Thursday, March 20, 2008

RCA Dome Sale Likely To Be Reworked

A knowledgeable source in city government is telling me that the deal which is allowing the Indianapolis Colts to sell memorabilia online from the RCA Dome and donate the proceeds to the Indiana Sports Corporation and the Colts Foundation is about to get a major re-working when the CIB meets later this afternoon. The source tells me that former CIB President Fred Glass signed off on the current deal without consulting other board members or obtaining formal board approval. It looks like the CIB is going to require some of the proceeds to go back to the CIB; however, the Indiana Sports Corporation will likely receive a fee for conducting and promoting the sale. The CIB is scheduled to meet at 4:00 p.m. today to discuss the matter. The question being asked in a lawsuit filed by attorney Paul Ogden earlier this week is whether the CIB breached its fiduciary duty by allowing the Colts to sell off assets which arguably are owned by the taxpayers and giving them away to nonprofit groups rather than paying down the debt still owed on the nearly 25-year-old stadium scheduled for demolition. Ogden is asking Judge Gary Miller to grant an injunction blocking the proceeds from going to the two nonprofit organizations. Ogden's suit could become moot depending on what action the CIB takes today.

UPDATE: The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy has an online report confirming what I reported earlier would happen at this evening's CIB meeting. O'Shaughnessy writes:

The Capital Improvement Board reversed course today and voted to keep most of the proceeds from the auction of seats and other items in the RCA Dome that will be demolished later this year.

The CIB originally planned to allow two nonprofit groups, the Indiana Sports Corp and Indianapolis Colts Foundation, to run the sale and retain the proceeds. But public reaction to the plan was negative and sparked a lawsuit claiming that the more than $1 million expected from the auction should be returned to taxpayers who financing the construction of the Colts stadium.

Now, the CIB plans to allow the Sports Corp to keep a fee of $200,000 for running the massive operation of taking out, selling and delivering the seats, aisle signs, pieces of cloth from the roof and even urinals from the Dome. The field turf, which will be mounted in pieces on plaques for $60 each, and lockers are Colts property and not included in the new agreement.

Bob Grand, the CIB’s new chairman, said the CIB staff could not handle the task of organizing the auction in the short timetable available. He said he hoped the change would satisfy the public and head off the lawsuit.

The CIB still maintains that the field turf and the lockers are Colts property and not included in this new agreement. I would still like some clarification on why the turf is not the CIB's property given that news reports three years ago indicated that the CIB purchased the new turf field. Hopefully, the CIB will provide a better explanation to the public to clear up that matter. The Ballard administration should be applauded for reversing course and imploring Grand to take the action he did at this evening's board meeting. The Star editorial staff should also be applauded for first drawing attention to the issue. It is unclear whether the pending lawsuit will be dropped in light of today's action by the CIB.


Russ said...

The CIB taking the proceeds for themselves amounts to money laundering. I would have rather they give the money to charity instead of keeping it for themselves. That money will never go to pay off the stadium and will probably get used to fund another unsuccessful attempt to get a Super Bowl here.

Anonymous said...

On this afternoon's WTHR newscast, Bob Grand said the new deal was that the CIB would pay the expenses of Indiana Sports Corp, along with a fee of $200,000. This might be the same benefit, or even better, than ISC received under the original terms.

Originally, it seems that ISC had to borne all of the costs of removal, labor, etc itself, and it would retain everything earned. Under the new terms, ISC will not incur any expense in removing the items, because the CIB will cover that cost for them. Beyond that, ISC will get paid $200,000. What would their net income have been if they had been required to bear the costs anyway?

CircleCityScribe said...

Fred Glass should be held accountable and charged with felony Official Misconduct!

coltsfan said...

I am very interested in obtaining a seating component from the RCA Dome, particularily, the very end piece of a row of seating. Anyone that could help me find this piece can contact me at It has a special meanining to me and any assistance will be greatly appreciated.