INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana Pacers will stay in Indy thanks to a $160 million dollar deal approved Monday afternoon. The city’s Capital Improvement Board unanimously agreed to the terms, including subsidies for the operation and improvement of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The 10-year deal keeps the Pacers and Fever at the Fieldhouse. There is an option for to sign three extensions, each would be good for one year. The duration of the new deal coincides with complex being paid off in 2027.
According to a study the Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the team contribute at least $208 million per year in economic development. Officials say their findings show at least 2,000 jobs are tied to the team. City officials point out no new tax hikes are required and Mayor Greg Ballard was quick to answer any critics.
“By law this money can’t go there anyway right this is money that’s generated from economic activity but the whole point, this is kind of like city econ 101 you’re trying to generate economic activity for more tax dollars so that you can provide more police and potholes,” said Ballard.
The Pacers will also create a new entity called “Fieldhouse Management” to operate the building. Fieldhouse Management will receive payments of about $10 million annually. The money will be used for operational expenses, including general liability insurance, daily security and utilities.
The CIB will provide $26.5 million to make capital improvements to locker rooms, concession stands and seating. Under the agreement the CIB will assume half the cost for a new scoreboard installed two years ago. Another $7 million will go for capital replacement items such as carpet. Some of the improvement work will begin this year.
Unlike the previous agreement, the Pacers cannot leave due to economic losses. Pacers Sports and Entertainment President Jim Morris said the public-private partnership is crucial to the team’s success.
“This is a major factor in helping us get on solid financial ground going forward,” said Morris.