Friday, April 07, 2006

Let The Overruns Begin

The financing hallmark of a publicly funded stadium is the massive cost overruns. The Lucas Oil Stadium will apparently be different- the overruns are starting way earlier than usual under the oversight of the Daniels Administration. From an Indy Star staff report:
Seven months into construction of the Lucas Oil Stadium, building officials already have drained half of the contingency fund set aside for unexpected expenses.

So far, $26.4 million of the stadium's $50 million contingency fund has been used for bids that came in higher than expected and for contaminated soil found during excavation, according to budget data released at this week's meeting of the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority.

About $350 million in contracts have been awarded for the project, which has a budgeted price tag of $675 million. That includes construction costs, the $50 million contingency fund and "soft" costs such as design and legal fees.

Wouldn't it have been nice for the state to have gotten even a third of that $121 million in naming rights, instead of having it all gone to the Colts? It would look good in buffering that contingency fund right about now.

The Stadium Authority can watch millions dribble away on "soft" costs while they fail to meet the terms of the NK Hurst Company. I would declare it amazing if it weren't rather predictable. Every publicly funded stadium project in the USA goes like this.

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