The City of Indianapolis and the Indiana Pacers are in the midst of weekly negotiations at the moment to keep the franchise settled in the Hoosier State.
According to the Indianapolis Star, members of the city's Capital Improvement Board and Pacers officials are meeting as often as twice a week to try to come to a conclusion about the team's future. Paul Okeson, Mayor Greg Ballard's former chief of staff, has become the lead negotiator for the city and he's given the city and team a deadline to finalize the deal -- April.
The story broke this summer that the Pacers were hemorrhaging money to try to operate Conseco Fieldhouse throughout the year. The Pacers organization said that in order to break even financially, the franchise needs assistance from the CIB to operate the building. Today's Star story did not give a number that the Pacers are asking for in the negotiations. Mayor Ballard gave the Star the following quote:
"There's no question I'd like to have the Pacers here. (But) we have to make sure it's the right deal for the taxpayer." -- Mayor Greg Ballard
Hopefully we'll begin hearing more about these meetings and get some numbers on what exactly the Pacers are needing to make this work and stay in Indianapolis. Check out the jump for links on tonight's Pacers game against the Timberwolves.
- Bruno and Pacers.com offers a preview for tonight's game against the Timberwolves. Bruno notes that the Pacers have fallen behind by 15 points or more in the first quarter of each of the past four games. Add that to the blue and gold's New Year's Resolution list.
- Mike Wells writes about Mike Dunleavy's recent struggles and the guard/forward gave his thoughts on his knee issues. Here's what Mike Dunleavy had to say: "I think it's a combination of things. I'm hardheaded and I tend to think it's not my knee or my legs and things like that. Other people who have watched me and seen me on a daily basis say it is. Maybe that has something to do with it and certainly playing with a new group of guys, I haven't played much with anybody out there."
- Pacers-Timberwolves preview here at CBSSports.
- The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune previews tonight's contest.
- Bleacher Report wonders whether the Pacers can stop being so awful in the new year.