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The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County is prepared to give Pacers Sports & Entertainment an additional $11M "to offset losses from operating Bankers Life Fieldhouse," according to Scott Olson of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. CIB President Ann Lathrop said that the $11M payment "could be delivered in July 2014, after the current agreement with the Pacers expires." The Pacers will receive $21M in total from CIB next year, "including money it will receive for repairs to be made to the fieldhouse." The CIB board yesterday voted 8-0 to "approve the funding." Lathrop said that the CIB and the Pacers are negotiating "a long-term contract that could keep the team in the city for several more years." The current lease expires in '19. Lathrop: "I feel very confident that between now and the end of the year, we’ll have an agreement." The CIB has "allotted money to continue supporting the Pacers, but also is under pressure to cut expenses from the city, which faces budget shortfalls into 2014" (IBJ.com, 8/28). In Indianapolis, Jon Murray notes the CIB’s $11M payment to the Pacers to offset operating costs is in addition to $10M for "still-unspecified building or equipment upgrades at the fieldhouse." That is $21M for the "first year of a deal whose total costs and terms still are being negotiated out of public view." Amendments to the Pacers' overall lease have "drawn repeated criticism as other parts of city-county government ... have been struggling financially." The team was "expected by NBA observers to benefit this year from the league’s new revenue-sharing agreement" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/29).
STRONG SALES START: Pacers Sports & Entertainment Senior VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor on Tuesday said that sales of season-ticket packages "are up nearly 30 percent from this time last year." Taylor added that the bump "includes about 1,200 new ticket holders." He said that more than 90% of season-ticket holders "from last season have renewed their tickets" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/28).
MLB's revenue-sharing agreement currently "is sustaining" the Rays, but the patience of other owners in the league "is running low" as they wait for the team to secure a new ballpark, according to Danielson & Varian of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg and team President Matt Silverman yesterday had an "hourlong discussion" with several local business leaders on the topic. Tampa Bay Partnership Chair Chuck Sykes said of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's recent comments about possibly intervening in the Rays' stadium search, "Bud's a very patient guy with these things, but (other team owners) are not happy with the situation ... because if you think about it, the thing right now that's really sustaining the team is revenue-sharing." Sykes said Sternberg and Silverman told the business leaders the team's "sustainability is driven off revenue-sharing." He added, "That is not a long-term winning formula." Rays officials "did not give the partnership an update on their talks with St. Petersburg" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 8/29).