Pacers, City Of Indianapolis Agree To One-Year Extension On Fieldhouse Lease
The city of Indianapolis yesterday agreed to a one-year extension of its contract with the Pacers to "operate Bankers Life Fieldhouse through the 2013-14 NBA season," but there are "whiffs in the air that changes could be brewing as the city seeks a long-term agreement," according to Jeff Swiatek of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The one-year extension to the contract that expires next June "gives the Pacers $10 million in taxpayer funds to help operate the fieldhouse." The new loan, "like the previous $30 million, will be forgiven if the Pacers stay in Indianapolis through 2019." But the team "has to pay some of the money back if it leaves the city before then." Office of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Communications Dir Marc Lotter said that the mayor "supports the one-year extension as a way to buy time to 'get a handle on budget issues.'" The city’s budgetary "uncertainties affect how much money it might have available to spend on any long-term agreement with the Pacers." Improved finances for the Pacers, who "reportedly have lost money or made minimal profits in recent years, could ease pressures on the city to subsidize fieldhouse operations" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/11). Marion County Capital Improvement Board Member Milt Thompson yesterday said, "Sometimes we just get in too big of a hurry. An extension in the short term is the most prudent move we can make." The INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL noted under the new agreement, the Pacers will get two $5M payments, "one this month and one in April" (IBJ.com, 12/10).