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CIB votes to approve one-year extension for Pacers lease

FinanceIndiana PacersLocal GovernmentBankingBankers Life FieldhouseNBA

3:45 p.m. - The Capital Improvement Board has voted to extend the contract with the Indiana Pacers for one year for the use of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The deal will give both sides the time to come up with a long-term agreement.

"The main charge of the Capital Improvement Board is to equip, run, and keep tenants in our facilities, and that is what we're doing by locking in the Indiana Pacers for another season," said Ann Lathrop, CIB President.

"I did it with the understanding and hope that we are going to get dollars for public safety, and this is what this has all been about for me and the majority of the members," said Maggie Lewis, Indianapolis City-County council president and CIB board member.

"Mayor Ballad believes this is a good solution. It helps move the city forward," said Marc Lotter, spokesman for Mayor Ballard. "We have some serious financial challenges both at the city level, but also with the CIB, and so giving this one-year extension with the Pacers, and having them agree to that, is very important because it gives us time to solve the longterm fiscal issues that we face."

Earlier: The Capital Improvement Board is expected to try to hammer out a one-year extension of its lease deal with the Indiana Pacers as the CIB tries to buy more time to forge a long-term agreement.

Sources tell Fox59 that the CIB will consider the extension Monday afternoon. The agenda for the 3 p.m. meeting does include an item called “Pacers update.” According to our newsgathering partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal, sources were uncertain if members would vote on an extension Monday.

The CIB agreed to give the Pacers more than $33.5 million over three years to offset operating costs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of an agreement in July 2010. The team has struggled financially in recent years—and according to Forbes magazine, the Pacers have lost money over each of the last six seasons.

The CIB has set aside money to continue to help the team, but it’s also facing pressure to trim expenses as the city of Indianapolis faces a budget shortfall. To help make up for that deficit, the City-County Council approved a $15 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) for the CIB to help bolster reserves and establish a fund to recruit police officers and firefighters.

The CIB has decided to fight that payment, which Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is also against.

As a result of a player lockout last season, the NBA reached an agreement that would provide teams with more revenue. While the impact of that deal isn’t clear right now, an extension would give the CIB more time to look at the Pacers’ finances before settling on a long-term deal with the team.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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FinanceIndiana PacersLocal GovernmentBankingBankers Life FieldhouseNBA