Deal means upgrades at Lucas Oil Stadium

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Capital Improvement Board has approved a plan to share the cost of two additional luxury suites at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Under the proposal, the CIB will pay up to $2 million to add the suites on the upper level. The Colts will take care of any costs exceeding $2 million.  The plan will also convert two food pantries into new kitchens for the new suites.

The Colts will also pay to install two additional digital billboards at the stadium similar to ones added in 2011 for advertising and promotional purposes.

“Having the facility at a top-notch level helps us get other events,” said CIB President, Ann Lathrop. “Not just Colts games.”

The new agreement comes soon after the county admissions tax was raised from 6 percent to 10 percent. That tax will be collected on Colts ticket sales and other events.

Kelly Shoemaker said she’s a Colts fan, but opposes using tax dollars to build the new suites.

“As soon as you give the city or the state more money, what do they do?  They want more money,” she said.

Arthur Jordan sees it differently.

“When you get guys that are willing to pay ‘X’ amount of dollars for a private suite, they’re obviously going to spend here in the city and that’s going to help the economy,” he said.

Although the Colts collect all game day revenue, Lathrop said investing in the new suites will benefit the city and the CIB all year.

“There are conventions that use the facility,” Lathrop said. “We just had a wonderful regional basketball game last weekend that was phenomenally attended.”

Lathrop also says the CIB has the money to spend. The $75 million operating budget is in the black. The CIB has $4.5 million to invest in capital improvement projects. And the 10-percent admission tax is expected to generate $4 million more than the 6-percent tax did last year.

The exact cost and construction timeline are not yet known for the new suites.
There is also room for even further expansion.

When Lucas Oil Stadium was built, construction crews left room for six additional suites that have not been finished. After these two new suites are completed, there will be room for four more in the future.

The new agreement also settled a long dispute between the Colts and the CIB about how to divide concession costs around the stadium. That formula will remain in place through 2023, which is the duration of the current contract with the concession provider.

14 comments

  • John

    This sounds like an awesome idea. Let's run up most costs for the citizens of Marion County because the economy is awesome and we should just keep spending as much money as possible!

  • Steve

    Irsay and the Colts can stick it. He threatened to call the moving vans when he didn’t like the Dome, so the City ponied up for the new stadium. It’s damned near new. If that jackwagon wants improvements, he and his team can pay for them.

  • ILtoIN

    So if we have to pay for it, we get free reign over the Luxury Suites right? Or at least share in the profit. Correct? That sounds fair to me.

  • Duke of Hurl

    Hey, it's four miles from 38th Street so it should stay nice. Also, why don't you haters start a company, make a fortune, and buy your own sports franchise. Several cities will want to offer up all kinds of perks to get you to move there. And, BONUS, once you are gone, we won't have to read you inane posts anymore.

  • 'Thor'

    Get this monkey off the taxpayers back. So much money to profit so few and ALL taxpayers have to participate. Not fair at all.

  • Steve

    Please, please Mr. Irsay, get ticked off and move your money grubbing team somewhere else. The taxpayers of Indiana cannot afford to support your rich behind. You are a stain on the good reputation of this state.

  • Loren

    Lets see……. Most City agencies are having to cut 5 % out of their budgets that are already cut to the bone and they are gonna spend more cash on that stadium so Irsay can pocket more of the profit. Irsay can afford the 2 million. Maybe the CIB should give that 4 million to the other city agencies that need it. Last I check the stadium was looking like it was in good shape.

  • jjj

    Facts are, this could be a profitable investment for the city. "Could' is the key word here, I have my doubts.

  • Seng918

    Upgrades??? Heck, I can't even afford upgrades to my own home, and I'm being forced to pay for upgrades for a facility that I'll never be able to afford to go to? Oh, wait, my bad, I DID go into the new stadium once, to give blood. I don't know what kind of person Mr. Irsay is, but I DO know that his step-mother is an arrogant, "much better than you" stuck up snob.

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