Pacers to Consider Moving from Indiana?
Team management says they need the city to help with the cost of running their arena, and if they don’t get their way, moving to a new city is not out of the question. From the Indy Star: “The Indiana Pacers would consider all options — including moving the NBA franchise to a new city — if the city doesn’t agree to cover the cost to run Conseco Fieldhouse. Since the 18,345-seat venue opened 11 years ago, the Pacers’ lease with the city has required the organization to pay for the building’s general operating costs, estimated at $15 million per year. But since March 2009, owner Herb Simon and the Pacers’ top brass have insisted the economics of operating a small-market NBA franchise make it fiscally impossible to also pay to keep the arena running … The Pacers, members of the CIB and Mayor Greg Ballard’s administration have held behind-closed-doors negotiations on that lease, which have centered on the team’s push to have the CIB pick up the $15 million operating tab. Those negotiations now, however, have reached a critical stage. On Tuesday, Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris said if a deal isn’t inked by June 30, Simon would have to start searching for other solutions, and nothing would be off the table. ‘We’ve been having conversations with the Ballard administration for two years,’ Morris said, ‘and we’re now at the point where we need to wrap this up in the next 30, 40 days.’ If that doesn’t happen, he said, ‘Herb would have to look at all of his options.’ Including moving the team? ‘Herb would look at all of his options,’ Morris repeated.”