For the Indiana Pacers it comes down to simple economics: would you rather spend $15 million a year to operate Conseco Fieldhouse, or pay nearly $150 million to the city for breaking your contract and moving to another city? If only it were that easy to answer.
The Indianapolis Business Journal interviewed local lawyer Paul Ogden about his examination of the contract between the team and the city of Indianapolis. Let's just say it's very complicated. And that's a giant understatement since Ogden admitted that's it taken him more than two years just to interpret the paragraph regarding its termination. Although he didn't find anything that would lead to a Major League scenario, Ogden tallied up the provisions and found the Pacers would be on the hook for around $147 million total if they broke the lease and loaded up the Mayflower trucks for another town.
It's a very complicated structure of penalties that combine to make that big number, and I'll let you read the article instead of me reciting them here. Ogden also states that another penalty kicks in after 2010 that would result in the Pacers paying upwards to $234 million. The CIB disagrees with Ogden over his mathematical skills (Hey, CIB! Whose side are you on?), so the contract appears to be as clear as dirt.
Lots of information in that article so I recommend the read. Check out other related links after the jump.
City shouldn't forfeit to Pacers
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EDITORIAL: Shed more light on Pacers' plight
The Indianapolis Business Journal's Editorial Board wants more financial issues.
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Big guys take stage as NBA playoffs begin
Mike Wells gives his take on the NBA playoffs in this morning's Indy Star.
NBA projects 2010-11 salary cap to be $56.1M
Big names came out of the league offices yesterday when the salary cap for next season was announce to be about $3 million more than expected. The Miami Heat appear to be the biggest winners from the news.
City Leaders Consider Arena Takeover
WRTV covers the story about the city officials finally thinking about relenting to the Pacers and footing the bill for the $15 million/per operating costs of Conseco "Reggie Miller" Fieldhouse.
Pacers' woes tied to Lucas Oil Stadium deal
The IBJ reports that the entire Conseco debate stems from the construction and creation of Lucas Oil Stadium for the Colts.