Indianapolis tops off $715m Colts stadium subsidy by building new suites for 5-year-old stadium

What do you get for a team owner for whom you’ve already gotten everything? If it’s Indianapolis and Colts owner Jim Irsay, apparently the answer is $2 million worth of new luxury suites:

For leaders of the Capital Improvement Board, which runs the city’s sports venues and convention center, the city’s $2 million investment is worthwhile because it keeps the $720 million stadium, which opened in 2008, at a “top-notch level.”

Which is totally to the benefit of the city and not just the Colts, because, um. But the Colts are paying $700,000 for some new ad boards for themselves at the same time, so it’s a public-private partnership, right?

In the grand scheme of things, $2 million on top of the $715 million that the CIB already spent to build Lucas Oil Stadium isn’t really all that much. Still, coming on top of the $33 million in operating subsidies the CIB threw at the Pacers three years ago, Indianapolis just solidified its lead as national champion at throwing good sports dollars after bad.

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One comment on “Indianapolis tops off $715m Colts stadium subsidy by building new suites for 5-year-old stadium

  1. The Pacers got another 10 million this year so the revised number is 43.5 million in the last four years. The Pacers didn’t pay for the building, get 100% of all revenue from that building and for the last four years we pay the maintenance. The Pacers claim they lost money the last zillion years, which by the way is an unsubstantiated claim since they won’t let anyone look at their books.
    Meanwhile on the Colts side, the Colts get all suite revenue, signage, parking, concessions and 50% of all non football revenues. The current estimate for suites at Lucas is 25 million / year. The 2 million is to add more suites at Lucas.
    The current rationale for all this corporate largesse is the economic boon generated by these sports palaces. Apparently no one in this town believe what economists say about stadiums, “sports stadiums are dumb”. I guess the only thing dumber is that our CIB never says no to our sport billionaires.

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