Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sports Medicine Complex At Airport Site Includes 20,000-Seat Stadium

The Indianapolis Airport Authority selected a proposal to build a $500 million sports medical complex at the site of the former airport airport that will specialize in the treatment of head trauma and concussion. The developer, Athlete Business Network, also plans to build a 20,000 seat stadium at the site, in addition to a 250-room hotel. Huh? I'm still trying to figure out where the money is coming from to build yet another medical facility this city already has an overabundance of, and this developer's plans includes a new stadium, which happens to be close to the size of what Indy Eleven has been trying to get the taxpayers to build for it downtown?
The developer, the Athlete's Business Network, said its development would employ 3,000 workers. Built on 130 acres south of Washington Street near High School Road, the complex would have five medical office buildings that specialize in sports performance, substance abuse sports medicine, and orthopedics and sports medical technology. The centerpiece, called the ABN Global Center for Brain Health, would focus on brain trauma.
Plans also call for two 250-room hotels and a 20,000-seat stadium. The project would be built in two phases.
According to the company's website, the Indianapolis facility will be the first such facility it has developed. According to its website, its "world class athletic facilities, including a multi-use stadium and arena" will be "designed to accommodate the needs of Pro/College/Youth sports." "With its unique facilities and amenities, combined with its easy accessibility, this campus is destined to become the premier destination in Indiana!" Only in Indiana would you see massive expenditures on a health care facility combined with a sports facility. How awesome. In addition to the airport authority, the website lists as its partners the following:

  • Ziegler--a capital funder of healthcare, senior living, education and the religion sector
  • Walsh Construction--a Chicago construction company that was originally tapped to build that absurd, costly criminal justice center complex former Mayor Greg Ballard tried unsuccessfully to saddle us with for decades to come
  • The Hagerman Group--another politically-connected local construction company
  • Gensler--a global design firm
  • Ice Miller--the law firm of the airport authority's long-time former president, Lacy Johnson
  • Cushman & Wakefield--a global real estate services firm
  • The Pataki Cahill Group--a company that focuses on energy, environmental, hard assets and water resources
  • Johnson Consulting--a leading real estate and hospitality consulting firm
  • Underhill Associates--a company specializing in redevelopment and management of real estate assets
The airport authority insists the project is to be built entirely with private assets and that no subsidies will be required for the project. The Star mentions that financing for the project has not yet been obtained. Keep in mind, though, that the proposal mentions no purchase price for this valuable piece of property. That's because the airport authority will be a partner in the project and provide the land to this group of developers under a long-term lease agreement. I don't know what I'm missing here. This plan makes absolutely no sense. The health care system is in shambles in this country as more and more people struggle to find affordable health care. Health care costs in the U.S. far outstrip health care spending in any other country in the world, and this group is developing a Disney-like entertainment center to provide a very specialized form of health care treatment. Naturally, our useless local news media was too giddy about the developers claim it will create 3,000 jobs to ask any tough questions a thinking person would be asking at this point. 


Anonymous said...

One thing came to mind when I read this article: LiteBox. Nothing about it makes sense.

Indy Rob said...

This smells and appears to be a back door way of building a soccer stadium.

Pete Boggs said...


Gary R. Welsh said...

I thought about that, Indy Rob, but Ersal has been insistent that he needs a stadium downtown to be successful. While the airport site is very accessible, there's not much else going on out there to make that a destination for entertainment purposes. Also, Ice Miller is one of the firms lobbying for Indy Eleven at the State House.

c. roger csee said...

They don't mention whether or not this massive new complex will be tax exempt, since it sits on airport property (even though it is not aviation related).

Anonymous said...

The Airport board is corrupt. There will be back door deals just like with the new terminal. What else is new. Long Term lease my ass the gave away the property for the solar fields.
Another political insider deal directed by downtown. New Mayor no changes.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Anon:0810! None of this makes sense, and highly doubtful the current market will support such a massive investment. Better fish those Airport Board Members' bank accounts!

Flogger said...

This all just a way to have a massive dose of Crony-Capitalism. There will probably need to be a Light Rail Line from the operating Airport to this new Scam.

Anonymous said...

Another stadium for Stadiumville. I am literally laughing out loud. I have five bucks that says before the smoke clears, Ballard will be involved in this, some way, some how.