Friday, October 16, 2015

Indianapolis Star's Lead Headline Boasts Of Alcohol Sales At Sunday's Colts Game

This is more for the benefit of readers who are not unfortunate enough to live in a city where the only daily newspaper is a Gannett-owned newspaper. In other words, you live in a city where there is a legitimate newspaper that does real reporting and analysis of the news. Today's headline in bold red print letters on IndyStar.com, the online version of the Indianapolis Star, reads: "Exclusive: Alcohol Sales May Exceed $500,000 Sunday At Lucas Oil Stadium." I kid you not. This is what a Gannett-owned newspaper believes is news.

The story opens by telling us that every Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium is a sell-out this year but because the team is facing off against the New England Patriots, the "numbers suggest a spike will happen in another category: alcohol sales." So the newspaper is urging fans to head to the stadium Sunday and just get totally plastered and then hop in their vehicles and drive home drunk, hoping they won't get in a wreck and kill someone on the way home. 

Where is Mothers Against Drunk Driving? Why aren't they standing outside the front doors of the Indianapolis Star's office downtown protesting the newspaper using its news pages every day to encourage its readers to go out and drink? I look at this newspaper's online edition every day. There is not a day that goes by that there is not an article pushing alcohol consumption in one form or another. Would someone please explain to me why Gannett wants its readers all to become alcoholics? 

Today's story goes on to note the only reason it knows what alcohol sales are is because the Capital Improvement Board is required to pay the profit from the stadium's concessions to the greedy, billionaire NFL team owner, Jim Irsay, who pays zero rent on the stadium that will cost taxpayers billions before it's finally paid off and keeps virtually every revenue it could conceivably generate in income. Beer sales alone at the stadium last season generated $4.1 million for Irsay compared to the $1.4 million he earned from soft drink sales. The pertinent question to the public is why Mr. Irsay isn't required to pay property taxes on the stadium since it is used 100% for his personal corporate profit? That's a question the sports-happy newspaper won't dare to broach. 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for pointing this issue out, more than once. I'm no teetotaler but I worry what this tells young people. it wasn't like this when I grew up and I'm not that old (40's). its gotten to the point I don't drink in public. I still have it at home but I feel self conscious, like I'm part of the problem if I have a drink with a dinner out or something. just a personal decision. there is a 5K race in carmel that goes from one bar to another touting free drinks at the start, during and at the end! I don't begrudge the race promoters or those who participate, I just don't understand the celebration of ethanol. I'm thankful it wasn't so prevalent when I grew up and I have concern for young people now, that's all.

Mike Jasper said...

To your point. I had pulled the "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" for the Capital Improvements Board 12/31/2014 and 2013 a few weeks ago. On page 34 which is the Statement of Revenue and expenses the total Revenues were $30,425,000 for all of Capital improvements board assets. In the Non Operating Revenues section there is listed $152,226,000 in "State and local taxes and other assistance". $10,781,000 went back out to one of your favorite places "Visit Indy" , About $5.2 million went back to colts for inducements and game day expenses. Without the tax revenues there was an Operating loss of $59,718,000. This is for all CIB operations not just Lucas Oil.

Anonymous said...

probably worth noting that the article presents almost entirely factual material - doesn't appear to urge anyone even to attend (OK, the games are sold out, so what's the point) or, for that matter to consume alcohol there. If your point is to spark a date as to whether any alcohol should be sold at games, I suppose it's reasonable. Otherwise, it could, but nowhere does, argue that there might be more pressing issues on which to report available.

Gary R. Welsh said...

But you know, Mike, there are 65,000 jobs that only exist in Central Indiana because of what the CIB has been able to do with all of those revenues. That's what they tell us so it must be true, right?

Mike Jasper said...

Ok give me a list of those jobs. Age of the folks in the jobs. Time they have in on those jobs. Annualized income of those jobs and then what county those folks actually live in. Then we can do some number crunching on the payback and to whom. Dang your hide i had things to do today but have now spent hours looking at total bond bank debt report over $4 Billion which had me look at HHC report and that has curled my hair so afraid to go to the Citizens group reports. I am going to go walk my dogs and try to figure out how to make some money looking all this stuff up or quit doing it.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Anon., I'm not "trying to spark a date." The messaging in the newspaper could not be more clear. Their marketing people know most people don't read beyond the headlines. The headlines on the newspaper's website day in and day out are clearly intended to encourage alcohol consumption.

Pete Boggs said...

Literate consumers of news have likely concluded that the Scar is written by those drunk with cower...

Anonymous said...

It's at least a warning to stay off the downtown streets after a home game. I live downtown and often face drunk drivers heading home the wrong way on one-way streets, all with a wink and a nod from local police. I either don't wander downtown - or I head to a different side of town. If they were going to do a news story, they'd check to see what kind of arrests are being made of the drunks that pour out of the stadium (which is probably zip). Where's the outrage? Everyone knows the Star's agenda includes expanded booze sales as far as the fingers in the pocket can reach. They could care less about the consequences for the city. More booze, more ad sales, more revenue.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Our neighborhood police officer was asked at a recent neighborhood meeting about alcohol-related arrests since they weren't included in her report. She said there were a lot of alcohol-related arrests in the downtown district. Based on personal observation, I don't believe those arrests are taking place after a football game. The police are primarily focused on directing traffic. I think they're even lenient on public intoxication arrests because there are a lot of drunks wandering around downtown after a football game. We've had two spectacular crashes in our neighborhood in the past couple of years that caused a lot of property damage, and in both cases the driver fled on foot before police could arrive.

Anonymous said...

"Would someone please explain to me why Gannett wants its readers all to become alcoholics? "

Sure, I'll take a shot at it.

Years ago, I went to New Orleans. Great city, NOLA. Especially great if you're sober. The things you see. There's a whole cottage industry of people in the Quarter who roll the drunks, most of whom are from out of town. In fact, I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of drunks in NOLA are from B1G country judging by the tee shirts and sweatshirts. Go out on the town in an IU or Ohio State sweatshirt and get blitzed and you're just asking for it, but Midwesterners keep going and never learning and the NOLA cops look the other way because, well, damn Yankees.

NOLA is Laissez-faire. Indy is a corporatocracy. Here the petty larceny is institutionalized. Gannett is a player, and you know it. As I've said many times, the only reason it goes on is because the average Hoosier accepts it. Heck, the average Hoosier (and who isn't average here...) welcomes it. It validates everything he wants to believe about his precious Indianapolis. Remember the Super Bowl? THEY LOVED US!!! That's the other difference between here and NOLA. Nobody in NOLA cares what the carpetbaggers think of them.