Indiana Giving Pacers $33.5 Million to Stay

by July 12, 2010

They’re not moving. The Pacers are receiving a bailout of sorts from their city to stick around. From the Indy Star: “The Indiana Pacers are staying in Indianapolis, but it will cost taxpayers at least $33.5 million over the next three years. The city and the Pacers are expected today to announce an agreement hailed by some as an important step in protecting the financial state of the city but criticized by others as a multimillion-dollar bailout of a professional sports team and its billionaire owner. The deal comes after months of negotiations between the NBA franchise and the Capital Improvement Board, which operates the city’s sports venues. It supplements the existing contract between the parties, which lasts through 2019. The idea of providing money to a sports franchise has incited criticism by some, but city leaders insisted they have been tough negotiators. They didn’t agree to cover the full operating cost of Conseco Fieldhouse, estimated at $15 million to $18 million per year, or the roughly $25 million in capital improvements the Pacers said were needed at the fieldhouse. And they locked in what they called an important addition to the Downtown economy for three years.”