Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ballard Position On RCA Dome Sale Wrong For So Many Reasons

The Ballard administration says it's not to blame for the decision to allow proceeds from the sale of RCA Dome fixtures to be given to the Colts Foundation and the Indiana Sports Corporation instead of using the proceeds to reduce the nearly $75 million in debt still owed on the stadium scheduled for demolition. That decision was made by the Peterson administration it says. Yet the responses the administration gave to the Star in response to a lawsuit which has been filed against the CIB to prevent the give-away of these proceeds are infuriating. The Star's Jeff Swiatek quotes CIB Chairman Robert Grand and the administration:

Bob Grand, newly named president of the improvement board, said the sports corporation and foundation deserve to receive auction proceeds, in part, because they are handling the auction for the board.

"It makes sense," he said. "We're not in the business of selling memorabilia. There's a lot of work that goes into this."

The Colts foundation is also entitled to money from the sale because the team is allowing its name and trademark to be put on items such as lockers, which makes them more valuable, Grand said.

Marcus Barlow, spokesman for Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, said the Capital Improvement Board was under the control of previous Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat, when it set up the Dome auctions and decided to give the proceeds to charity.

"We have no reason to revisit this decision. To unravel this, we'd have to do a lot, and there would be a lot of expenses the city would have to pick up," Barlow said.

"I have no reason to think" the lawsuit is politically motivated, he said.

The Ballard administration just doesn't get it. The reason we still owe as much money on the RCA Dome as it cost to build nearly 25 years ago is because of all of the give-aways we've given to the Colts during their stay in Indianapolis. Should I remind Grand and Ballard that those new seats and turf we're now allowing to be auctioned off to benefit these two nonprofit entities came from taxpayer money the CIB spent on these improvements rather than pay down the debt on the bonds. That debt will now be rolled into the bond debt for the construction of the new Lucas Oil Stadium. And lest we forget about the recent meltdown in the auction bond market. That could result in taxpayers paying as much as 15% interest on those bonds unless the bonds can be refinanced. Good luck with that task in today's financial market.

Here's what this deal is all about. Mayor Ballard wants to be able to tell the public that no public funds are being used to lure the Super Bowl here in 2012. He can't promise everything the greedy NFL owners demand in order for us to host a Super Bowl, however, unless he puts a substantial amount of public funds into the event. The CIB cooked up this scheme to divert the proceeds from the sale of the RCA Dome as a way of washing the money. If the money is donated to two private foundations which, in turn, invest money in the 2012 Super Bowl event, the administration and the CIB can claim it's not using public funds. This is just how stupid these arrogant elitists think the taxpayers of this community are. It's time to put a stop to this nonsense. Mayor Ballard, do the right thing and reverse this untenable position.


Russ said...

Yeah, well the auction started last Monday, so blaming it on Bart doesn't fly. Besides, hasn't that statute of limitations expired yet?

M Theory said...

This is very hard to believe. That dome (and its assets) belong to the people who paid for it.