Be prepared to get very angry:
The city’s sports board Monday signed off on an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts that calls for the city to spend up to $2 million to add suites at Lucas Oil Stadium. The money will pay to build two more luxury suites and two small kitchens at the same time the city settles an old dispute with the NFL franchise over concession expenses.
The Colts are chipping in for improvements, too, by adding two more illuminated ribbon message boards in the Downtown stadium’s upper corners. Those will complement two similar boards that cost the team about $700,000 in 2011.
Back in 2008, an Indianapolis Star report flashed the spotlight on the stadium's construction costs being twice the estimate. When the Colts themselves were asked to assist in the cost balance, the franchise's chief operating officer Pete Ward reportedly said the Colts were "just a tenant" at Lucas Oil Stadium. The possibly of re-opening the lease agreement to help pay for the additional costs was dubbed "ludicrous" by Ward.
Meanwhile, the Colts reportedly receive the naming rights and half the revenue from non-football events at LOS while tax payers of Indianapolis continue to front the bill for the annual $20 million LOS maintenance cost.
The Colts requested $2M in LOS upgrades. What happened to "We're just a tenant"?— Jake Query (@jakequery) April 8, 2013
It was the Colts who requested these suite renovations, but apparently don't want to pay for them. They're paying for "illuminated ribbon message boards," because we all know that's what patrons of LOS are TOTALLY into.
With these new suites approved, the citizens of Indianapolis must once again front the bill while the Colts and Irsay fist-pump their way to the bank:
But critics of CIB spending priorities say it’s another example of taxpayers footing the bill for upgrades that line the pockets of wealthy team owners, including the Colts’ Jim Irsay.
"My question is: Why is the city paying for something that the Colts are just going to make money off of?" said Zach Adamson, a Democratic City-County Council member. "We’re going back to a situation where the Colts are coming back to the city with their hands out, asking for more of what is limited."
Good question, Mr. Adamson. It's the kind of question Irsay could very well holler and scream incoherently at on Twitter, saying it invites "class warfare," or something equally derp. If you'd like a good explanation of why the city of Indianapolis is rolling over once again for one of the wealthiest sports owners in America, here's Mike Florio of PFT:
The Colts are doing it because they can, and because the city is willing to do whatever needs to be done to keep the local billionaire happy. Because if the local billionaire isn’t happy, he eventually may load up the Mayflowers and go to a city that will make him happy.
And that’s all you need to know about stadium economics.
Makes you feel good to be a Colts fan, doesn't it?
Heck, even if you aren't a Colts fans, if you are an Indianapolis resident you are absolutely paying for the team to play at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kind of makes you wonder who the "tenants" and who the "landlords" really are in this relationship.
Want to know why we Stampede Blue editors are so harsh with Jim Irsay? The free ride he gets from these spineless city officials and the whipped, enabling local media.