Monday, August 31, 2015

$26.5 Million Refresh Of Banker's Life Fieldhouse

The Capital Improvement Board is signing off on the first of what is expected to be $26.5 million in "refresh improvements" at Banker's Life Fieldhouse as part of that $160 million in additional taxpayer subsidies pledged over the next 10 years for billionaire Herb Simon's Indiana Pacers. The Indianapolis Star is naturally very excited about the changes. Star Publisher Karen Ferguson Fuson is married to Pacers Sports & Entertainment CEO Rick Fuson, a fact the unethical newspaper always omits when discussing public subsidies for the for-profit NBA team. Ordinary taxpayers can only look at the list and wonder why there's no money for street-lighting in their neighborhoods, to repair crumbling sidewalks or patch pothole-filled streets. Among the improvements to be made at the Fieldhouse are:

  • New locker rooms for the Pacers players, training room and equipment
  • Renovated box offices
  • Concession stand and equipment updates
  • Refurbished locker room for the Fever players
  • Three club level sections to be replaced with new, more costly loge box seating that will diminish less-costly seating at the Fieldhouse
  • Convert six existing club level suites into a high-end, all-inclusive club room for people who can afford court side seating in rows 1 or 2
  • Recreate the Locker Room Restaurant experience for those fans who can afford court side seating in rows 3 through 7
  • Make other modifications designed to benefit larger group entertainment
  • Information technology upgrades, including network fiber upgrades, re-cabling, phone refresh, network infrastructure improvements and data center relocation
  • Furniture replacement, new high-speed overhead doors, escalator cleaning machines, snow removal equipment and entry pavilion fans
  • New LED boards and window coverings.
As you can see from the description of the improvements, it's all geared towards improvements that benefit high-roller fans and the Pacers organization. Fan segregation is critical. Businesses and individuals spending big dollars to attend Pacers games want as little interaction with ordinary folks as possible. When the Fieldhouse was originally built, the CIB's selling point to the public was that there would be more seating at affordable prices than there was at the old Market Square Arena. Slowly but surely those affordable seats are being displaced in favor of higher-priced seating, and further segregation of fans is occurring based on a caste system to maximize the dollars the Pacers can extract from a smaller fan base at a supposed public facility that is increasingly looking more like a private club for the wealthy to hang out. 


Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of this crap, but I will always be grateful for folks like you, Gary, who are willing to speak up. When will Indy taxpayers finally stand up en mass and say enough already? I guess we're to busy trying to keep up with the joneses of the mid sized cities.

Flogger said...

I am not a tax attorney, but can the high rollers who buy the suites charge them off as a business expense, and the mileage and parking too as an entertainment expense?? If so the Government is getting stuck again.

Really it does not make a difference if the Pacers attract even one paying fan, the Corporate Income Board (C.I.B.) will make up the difference. The Star is intellectually vacant so I would expect them, and our equally intellectually vacant TV News to be all giddy and bubbling over this.

No money for the proles to fix the streets, or sidewalks. No money for the proles for Public Parks, or Public Transportation.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Yes, within limits. Consult your accountant. It's considered one of the most abused areas of the tax code.

Anonymous said...

We had some big rains about a month ago. The east side got really deluged. The problem is the storm sewers won’t accept all the water. Water flowed down Bosart street 3 feet deep towards New York. It buffeted cars and set off car alarms all down the street. Every basement was flooded. My house, and the neighbors, went 5 feet under water, destroying furnaces and water heaters and washers and dryers. A few blocks over, where Riley meets Washington, basement apartments also went 4-5 feet underwater. Houses have now been abandoned. They aren’t habitable. On Riley the health department condemned some places. The remnants of these lives are thrown out by the street or alley to rot. There is no homeowners insurance or flood insurance that covers basement flooding. No one to call. No one to help. People just lose their homes. Its been a month, but the debris still stands at street side. Drive down the alleys and see the remnants of people’s lives. More places to be boarded up. But this isn’t because of some anonymous banker and some bad, interest re-setting mortgage. This is the city, unable or unwilling to provide basic services. You guys probably were in the Fieldhouse watching some game that night. But we were in the dark. The power was out. There were no streetlights. The basements all flooded. And the only sound was the car alarms. No power trucks came. No police. There was no help. The people salvaged what they could. Those that could afford it paid to replace water heaters, furnaces, appliances. Those that couldn’t moved on. But 26 million more for the Fieldhouse. Is this where our property taxes are going? I think its a crime. Not a metaphorical crime. A real crime. Somehow one mayor and a handful of city county councilors decide they can take our property tax money and spend it all in their downtown neighborhood and leave nothing for us.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 9:15: Pub sector abuse of the word "revenue," a private sector reality, is a treasury looting scheme that's more like property taxis... Ain't they smart?!?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15 - It is a crime. You are absolutely correct. That said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. How's voting working out for you? How's complaining to like minded souls working out?
Try something different. You can only get screwed if you don't fight back. Once you start fighting, it's rape and rape is a crime.

So leave Indy. Leave this rotting corpse of a city with exploding sewers and cricket fields to the plunderers. Turn in the keys. Tear off your rear view mirror on the way out of town, throw it out the window so that it can find a home with all the other trash that lines our roads and don't look back. Don't listen to the pessimists who say that it's the same everywhere. It isn't. Some places are better. A few are worse. Due diligence, Hoss. Find a a better place and move there. You can always Fedex yourself home for Christmas, or better yet, have the family join you in your new home. You can sit around the fire and congratulate each other on your good fortune while the parasites back home shake down whomever remains willing and compliant.

Josh said...

Who doesn't imagine a locker room when considering fine dining?