...

You could be sure that despite some differences both the Democrats and Republicans are all on board with this Corporate Welfare Program. Any Democrat that may challenge Ballard will be in favor of this continued give away.

The only hope is a Libertarian Candidate for Mayor that is not afraid to call this Pacer Deal and the Colts Deal what it is - a massive transfer of assets in the form of taxes from the 99% to the 1%. Is there a person of courage in the Libertarian Party???

Gary R. Welsh said...

The only Democratic candidate right now, Frank "The Fixer" Short, is a lobbyist who can frequently be seen hobnobbing with the elites in courtside seats on the floor at home games. He has his head further up Simon's ass than Ballard, if that is possible.

Anonymous said...

Connect the dots...Pic's are worth 9/11 words...

Anonymous said...

Indianapolis obviously has no business trying to compete for folks in the job market who like stuff such as professional sports teams or the arts or public transportation. We should set our sights on places like Omaha and Witchita, and try to be more like them.

Anonymous said...

Or Austin, San Jose, Las Vegas, Louisville, Norfolk, dumbass.

In real cities, sports don't dominate the discussion. In desperate cities, people cling to anything to make their city look better amongst other cities.

One trip on Indy's cratered streets will keep anyone from moving here.

Anonymous said...

would that be dumbs R>I>, or dumbs Idaho?

Anonymous said...

CIB: Cashing In Buddies
CIB: Crony Investment Banking

Indy Rob said...

There is no irony left in the world. The star has one headline "how will Indianapolis pay for the $160 million", followed by another headline "Look out Indy, here comes professional soccer".