Indianapolis Colts don’t rule out demanding third new stadium since 1984

The Indianapolis Colts were one of the early adopters in the stadium extortion game, moving from Baltimore in the dead of night in 1984 in exchange for a sweetheart deal at the then-new Hoosier Dome, and then going back to the well just 24 years later to get Lucas Oil Stadium built with the most expensive public NFL stadium subsidies up to that time. So surely there’s no way they’d become the first sports franchise to get three new stadiums in less than a half-century, right?

The current contract between the Colts and the city and the Capital Improvement Board, which operates Lucas Oil Stadium, runs from 2008 through the 2037 season. But if the Colts are not among the top five NFL teams in gross operating revenues in 2030, the team can terminate the deal…

Asked whether the Colts would need a new stadium to remain in Indianapolis past the current contract, [Colts COO Pete] Ward said the team hopes not but “it’s impossible to speculate that far ahead in today’s rapidly changing world.”

Well, that’s reassuring!

The team owners couldn’t actually break the lease and move until 2034, but you know that that wouldn’t stop them from trying to get a new stadium built earlier — hell, there’s already been talk of the Tampa Bay Rays moving if they don’t get a new stadium, and their lease doesn’t let them leave until 2027. So I wouldn’t count out the chances of the Colts at least shooting for a three-peat before the 50th anniversary of Moving Van Night.

The whole Indianapolis Star article that the above quotes are from is worth reading, as there are some other interesting nuggets as well, including Indianapolis deputy mayor for development Jeff Bennett remarking of the lack of development springing up around the ten-year-old football stadium that’s open for ten whole days a year: “I look out my window at work every day and see the stadium and the neighborhood around it. It’s just a matter of time now. The interest is there. It’s not a question of ‘if’ anymore, it’s ‘when.'” Hopefully before 2034!


7 comments on “Indianapolis Colts don’t rule out demanding third new stadium since 1984

  1. This is utter insanity. LOF is one of the nicest stadiums, not just in the NFL, but in any of the major sports leagues. There is zero reason that the Colts could come up with for wanting to replace it within the next 50 years at a minimum.

    Having said that, I’m sure they’ll do their level best to create a situation that makes a new stadium imperative for their continued future in Indianapolis.

  2. “Top 5 in revenues” is upping the ante. Usually it is “near the bottom” of the league in revenues, which only gets you a stadium every 30 years. Oh the horrors.

  3. Look, you ordinary folks might not understand this stuff. But when you are dealing with absolutely incompetent fools in government and the even more incompetent voters who elect them, you have a moral and an ethical responsibility to extort the absolute maximum amount of money you can from them.

    Yeah, yeah, poor people. Work three mcJobs. Starving. No healthcare. Behind on the rent in the roach infested hellhole they live in. Blah blah blah. Crymeariver people.

    Look. We owners have a responsibility to our fellow owners to squeeze all the money out of taxpayers that we can. Just like the players have a responsibility to their fellow millionaire players to get the most contract money they can out of us owners. You can’t identify with the players without also identifying with us owners. We are all in the same life and death struggle here. Mine just has nicer sofas than yours.

    The only people we have no responsibility to are you fools that pay for all of this. I mean, if you are stupid enough to pay for the stadiums, then pay to come into the stadium you paid for to watch the players, then pay to watch the games on tv when you can no longer afford to watch it in person, then pay to watch highlight shows when you can’t afford the PPV fees (oops, not supposed to talk about that. Yet>)… I mean, how is any of this OUR fault?

    I mean, WWJD, amiright?

    • Sometimes I wish these owners would test the Atlas Shrugged theory and go on strike so we can see once and for all how well the world gets along without them.

  4. Just call it for what it is: a 22 year lease with a team option for a few more. The fake lease term on revenue just lets the city pretend it got a better deal than it did.