Donít let government build an obsolete stadium

Written by Kurt St. Angelo

Continued from page 1

Major League Baseball once considered Indianapolis in an expansion. However, due to lack of planning, it would have cost over $40 million to convertrepparttar RCA Dome to baseball. Later, MLB abandoned offering franchises to cities with indoor stadiums.

Game parking is inadequate and expensive aroundrepparttar 125856 RCA Dome. Event parking more than a mile fromrepparttar 125857 Dome starts at $5. The Dome has no underground parking and very little parking revenue to share with an NFL team owner.

(Torepparttar 125858 credit ofrepparttar 125859 Hudnut administration,repparttar 125860 RCA Dome is modest. In real terms, it cost about as much as Conseco Fieldhouse, which holds over 17,000. Other than lacking adequate profit-enhancing amenities to keep NFL franchises happy,repparttar 125861 Dome is a very functional stadium that is used 200-plus times per year, only 10 of which are for regularly-scheduled professional football games.)

Now Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson wants to reliverepparttar 125862 glory days ofrepparttar 125863 Hudnut administration, but without that past administrationís modesty. If Peterson gets his way, taxpayers will spend over $500 million to buildrepparttar 125864 NFLís newest stadium, premiering in 2008.

In inflation-adjusted terms, thatís about three timesrepparttar 125865 real expense ofrepparttar 125866 ill-planned RCA Dome. The Colts have agreed to contribute only $100 million torepparttar 125867 project, a third of which is inrepparttar 125868 form of a favorable NFL loan.

Indianapolis would be smarter to followrepparttar 125869 recent lead of Washington. Last week by a 7-to-6 vote, Washingtonís city council voted againstrepparttar 125870 deal struck between Major League Baseball and Mayor Anthony Williams, which requiredrepparttar 125871 city to build a new $579 million stadium forrepparttar 125872 former Montreal Expos. Mayor Williams now has until June to find private financing forrepparttar 125873 other half ofrepparttar 125874 stadiumís costs.

Thatísrepparttar 125875 kind of dealrepparttar 125876 voters of Indianapolis should demand. Less government involvement inrepparttar 125877 cityís next stadium means less risk for taxpayers, better planning and less pressure to raise taxes. We should resistrepparttar 125878 temptation to let government build another obsolete stadium.

(Originally published December 21, 2004)

Attorney, screenwriter and Libertarian Party activist in Indianapolis

Can Indianapolis afford an NFL franchise?

Written by Kurt St. Angelo

Continued from page 1

The RCA Dome has 104 suites. The leagueís top franchise,repparttar Washington Redskins, offers 280. The difference in revenue betweenrepparttar 125855 Coltsí and Redskinsí luxury suites likely exceeds $15 million annually. Total team revenues were $137 million and $227 million, respectively, in 2002.

Certainly it behooves Irsay to shop his team torepparttar 125856 city that gives himrepparttar 125857 best deal. Duringrepparttar 125858 past decade, 21 ofrepparttar 125859 leagueís 32 teams have received new or renovated stadiums. An average sweetheart deal is a $323-million stadium, paid 65 percent by taxpayers , that holds 69,200 spectators.

But here arerepparttar 125860 $66,000 questions for Mr. Irsay: Even with an average $323-million stadium funded two-thirds by taxpayers, canrepparttar 125861 Colts sell more suites at greater prices to bring team revenues aboverepparttar 125862 NFL median? Likewise, canrepparttar 125863 central Indiana football market sustain more suites, box seats and higher prices to keeprepparttar 125864 Colts in town?

Iíve been thinking of recommending thatrepparttar 125865 Libertarian Party buyrepparttar 125866 naming rights torepparttar 125867 next Indianapolis Coltsí stadium, but now Iím having second thoughts.

At a recent sold-out home game, I was unable to sellrepparttar 125868 two extra $45-seats that I had Ė at any price. There was no one besides ticket scalpers to giverepparttar 125869 tickets. I swallowedrepparttar 125870 $90 in losses, not to mention two grossly expensive $6 beers duringrepparttar 125871 game. (Hey, I was thirsty and now have my third plastic commemorative Colts cup!)

Before a new stadium becomes economically realistic in Indianapolis, demand for Colts tickets, box seats and luxury suites must exceed their supply. This burden of truth falls on Jim Irsay, and he must meet this before taxpayers make more concessions.

Funding a new stadium with $400-plus million of taxpayer debt (excluding interest) is to gamble onrepparttar 125872 teamís ability to sell itself to more fans and at a higher premium.

This will be a much harder task than giving away my extra tickets.

(Originally published on November 16, 2004)

Attorney, screenwriter, Libertarian Party activist in Indianapolis

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