Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Colts & Government Agree

Remind me to do business with the State where I have an asset the State wants to remain in Indiana, and I could threaten to move it- especially if I can get into a negotiation with the State.

In sum, the Colts got everything they wanted. A new stadium is on its way. The Colts will get a portion of proceeds from other events that use the building they will not own. The Colts will not put a $3 tax on tickets. I just have to enter into a negotiation with the State one day!

I have been complaining on this site for two years that public saftey and infrastructure should be higher priorities than stadium building. In the wake of Katrina, economist Bill Styring offers some interesting priority comparisons between New Orleans circa 1971, and Indianapolis today. From Styring's op-ed in today's Indy Star:
New Orleans' choice in 1971 was to spend money upgrading the levees or to build a Superdome for the Saints football team. The new dome cost $134 million. In today's dollars, that's not quite a billion bucks. They chose the Superdome. True, had they opted for levees instead of the Superdome, the Saints might have left for another city. And there might also today be a New Orleans.

So Indianapolis is about to make the same trade as New Orleans: a glitzy new sports palace in exchange for rotting basic infrastructure.

I'd wager that if New Orleans could do it over, the Saints would be in Los Angeles and today New Orleans would be dry. Are we making the same mistake they did?

Mr. Styring, please do not overlook the notion that the new stadium could be used one day as a shelter should floods equal to those of 1913 return to Central Indiana- just as the Superdome has been recently employed. That should bring you all the comfort you need. Just ask State Senator Luke Kenley. From another Indy Star story on the stadium deal:
"My expectation is they (the authority) will not only announce it, but also approve it and move forward," said state Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, the architect of the stadium legislation and a nonvoting member of the authority board. "I feel greatly relieved -- it looks like we'll get it done and hold to the timeline of finishing by August 15th, 2008." (emphasis supplied)

It would have been a vastly nobler achievement to be regarded as the architect of a deal to make sure the sewers cease to back up with raw sewage and cease those discharges into the White River. It could have been done on the same timeline, at about the same cost.

Ah, well. A man's got his priorities.

No comments: