Can Indianapolis afford an NFL franchise?

Written by Kurt St. Angelo

Can Indianapolis afford an NFL franchise? by Kurt St. Angelo @ 2005 Libertarian Writers' Bureau

Since at least 1997 – only 14 years afterrepparttar 63,000-seat Hoosier Dome was built for $82 million – Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was publicly lobbying for a new stadium to host his team.

Although pushed back byrepparttar 125855 Pacers’ $175 million taxpayer-supported Conseco Field House deal, he said his turn would come. He has repeatedly said that his NFL franchise “cannot survive” onrepparttar 125856 revenues provided fromrepparttar 125857 RCA Dome, and that a new stadium is needed “sooner or later.”

It’s tough making big money on an NFL franchise in a market this size without taxpayers subsidizing much ofrepparttar 125858 costs. Taxpayers coughed up $20 million in 1998 to enlargerepparttar 125859 RCA Dome’s suites and enhancerepparttar 125860 value of its expensive box seats. This actually cutrepparttar 125861 dome’s capacity to 57,900 seats, making itrepparttar 125862 smallest stadium inrepparttar 125863 league. In 2003repparttar 125864 team ranked 27th out of 32 NFL teams in terms of revenue and 29th in value.

"We're significantly, significantly belowrepparttar 125865 average (in revenue), and that disparity is growing,” Irsay told Indianapolis television viewers. “Yetrepparttar 125866 average determines what our expenses are withrepparttar 125867 salary cap. That's what makes things so difficult."

However, asrepparttar 125868 Cincinnati Bengals have proven, a new stadium does not ensure a better profit. Even with a new stadium,repparttar 125869 Bengals were 24th in revenue in 2002, with only $4 million more in revenues thanrepparttar 125870 Colts.

The Colts’ lease atrepparttar 125871 RCA Dome runs until 2013, butrepparttar 125872 team can breakrepparttar 125873 deal afterrepparttar 125874 2006 season if its revenues aren’t greater than or equal torepparttar 125875 median inrepparttar 125876 NFL in two out ofrepparttar 125877 next three seasons. Indianapolis could requirerepparttar 125878 Colts to stay by payingrepparttar 125879 difference betweenrepparttar 125880 team’s revenues andrepparttar 125881 league’s median.

In 2002repparttar 125882 Colts fell short by about $13 million. Under this arrangement, Indianapolis taxpayers presently payrepparttar 125883 Colts about $12 million per year in direct subsidies. The long-term solution, Irsay proposes, is a new stadium with more expensive suites, club seats and ticket prices. He saysrepparttar 125884 team’s future in Indianapolis depends on “the ability … to market yourself and sell seats, particularlyrepparttar 125885 expensive suites and club seats.” Agreed.

Howard Dean, Extortion, Bribes and other problems

Written by Scott Huminski

In 1997 Howard Dean announced his desire to appoint judges willing to subvertrepparttar Bill of Rights or in Howard Dean lingo “legal technicalities”. Two judges appointed within months of Dean infamous 1997 statement have been found guilty of civil rights violations by a federal court in Manhattan. (fn1) Dean’s top appointee and lawyer, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, was defense counsel forrepparttar 125854 corrupt government employees in this case where Sorrell has expended vast public funds to forwardrepparttar 125855 goal of underminingrepparttar 125856 First Amendment in Vermont.

To get a true feeling ofrepparttar 125857 judicial and law enforcement climate fostered by Dean in Vermont, it is instructional to look at his # 1 Vermont appointee and life-long friend, William Sorrell. Dean owed a great debt torepparttar 125858 Sorrell family for mentoring his ascent in Vermont politics. Dean’s first notable gubernatorial appointment in Vermont was to install Sorrell as Secretary of Administration in 1992. In 1997, it became time to thankrepparttar 125859 Sorrell family again and Dean attempted to appoint Sorrell asrepparttar 125860 chief justice ofrepparttar 125861 Vermont Supreme Court. As Sorrell had no judicial experience, Dean’s zeal to appoint his favorite crony was met with a legislative roadblock. Dean had a backup plan, appointrepparttar 125862 Attorney General torepparttar 125863 Supreme Court and then appoint Sorrell to fillrepparttar 125864 Attorney General vacancy. All was well with Vermont Cronies. (fn2)

In describing Sorrell, Dean was quite generous with his praise of his friend’s character and abilities, illustratingrepparttar 125865 nature of their relationship: “I have an enormous amount of respect for Sorrell as a human being and as a really smart lawyer.”

A subordinate of Sorrell’s issuedrepparttar 125866 following prosecutorial written threat in a Vermont state court proceeding,

"The last claim involves a statement made to attorney Capriola warning thatrepparttar 125867 defendant would be charged with additional crimes if he did not clam down. The statement is a reference torepparttar 125868 defendant's continued harassment ofrepparttar 125869 victim andrepparttar 125870 investigating officer in this case throughrepparttar 125871 court process. The defendant has filed a civil action againstrepparttar 125872 victim because of his participation in this criminal case. The State is currently reviewing a contempt charge againstrepparttar 125873 defendants because of this activity. The statement was a proper warning made throughrepparttar 125874 defendant's representative."

Sorrell approvingly has stood behind and defendedrepparttar 125875 above threat which now has become part of a prosecutor’s toolbox in Vermont. The above threat isrepparttar 125876 epitome ofrepparttar 125877 government’s coercive use ofrepparttar 125878 power of criminal prosecution to influence and manipulate civil court proceedings tantamount to extortion and obstruction of justice concerning a matter before a federal court. Dean’s “really smart lawyer” and top appointee at work.

Sorrell’s conduct doesn’t stop there, his subordinates followed uprepparttar 125879 above threat with a plea agreement that specifiedrepparttar 125880 dismissal and non-pursuit of civil lawsuits againstrepparttar 125881 prosecutors themselves. The dismissal of a lawsuit is an item of monetary value benefiting Sorrell’s underlings – or to put it bluntly this conduct is tantamount to acceptance of a bribe by state prosecutors. Dean’s “really smart lawyer” strongly approved and defendedrepparttar 125882 conduct. One can’t assign full responsibility concerning this government corruption to Dean’s friend alone because two of Dean’s hand-picked anti-“legal technicality” judicial appointees presided over and approvedrepparttar 125883 government misconduct.

Then there wasrepparttar 125884 police shooting of Robert (“Woody”) Woodward in Brattleboro, Vermont in 2001. The massacre involved 7 shots from police revolvers fatally wounding Mr. Woodward – with some ofrepparttar 125885 shots fired into his body while he was bleeding onrepparttar 125886 ground inrepparttar 125887 fetal position. Dean and Sorrell, both irrationally obsessive police advocates, putrepparttar 125888 cover-up machine into gear. Sorrell authored a biased report overlooking much ofrepparttar 125889 testimony and evidence. When Dean was asked to appoint a special independent investigator he backed up his old crony and stated that Sorrell was a “really smart lawyer”. One of Dean’s so-called “legal technicalities”,repparttar 125890 Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits a biased decision-maker. Something as trivial asrepparttar 125891 Constitution didn’t stop Dean from deciding not to usurp his friend’s report by refusing to appoint an independent investigator regardless of his very public conflict-of-interest with Sorrell. Pursuant torepparttar 125892 constitution, Dean should have disqualified himself. (fn3)

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