Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sports Stadium Proposal At Airport Takes On More Intrigue

Earlier today, we discussed the unusual development plan for a sports medical facility that the Indianapolis Airport Authority approved for redevelopment of the land encompassing the former airport terminal. In addition to a hotel, the developer also has plans to construct a 20,000 seat stadium as a multi-purpose sports facility for pro/college/youth-related activities. The Indy Eleven's owner, Ersal Ozdemir, has hired a team of lawyers that have spent the past couple of years trying to convince state lawmakers to approve public funding for a new soccer stadium of similar size for its use in the downtown area. New reports yesterday said little about that unusual stadium proposal. The Indianapolis Star is now focused more on it.

The Star's John Tuohy learned the developer, Athletes Business Network, has been in discussions with sports organizations outside of Indiana, both professional and amateur. A spokesman for ABN, Craig Sanders, says his company has had no discussions with Indy Eleven. A statement The Star obtained from Indy Eleven indicates the team's owner, Ersal Ozdemir, is still pursuing a downtown venue for a new stadium. If Ozdemir is not a part of this proposal, it is curious why the law firm that's helping him lobby for a new stadium downtown, Ice Miller, would be a partner in a project that includes a stadium that would seem to imperil his plans to obtain funding for his downtown soccer stadium.

Tuohy notes in his story that the city's minor league hockey and baseball teams recently entered into long-term leases for their facilities at The Coliseum and Victory Field, respectively. Additionally, both Mayor Joe Hogsett and the CIB's executive director, Barney Levengood, say they had no prior notice of ABN's plans to build a 20,000-seat stadium as part of its $500 million development plan. What professional team would want to use this facility besides a soccer team? Can Indianapolis support two professional soccer teams?

Hotelier James Dora, Jr., who is a CIB board member, doesn't seem to excited about any new hotels being built out near the airport. "We've already got a lot of hotel rooms at the airport, and there is not a lot of business because there are more hotels Downtown now," said Dora, president of General Hotels Corp., a hotel management and development company. Dora said he could see some utilization of the hotel by patients' families and physicians, but he could not see the need for 182,000 room nights a year.

Tuohy also learned the paltry sum ABN will pay the airport authority to lease the land rather than purchase it outright from the authority. "The ABN would enter a 50-year lease agreement with the airport and pay $378,400 per year in rent for the phase 1 property and $637,500 a year for phase 2," he said. "ABN would be responsible for maintenance and operating costs and for installing or connecting utilities," he added.


Pete Boggs said...

An unwitting fascist / statist, Katie of KSM, was a guest on the Abdul show this evening, stumping for TIFs or Tax Incre-mental Fascism. She's wholly inarticulate / unversed, regarding how these creatures of state actually work; for statists & against citizens. The Ass-ociation of Cities & Towns is a fascist Frankenstein monster, operating by counterfeit assumption that government has a central role as "business developer" or that which is solely & only the legitimate purview of the private sector. Katie along with fellow crony statists is an OPM addict (Other People's Money). Go to the un-PC-censored history section of your locally subsidized library & "read more about it."

UnConstitutionally fattening the public sector's morbid proportion is patently corrupt. Notice that Carrier Corporation made neither an appeal to what some call "government" or the Chamber of Communism... wonder f*cking why?

LamLawIndy said...

IMHO, the old airport would make an AWESOME paintball arena.

Anonymous said...

Can these morons at IAA merely sell and monetize taxpayer assets. Yes these are owned by a taxpayer owned entity. Why lease? Just raise it and make green space until the right buyer is found. Taxpayers need to stop playing developer. Sell it and have the IAA pay a Dividend (disgorge itself) of the money and use The money to fix crumbling suburbs (not the downtown TIF) streets and sidewalks. Alternatively pay down IAA DEBT(I know an unusual idea).

Anonymous said...

If the IAA board sells it. There will be taxes involved and the mayor and the board know it. Correct why pay down debt?? This is just another scam. Remember how hard they tried to stop a parking developer from building a few years back. That airport property would be on the tax roles at some point. But do not forget they have some very high paid folks out there.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought. Why build just one soccer stadium when you can build two? Put one at the airport and one downtown. Heck, why stop there? Let's build 20 soccer stadiums! If there's one thing we're good at it's building stadiums that sit empty most of the year. It would put us on the map as the undisputed stadium capital of the world. Then the Indy Sports Corporation and the VisitIndy folks could pitch Indy as a self contained permanent site for the FIFA World Cup. I'm sure that people in Paris and Rio and London and Singapore would give anything to visit such a cosmopolitan city as Indianapolis. The shameless shills for Indy could pledge taxpayer funds so that FIFA would never have to spend another dime ever again for any reason. Indianapolis taxpayers would cover all the costs! I know it's pricey and I know the rest of the world won't play along, but we should try. We'll have a beach on the White River soon and 20 soccer stadiums would really make us something special. We're Indy. Look at us!