'We gave away the store...'

Dateline: Mon 27 Apr 2009

A wise reader of this blog found this telling graph from an article in Forbes in 2008.

"A decrepit stadium can be replaced. In 2005 Marion County and the state agreed to finance all but $100 million of a new $719 million retractable-roof stadium for the Colts. Lucas Oil, a California fuel additives producer (no relation to the Russian Lukoil), chipped in $122 million for naming rights over 20 years. The Colts moved into Lucas Oil Stadium earlier this month. The team is on the hook for only a $66 million loan from the city, which Irsay can pay back over 27 years. The Colts pay a tiny $250,000 in annual rent while reaping all football-related revenues (tickets, parking, concessions, sponsorships), which will add $30 million a year. Remarkably, Irsay faced little resistance from taxpayers asked to pick up so much of the cost. "It's definitely one of the most favorable leases in recent league history," says Robert Vogel, president of the Bonham Group. This year the Colts make a jump in our value rankings, from 21 to 8, as their enterprise value increases 18% to $1.1 billion."

"We gave away the store," says the reader. "We have no one to blame but ourselves."

Here is the Forbes link:

Read it: the gist is, Colts owner Jim Irsay may come across as a burned-out hippie flake, but no NFL owner has done more with less.


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