SBD/Issue 152/Facilities & Venues

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  • Colts Owner Refusing Calls To Renegotiate Team's Stadium Lease

    Irsay Does Not Believe Colts
    Should Pay More For Stadium
    Colts Owner Jim Irsay is "refusing calls to renegotiate his team's stadium lease with the city, firing back at critics who suggest the Colts should foot more of the bill for Lucas Oil Stadium," according to a front-page piece by Robert Annis of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The Colts and the city of Indianapolis "spent more than four years working out lease terms" for the $720M stadium, and Irsay this weekend took a "firm stand against calls for the Colts organization to kick in as much as $5[M] extra for operating costs to help bail out the city's ailing" Capital Improvement Board (CIB). Irsay: "I'm not going to renegotiate. That's the bottom line. All we did was negotiate in good faith. We've done everything we can to have a great organization. We've lived up to our part. We've exceeded our part." Irsay added, "What you're saying is, 'Hey, we worked on this thing. Our word is good. We stand behind it.' That's what a partnership is about. It would be very hard to recruit businesses here if they thought as soon as they worked on a lengthy, comprehensive deal for 25 years or more, that four or five months later people would be talking about ... renegotiating." Irsay: "In other words, we'll let you know what we want, when we want it. What you signed means nothing." Meanwhile, Irsay said that the CIB's problems "aren't unexpected." Irsay: "That's like me drafting all these players this week and later saying, 'I didn't know I was going to have to sign them, too.'" Annis notes Indiana lawmakers are considering legislation that would give the Indianapolis-Marion City-County Council the authority to "raise local auto rental, ticket, innkeepers and alcohol taxes to plug the CIB's deficit." Irsay "opposes a potential ticket tax hike." Irsay: "Half the teams do not have a ticket tax in our league. We already have a 6[%] ticket tax. It's already onerous in a small market" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/27).

    TRAINING DAYS: Colts President Bill Polian Friday said that the team "will return" to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, for training camp for the 11th straight year. The decision to return comes after the city of Anderson, Indiana, "attempted to lure the team back" to Anderson Univ., where the Colts trained from '84-98 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/25).

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  • Qualcomm Stadium Security Firm's No-Bid Deal Comes Under Fire

    City Officials Say Decision To Use Elite Without
    Bids Through 2035 Never Formalized
    City of San Diego officials more than two years ago decided to have Elite Show Services “provide 24-hour security at Qualcomm Stadium through 2035 without seeking competitive bids,” according to Jeff McDonald of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. About the same time, the city “began requiring short-term tenants such as dog shows to hire the firm for staffing -- work that goes beyond crowd control to include ushering, ticket-taking and other services.” The “long-term security arrangement, which would be worth at least $24[M], only came to light last week after a rival staffing company filed a claim against the city.” City officials now said that their “internal decision to use Elite without bids through 2035 was never formalized as a contract.” They are “preparing a new five-year stadium-security proposal to go out to bid within one year but are still using Elite in the meantime.” The city has paid Elite $835,000 "each of the past two years, up from $450,000 for most of 2006-07.” Stadium officials said that the increase was “because of an added overnight guard and city requirements for minimum pay for contractor employees.” Elite President & CEO John Kontopuls said that he “was unaware of the city’s internal approval of a long-term arrangement -- or the city policy requiring short-term tenants to hire his firm for event-day staffing.” Procurement experts said that the city’s decision to “use one contractor without bids for decades [is] unheard of -- unless the job is extremely skilled or can only be performed by a handful of companies.” However, Qualcomm Stadium Manager Mike McSweeney said that "having just one security provider helps the city and fans." McSweeney: "By having Elite Show Services in the building for all events, we create a consistency in service and emergency response." Elite holds contracts with "every major Qualcomm Stadium tenant," including the Chargers, San Diego State Univ., and the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls. The company "also provides staffing at Petco Park"  (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/25).

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