Though their lease doesn’t expire until 2019, the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County is already in negotiations with Pacers Sports and Entertainment to keep the Indiana Pacers for the long-run, according to CIB President Ann Lathrop
The IBJ recently reported that the Board has $11 million set aside, which it is prepared to give to the Pacers to offset losses from operating Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
According to CIB President Ann Lathrop, the Pacers could be paid as early as July 2014 according to comments made by CIB President Ann Lathrop on Wednesday. When an additional $10 million are added for building and/or equipment upgrades to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the total investment would rise to $21 million for the first year of the deal.
It was a unanimous 8-0 vote by the CIB board on Wednesday that approved the funding. A one-year extension approved last December will expire next June.
The recent funding traces back to a contract signed in July 2010, when the Capital Improvement Board agreed to provide $33.5 million over three basketball seasons to the Pacers in order to offset losses from operating the venue.
“Both sides are negotiating in very good faith,” Lathrop said. “I feel very confident that between now and the end of the year, we’ll have an agreement.”
The CIB, which is a municipal corporation that manages Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium, Victory Field and the Indiana Convention Center, has been under pressure lately to reduce operating expenses in light of budget shortfalls. The recently approved $11 million sum the CIB has allocated for the Pacers will add to the 2014 operating budget.
The mere fact that both sides have already begun negotiations to keep the Pacers here in Indianapolis for the long haul is reason for optimism. Here’s a many more excitement filled seasons!