The Indiana state assembly’s ways and means committee voted 20-3 yesterday to move a bill forward to fund an $82 million stadium for the minor-league Indy Eleven soccer team, because that’s what they do in Indiana. The committee did, at least, discuss some new details of how team owner Ersal Ozdemir expects the stadium to generate $5 million a year in new ticket taxes:
The team released a report by KSM Consulting of Indianapolis that says the 18,500-seat stadium would open in 2018.
The report estimates 66 events per year, including 15 professional women’s soccer games and 10 concerts.
The report also estimates average paid attendance and average ticket prices for various events:
—Indy Eleven: 16,500 at $29.50.
—Women’s professional soccer: 8,500 at $17. (There is a nine-team National Women’s Soccer League.)
—Concerts: 10,000 at $55. (There is another outdoor concert venue planned for Downtown.)
The report estimates six events as “other soccer,” five as “other events, exempt” (from ticket taxes such as school sports) and 10 as “other events.”
The Indianapolis Star, which is where that’s from, didn’t do the math on what all that would add up to, so let’s do it for them. Let’s see, 15 Indy Eleven home games times 16,500 tickets per game times $29.50 per ticket (for minor-league soccer? okay then) times a 10% ticket tax is $730,000. Fifteen women’s soccer games would generate another $217,000. Concerts would provide $550,000. Even if you’re optimistic about those 16 “other” taxable events, then, you’re still looking at around $2 million in ticket taxes, tops, not even enough to repay half the state’s costs.
The headline here really should have been, well, the one I put on this post. Or at least “Indy Eleven stadium to need hotel tax money to supplement ticket taxes,” which is something else that came up at yesterday’s hearing. Instead we get “Indy Eleven stadium bill moves on, but lawmakers express reservations,” because journalism is all about reporting what Important People think, not giving readers the information to decide for themselves. Apparently.